Meet Tina Fahnbulleh, the owner of catering company and pop-up Gold Coast Ghal Kitchen. Tina founded her catering company when she moved to Seattle in 2016 and saw the city’s lack of West African cuisine. Born in Liberia and raised in Ghana, Tina’s love for food and cooking stemmed from spending time with her maternal grandmother and helping her cook in the kitchen. While she works on finding her own brick-and-mortar space, you can find her pop-up at Watson’s Counter in Ballard on Saturdays from 6 PM to 9 PM.
Fun fact: Gold Coast Ghal was a recipient of a Comcast RISE grant!
What’s something your customers may not know about you or your business?
[Something] about me personally is that one of my favorite foods is Szechuan-style Chinese food. It’s so good. Funny enough is that I actually cook more of that at home for myself. […] A project I’ve been working on is translating Liberian English, Pidgin, to American English in terms of food. It’s funny, it’s not really recipes that have been written down — I do find myself calling my grandmother a lot [she laughs]. I really enjoy it, and because of that, it’s brought my family and I closer.
What’s your favorite part about the community your business is in and why?
It would be just seeing the people that are interested that I would have never thought would be interested. Funny enough, when I first got the idea to actually go through with [opening Gold Coast Ghal], I spoke to a couple of close friends and chefs in the city. I just wanted to cook, and I was thinking, “Should I do soul food?” because no one knows West African food or Liberian-Ghanian food. I was ready to cook something I know that I can make, but [my friends] were just like, “Cook what you love,” and I decided to go with it. And it’s been overwhelmingly [well] received.
What are some of your favorite local businesses and why?
I go to Oasis a lot — I love bubble tea. I go to Dim Sum King as well, maybe about once a week for the coconut bread, I love it so much. Communion — I don’t know how I keep getting in, but I get in [she laughs]. And I absolutely adore La Spiga, which is in Cap Hill. Oh, and on the South end, Umami Kushi — just biting into that beignet is just amazing.