When I first heard the name Niematulai Longstratt, it was on the announcement of the competing chefs for the title of Louisiana Food Prize 2019. I thought: Who is this woman in this beautiful African head wrap, she’s a fashion designer and also a chef? I have to know her!
She quickly became a favorite among the Golden Fork Society and made her way to the finals where I got my wish, to meet her and cook beside her. But she was also my competition and I have to admit, I was a little nervous.
When Niema walks into a room she commands attention. Her presence is known in a way that is unforgettable. She is a light, a force of energy, and everyone is instantly drawn to her. Not to mention her talents for cooking as well as designing clothing.
A year has passed and in that time I have had the pleasure of getting to know Niema and I knew that she had to be my next guest for this year’s series of powerful local female chefs.
Niematulai Longstratt is a transplant from Sierra Leone West Africa. A successful entrepreneur with over 20 years of professional business experience, she has combined her talents of design and culinary skills with her cultural background to create RNL Authentics LLC, “the place where food and fashion meet.”
She moved from her hometown in Freetown 7 years ago to marry the man of her dreams, Rodney Lonstratt, who was stationed at Barksdale Air Force Base. He has since retired and with that, they decided to stay in the SBC with a mission to leave her mark on the food and fashion scene.
RNL Authentics is an African clothing and accessory line she started at a young age that has allowed her to grace the stages of New York Fashion Week and work with prominent leaders and filmmakers, to name a few.
Neima told me that cooking was always a part of her family, as they cook every meal every day. Growing up in Sierra Leone, they weren’t always fortunate to have electricity 24 hours a day, so they had to cook meals that would be enough to last the whole day.
While we were cooking together she told me about her Private Dining experience that she offers and she doesn’t limit herself to the boundaries of the SBC, she will travel anywhere anytime to bring the African culture through food to your table.
Today, we cooked a delicious but simple Salmon Salad over Cold Cucumber Ribbons. It was a dish that she could always put together back home with fresh ingredients from the fridge. It was truly elegant and refreshing. Just like Niema.
I asked Neima where on earth she finds the time and how do you stay focused?! She answered “My aim is to dress one person at a time through my beautiful designs until RNL Authentics is a brand recognized worldwide. I am a big dreamer! I wake up each day and pursue my dream. You should too! Don’t be scared to dream big. Be consistent and always be true to yourself.”
Salmon Salad over Cold Cucumber Ribbons
Half-cut marinated smoked salmon (can be mashed or served whole)
1 tablespoon of orange bell peppers
1 tablespoon of green bell peppers
1 tablespoon of purple onions
1 teaspoon of minced garlic.
1 teaspoon of RNL Authentics All-purpose seasoning
1 teaspoon of RNLAuthentics Pepper Sauce
A pinch of salt
3 tablespoon of olive oil
2 whole squeezed limes
Parsley and scallion to garnish
Want to experience RNL Authenics cuisine?
Find Niema at the local farmers markers selling her famous pepper sauce (it’s hot, beware!), peanut butter sauce for meats, and other delicious sauces ready to cook with at home.
Social media: @rnlauthentics
Call/email to order meals and book dinner experiences: Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Phone: 318-990-9166
BIG FRIENDS & FAMILY COLLABORATION EVENT AT GLOW ALCHEMY KITCHEN
A Taste of Lion Mountain
Date: Saturday, July 25
Tickets available at caspianacatering.com
An authentic African dining experience that will excite all 5 senses – you will see, taste, touch, hear, and smell all things Lion Mountain. In this cultural experience, you will dine the traditional way on a woven mat and enjoy your meal the Fulani way! Limited seating, reserve your spot now!