Food experts and chefs have predicted that this West African food will be a big cuisine in the coming years.
Jollof rice is eaten in many parts of West Africa and is a traditional dish in predominately Nigeria, Senegal and Ghana.
So what’s so special about it and which country does it best?
In the midst of the popularity of this dish around the world, something still remains uncertain- the fierce debate between Nigeria Vs Ghana Vs Gambian as to where this popular dish originated and who cooks the best.
However, a conflicting story claims that Jollof rice is originally called Benachin which in Wolof means “one pot”…. It is still strongly believed that jollof originated from Senegal/Gambia tracing its name of course, but another account has it that Nigerians known for their good cooking taste and boast of a variety of other dishes made it very popular outside this region. The Ghanaians have their own version which also dates back to the precolonial (before the slave trade) claiming basmati rice gives it a much richer taste as compared to American easy cook used by their Nigerian counterparts.
Well my conclusion is, regardless of all the rivalry or claiming the origin of this great dish, we are definitely sure of only one thing, that when visiting a West African home, restaurant or even event, one thing is for sure – A DELICIOUS AND AROMATIC JOLLOF RICE will always be ready to be served.]]>
As the weekend drew closer, my urge to visit CHUKU’s grew even more, so I embarked on this journey to see things first hand for myself. Priory to that I checked on their official website and their Instagram page to gain some more information and realized the business was set-up as a pop-up (only just set up for a month in this particular East London location), hence I had to plan a much quicker visit there. Another thing that caught my eye from their social media was their short introductory clip by two passionate young siblings, who clearly were the brains behind this remarkable concept.
On the beautiful Sunday afternoon I started off my journey by driving through the River Thames Ferry (the only freebie form of transportation in London) linking me from my south-east location to the east part of the river where they were situated. Knowing fully well they were opening from 12pm, as a walk- in customer I wanted to get in as early as possible as to avoid any disappointment of the spot being over booked to accommodate me.
From walking in, I felt very amazed and welcomed by alot things, from the contemporary ambiance which felt very much like a tribal hut to the music playing to the sound of the true Afrobeat Legend – Fela Kuti. The customer service was outstanding with one of the sibling introducing herself and quickly giving the history and origin of Nigerian Tapas cuisine, including the setup between herself and her brother. Speaking with lot of pride and confidence while giving me the menu, she doubled up as both the front of house waiter/manager, while her brother visible in the open plan kitchen was also doing justice with the food, clearly as the head chef.
All I can say is that every dish served on that table had its own unique taste and wasn’t long that all my taste buds kicked in forcing me to order even more than I anticipated.
Guys! I will not want to kill the joy by giving out too much but all I can guarantee you is that a visit to CHUKU’S pop-up restaurant (they are now working on securing a permanent site), you will not be disappointed trust me!
PS: please don’t forget to come back here to thank me later with your reviews!]]>
Born in Camden, London to Nigerian parents, Tokunbo lived in Lagos, Nigeria for the first nine years of her life – an experience which shaped her taste buds and love of Nigeria cuisine and culture.
Tokunbo completed her university education in London and used her degrees to pursue her passions as a committed advocate for children and women’s rights, using her cross-cultural experience from working internationally across three continents. It was this passion for cross-cultural experiences and bringing people together that planted the seed of a dream in Tokunbo’s heart.
After years of home-grown cooking for family and friends, Tokunbo decided to turn her dream into a business reality launching Tee’s Food Corner in 2015, a pop-up Nigerian street food stall and Tokunbo’s Kitchen in 2016, which is a private chef and supper club service for people from all cultures to experience and enjoy authentic Nigerian food. The first supper club will be launched on 23 April 2016 in North London.
“Tokunbo’s Kitchen is a space and opportunity for people to experience and enjoy the type of delicious home cooked Nigerian food I grew up eating. My overall goal is to have Nigerian cuisine as a favourite choice on the London food landscape. I started Tokunbo’s Kitchen here in London as this is a city that has shaped me into the proud British-Nigerian woman I am,” says Tokunbo.
Tokunbo’s love of Nigerian cuisine inspired her to launch these start-ups at a time when there is still not enough emphasis on celebrating the immense diversity of African cuisine, more specifically Nigerian delicacies in the UK and Europe as a whole. According to primary research undertaken by West African Cooks, African/Caribbean themed supper clubs makes up less than 1% of the entire London pop-up market share.
With dedication, motivation and the sheer desire to introduce Nigerian food to a more global market, Tokunbo Koiki is bringing a new taste from “across the sea”.]]>
While Co-founder and Director, Iré, who was born in Ikoyi, Lagos (an inspiration for the name of the restaurant) will be taking charge of front-of-house, Head Chef Chan has worked with Heston Blumenthal and at Noma and Hibiscus will be bringing his expertise to create highly skilled dishes.
According to Chef Chan, the restaurant boasts of meals combining high-quality produce combined with West African seasoning to create dishes such as Rare Breed Lamb Ribs with Asun Relish, Octopus Pepper Soup with Coastal Herbs, Wild Nigerian Tiger Prawn, with Banga Bisque and Corn Grits, Suya Blade of Beef, Jollof rice with Smoked Bone Marrow and Groundnut Miso.
Anthea Harries, on behalf of the St James’s Market Partnership said: “We’re delighted to see Ikoyi complete the roster of world class restaurants at St James’s Market, further strengthening the area’s reputation as the destination of choice for the best in international dining. Ikoyi brings a fresh array of exciting flavours to London’s food scene and we’re thrilled they’ve chosen St James’s Market as the place to make their mark.”
Iré Hassan-Odukale of Ikoyi said: “We are privileged to have been selected to join St James’s Market and to call it our first home and we believe it’s the perfect location for us to introduce Jollof Cuisine to a London and global audience.”]]>