Nina’s Story – Okra African Grill

Nina’s Story

Nina Sodji first immigrated to America in 1994 with a business visa, hailing from Togo, a west Africa nation. She began her career as a nurse who had a growing passion for cooking. Nina ran with her heart, opened an African grocery market in Omaha in 2004, and later added a restaurant and had wild success...until her lease ended and she moved locations. The new location didn’t work out quite as well, but she didn’t back down. Nina was fueled by the desire to succeed, enrolled in culinary school at Metro Community College and continued pursuing her dream to open her own kitchen, all while raising two young children.
It was at MCC Nina that noticed the foods she grew up enjoying in Togo were derived from lots of cultures: French, Spanish, German, Indian and neighboring African countries. The flavors she grew up loving were a result of her country's complicated history of colonialization, invasion, and political unrest. But the flavors were magical together and sparked her curiosity in experimenting with how her favorite Togolese dishes could have wider appeal by playing around with these influences.
Okra African Grill is Nina's vision to bring these dishes to life in Omaha. An homage to all African cultures and the transcontinental history that have influenced Togolese foods, her food tells a complex story. And when you visit Okra African Grill, you have the opportunity to build your own experience. It's this kind of self-expression that keeps Nina invigorated and inspired to serve more dishes to those hungry to learn.
Nina Sodji first immigrated to American in 1994 with a business visa, hailing from Togo, a west Africa nation. She began her career as a nurse who had a growing passion for cooking. Nina ran with her heart, opened an African grocery market in Omaha in 2004, and later added a restaurant and had wild success...until her lease ended and she moved locations. The new location didn’t work out quite as well, but she didn’t back down. Nina was fueled by the desire to succeed, enrolled in culinary school at Metro Community College and continued pursuing her dream to open her own kitchen, all while raising two young children.
It was at MCC Nina that noticed the foods she grew up enjoying in Togo were derived from lots of cultures: French, Spanish, German, Indian and neighboring African countries. The flavors she grew up loving were a result of her country's complicated history of colonialization, invasion, and political unrest. But the flavors were magical together and sparked her curiosity in experimenting with how her favorite Togolese dishes could have wider appeal by playing around with these influences.
Okra African Grill is Nina's vision to bring these dishes to life in Omaha. An homage to all African cultures and the transcontinental history that have influenced Togolese foods, her food tells a complex story. And when you visit Okra African Grill, you have the opportunity to build your own experience. It's this kind of self-expression that keeps Nina invigorated and inspired to serve more dishes to those hungry to learn.

Delicious, slow-cooked African dishes made from the heart.

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