Plenty fun as Christopher emerges king of Street Food
The Eagles Club, Surulere, Lagos, came alive last Saturday, as leading entertainers Zlatan and Teni rocked the venue in the maiden edition of Street Foodz Fest. Conceived by FoodBay TV, the festival brought to an end a 13-week culinary battle by 13 contestants, who made it to this year’s King of Street Food. At the grand finale, the six finalists got the opportunity to slug it out in a cooking competition.
They include Martha Edem of Akara Café, who serves Akara and different pap options alongside key stars of an English breakfast menu; Box D Food by Fego Daniels, who serves rich, flavourful shawarma with a generous dollop of free hugs, and Crispy And Grills by Christopher Omowa, who makes crispy fries and crispy juicy toasties, with grilled-to-perfection American Style Barbecue all made from Nigerian produce and staples.
Others are Chef Segun Anifowose of King Glab Cuisine, which serves up a wide assortment of street food style meals; Simple Corner currently under the able management of Chinonso Attansey. This business, which was set up by her parents, serves up nkwobi, pepper soup and isi-ewu at their joint; and Soma Ofada By Oluwaseyi Gunre, who claims to serve the best Ofada rice and sauce.
In what was their final task, the contestants were given 30 minutes to prepare any dish of their choice, under the supervision of the judges; Etteh Assam popularly known as Chef Etteh, one of the top street food and grill chefs with over 18 years of experience; Adetomi ‘Imoteda’ Aladeokomo popularly known as Chef Imoteda is a Nigerian Chef and co-owner of Eko Street Eat, a company that specialises in bringing innovative twists to Nigerian street food and finally Adedamola “AskDamz” Ladejobi, a certified Personal Nutritionist and Weight loss expert.
In the end, Christopher Omowa emerged the winner and was presented with a cash prize of N1,000,000 and other gift items from the sponsors. The first runner up got N500,000, while the second runner-up got N200,000. Meanwhile, all the 13 finalists will get their workplace renovated by the organisers.
Hosted by OAP Dotun and Soliat Bada, the event witnessed energetic performances by the duo of Zlatan and Teni, who treated the excited crowd to the best of their recordings. It was cheers all the way, as the artists belted songs from their rich repertoires.
Conceived as a family event, the festival had food vendors, who exhibited their cuisines to the audience, while guests have the opportunity of playing different games indoors before the cooking contest kicked off on the big stage, with the DJ blasting popular hits from woofers positioned at strategic points within the arena.
Speaking at the event, the CEO of Macima Media Group, owners of FoodBay TV, Femi Ogundoro observed that food is big everywhere in the wolrd, adding that nothing stops it being bigger in Nigeria.
“With over 200,000,000 people, diverse cultures and tribes, why won’t food be bigger in Nigeria? One thing that can bring us together, either as African or Nigerians, is actually food. The challenge is that the government and international organisations are talking about food in a way the consumers do not understand. They talk about food security, they talk about agriculture… it is still food. That’s what we stand for as FoodBay TV, which is a 24-hour channel to be launched very soon. We are focused on getting the best of food and putting African food on the world food map.”
While thanking the sponsors Devon King for believing in the project, Ogundoro, whe founder of Views Channel on Startimes, said, “You can see the quality of our production, the quality of judges and all; it’s been an exciting tourney. We are looking at taking it a notch higher in season two.”
On the choice of Zlatan and Teni for the grand finale, he explained, “We did a survey to know whom the people would love to see and a lot of people wanted someone with energy like Zlantan. Then, a lot of them wanted to see a young, vivacious artiste in the stature of Teni. So, if that’s what they want, we had to give it to them,” he said.
Going forward, he said, “There’s a lot of work to be done when it comes to street food in Nigeria. A lot of people were skeptical because we don’t pay attention or we don’t respect our own thing. All I want to say to Nigerians is respect your food; respect yourself, you are better than what you think you are. If you go outside this country you will know that Nigeria is indeed endowed; there are very few countries in Africa that can rub shoulders with Nigeria in terms of food. So, why are we not celebrating what we have? This event shows there’s a lot of potential for food in Nigeria and as FoodBay TV, we will stop at nothing in promoting our food to the world.”
In a chat with Teni, she said, “Of course, you can see I’m big on food; I love food. This idea is a good one, brining people together, cooking, showing them nutrients, what to eat and what not to eat. I think it’s a good idea.”
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