Journey on a culinary journey to West Africa at the 9th Annual Taste of Africa, a truly one-of-a-kind experience, sponsored by UPMC Center for Engagement & Inclusion and Hefren Tillotson.


VIP Ticket – $100

Enjoy a VIP reception from 6pm-7pm with African street food-inspired hors d’oeuvres, a specialty cocktail provided by Hidden Harbor (available for the entire evening), early access to the buffet line, everything included with the main event ticket, and a fireside chat with our Founder & CEO and a program participant.

Main Event Ticket – $75

Enjoy the main event from 7pm-10pm featuring authentic West African buffet-style dinner, open bar featuring South African wine and beer donated Independent Brewing and Hidden Harbor, African Drum performance by Ibeji Drum Ensemble, live painting, unique items and experiences to bid on in our silent and live auction, and of course – a dance party!

Table – $1,000 (Includes 10 VIP tickets)

Don’t want to pay online? Purchase tickets by sending a check* made payable to “Open Field” to:

Open Field @ Ascender

6401 Penn Ave, Suite 300

Pittsburgh, PA 15206

*Please order tickets via mail no later than Tuesday, October 8th to allow for proper processing time.

Contact Justin Forzano for a sponsor packet or with additional questions- or call 304-281-5649.

What To Expect at the Event

2018 Taste of Africa Menu Below, 2019 Menu coming soon:

Mama Sylvia Nanji, board member and matriarch of Open Field, coordinates all of the cooking for our signature fundraising event.

VIP hors d’oeuvres:

Spicy meatballs – African-style meatballs slowly simmered in a spicy tomato sauce

Suya meat – a spicy shish-kebab popular food item in West Africa

Fruit  – various fruits, commonly found in Cameroon and locally available

Featured dishes:

Ndole & fried plantains – sometimes referred to as the national dish of Cameroon, ndolé is a dish consisting of stewed peanuts or egusi (melon seeds), ndoleh (bitter leaves indigenous to West Africa), spices, and fish or beef, served with plantains

Jollof rice – a staple of West African cuisine with many variations, this dish includes rice with tomatoes, onions, meat, other diced vegetables, oil, salt, and spices

Fufu & njama njama – made famous by those from the Northwest Region, fufu is a dough made from boiled and ground cassava and is eaten with njama njama, a kind of vegetable sometimes called huckleberry

Pepper soup – a West African soup that is prepared using various meats, chili peppers and other spices as primary ingredients

Jerk chicken – grilled chicken prepared with various spices, similar to widely-known Caribbean jerk chicken

Vegetarian/Vegan dishes:

Puff puff  – everyone’s favorite, a traditional African snack similar to a doughnut

Koki corn  – aka African corn tamales; fresh corn is coarsely ground and mixed with spinach, palm oil then wrapped in banana or plantain leaves and steamed

Corn chaff  – a corn and bean porridge enjoyed throughout West Africa

Jollof rice (v)  – prepared without meat, this dish includes rice with tomatoes, onions, other diced vegetables, oil, salt, and spices

We are extremely grateful to Ma and Pa Nanji and their entire family who leads the charge and coordination efforts with many locally-based Cameroonian women (to whom we are also very grateful) to ensure our attendees enjoy this amazing food. This event – and the work it supports in the Southwest and Northwest Regions of Cameroon – is not possible without their support.

Taste of Africa

Don’t Forget

Where Does the Money go?

Proceeds raised at the event support our mission to improve the lives of youth by promoting health, education, civic engagement and leadership skills through the global game of soccer.

Since 2010, our educational soccer programs and competitions have engaged more than 3,000 boys and girls. Since 2015, we have been supported by FIFA Foundation. In June 2019, we launched our first U.S. program in Pittsburgh and our program in Cameroon is expanding to two more cities thanks in part to a grant from the United Nations Development Program.