Located in the western part of Africa, Senegal is a coastal country with a tropical climate, and the country's cuisine reflects that. Prawns, crab, and fish are grilled or stewed and eaten daily; tamarind and mango find a place in everything from sauces to desserts to drinks; and peanuts, grown locally in Senegal, are a kitchen essential. When he was writing Senegal, he used his country's flavors and techniques to create a collection of dishes of his own. "The way you prepare the food, you bring your own background," Thiam says. "Flavor should be the priority." The best example? His fonio-crusted crab cakes.