Nina Sodji is not only the owner and the visionary chef of the Okra African Grill, she’s somewhat of a local Omaha celebrity. Her restaurant has been featured in Omaha Magazine, Midwest Living, the Omaha World-Herald and other publications and media outlets. She also took home the $10,000 grand prize as the 2022 winner of the Midlands African Chamber’s Pitch Black competition—Omaha’s version of Shark Tank for local minority-owned business entrepreneurs.
Nina immigrated from Togo in west Africa in 1994 and originally was a nurse with a passion for food. In 2004, she opened an African grocery offering hard-to-find grains, spices and other traditional staples. Eventually, changes in the economic climate forced her to make the decision to finally follow her true passion and she enrolled in the Institute for the Culinary Arts at Metro Community College. As Midwest Living reported, “That’s where she first realized the foods she loved back home were heavily influenced by those from Latin America, France, Spain, Germany, India and other African countries, a testament in part to Togo’s complicated history of colonization. She became determined to use this to her advantage and find a way to introduce Togolese cuisine to a broader audience.” Fast-forward to 2020, Nina opened the Okra African Grill.
The menu is loaded with African specialties and the ability for customers to build their own bowls, selecting from proteins, vegetables and sauces. One look at the photos and descriptions of her foods on her website should be enough for anyone to be convinced it’s time to try what is reported as, “Delicious, slow-cooked African dishes made from the heart.”
One visit to the Okra African Grill and Nina, and we’re sure you’ll go back time and time again.
Okra African Grill and American National Bank are banking partners through our partnership with the Carver Legacy Center. Learn more about the Carver Legacy Center and its mission to help African Americans grow and sustain wealth through business and home ownership.
The Okra African Grill is located at 608 S. 72nd Street, Omaha, NE 68114. Visit the website at https://okraafricangrill.com.
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