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Chef Abégan, others bring Afrogourmands to Lagos

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Pierre Gay, Meilleur Ouvrier de France Fromager (left); Laurent Damiens, Chief Operations Officer, Strategy and International, CNIEL and Chef Christian Abégan, at the Afrogourmands Lagos event organised by CNIEL and the European Commission

Having visited Dakar and Abidjan in June, and then Douala in July, the European Commission, in partnership with the French Dairy Interbranch Organization (CNIEL), recently hosted professionals, talented African cooks, and media to tastings and workshops on the use of European dairy products in making African dishes in Lagos.

Themed Afrogournmands, the session, which was facilitated by internationally acclaimed Chef Christian Abegan and Pierre Gay, Meilleur Ouvrier de France Fromager (Best Cheesemonger in France), according to CNIEL, is a three-year program that will promote the know-how, diversity and excellent quality of the European dairy products such as milk, butter, cream, as well as cheese and how they can be used in African cuisines.

Speaking at the event the Chief Operations Officer of CNIEL, Laurent Damiens said the event was organised to highlight through the Afrogourmand’s programme, European milk and dairy products that are exported to meet the ever-increasing demands in the Nigerian market.

“In 2018, over 248 tons of French cheeses and 178 tons of milk and dairy beverages were exported to Nigeria,” he stated.

Laurent, however, explained that “The purpose of the campaign is not to displace the use of local produce, rather it is to show the culinary possibilities that can be achieved with a fusion of local and international produce.”

Cordon bleu trained African Chef and fervent promoter of African cuisine to the world, Christian Abégan, who hosted a tasting workshop at the event, recreated the popular Ofada rice using some European dairy products.

“Incorporating European dairy products in local cuisine will improve and upgrade the African food culture. It will also increase the demand and interest in African cuisine”.

Chef Abegan was the first African chef to obtain the trophy of excellence of Afro-Caribbean cuisines and in 2010, he also earned the grand diploma of honour of the Institute of French gastronomy.

Through AfroGourmands, the European Commission and CNIEL call on professionals and the general public to come and discover the various dairy products. On the social media platforms, pages dedicated to this program will enable the sharing of preparation methods, tips, and tableware.


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