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Street Foodz Naija 3: Crayon rocks as 18 finalists emerge

By Maria Diamond
13 August 2022   |   3:53 am
The expansive car park of the Ikeja City Mall provided a perfect venue for the Southwest regional audition for Street Foodz Naija 3 organised by FoodBay TV.

Chef Fregz, Toyin Lawani And Noble Igwe Unveiled As Judges
The expansive car park of the Ikeja City Mall provided a perfect venue for the Southwest regional audition for Street Foodz Naija 3 organised by FoodBay TV.

With a gigantic stage loaded with musical equipment, sponsors and food vendors setting up their stands by the corner, shoppers at the mall that day sensed something big was coming their way. By the time the DJ started belting out popular songs from gigantic speakers positioned at strategic corners, and hype man Do2tun took charge of the microphone, it became obvious that guest were in for a fun-filled evening free of charge.

One-by-one, group-by-group, guests started thronging the venue. Before long, the space was packed with fun lovers, who were treated to not just good music, but also popular Nigerian street foods.

It would be recalled that the auditioning for the Street Foodz Naija season 3 kicked of in Abuja for the Northern region. The event, which was spiced with musical performances by The Cavemen, picked six contestants, who will battle for the King Of Street Food crown. From Abuja, the show moved to Enugu, where another six contestants were selected.

Like in Abuja and Enugu, the Lagos audition paved the way for 19 contestants to battle for six slots available in the region. They were all given 20 minutes to prepare any food of their choice on the spot. The judges — Chef Fregz, Toyin Lawani and Noble Igwe— alongside the host, Elozonam, had tough time pruning the number down. In the end, six chefs were selected to join the other 16.

The list of the 18 finalists for this season include Abraham Nwanuah Chijindu, Ajasa Balikis Tomilayo, Alimi Ayo Rukayat, Amina Nwakaego Nwabuezeh, Chisom Ann-Indira Achara, Eze Prince Chinecherem, Ezechi Chinenye Racheal, Eze Lilian Nneka, Gerald Ekpenyong and Halima Umar Atana. Others are Iluobe Ofure Happiness, Jennifer Edoziem, Kalu Chinenye Ukpai, komolafe Janet Oluwabukola, Nelson Edegbai Ogun, Odunze Sonachukwu Grace, Omobonike Emuze, Scholastica Joseph and Olushola Elijah Davids.

Singer Crayon, who treated guests to the best of his repertoire, wrapped up the evening.

Speaking at the event, CEO Maxima Media Group, Femi Ogundori, said the experience with this season has been amazing.

“So far, we have received 2000 entries. I can say without a shadow of doubt that we’ve received more quality entries than we’ve ever received on this show. Before now, I felt a lot of people looked down on the platform, but right now, they are beginning to see potential and there’s a lot to come from us.”

He continued: “Abuja was amazing; loads of entries from the northern region who came from Kano, Kaduna and all of that to Abuja. We shortlisted over 20 of them and we picked six contestants. We went to Enugu for the eastern region; it was held at the Polo Park Mall and it was amazing. We had a number of entries there as well, but out of the 20, we picked six.”

Meanwhile, the Lagos audition witnessed the formal unveiling of the judges and show host for this season.

“Chef Fregz, Toyin Lawani and Noble Igwe are judges for this year. Every episode, you will also see celebrity judges come on as well. The host of the show is Elozonam of Big Brother, while Chef Tolani, Diary Of The Kitchen Lover, will be doing the home play. So, the show is not just for the contestants; viewers will also have the opportunity to prepare their homes meals and be rewarded by the brand,” he said.

According to schedule, Street Foodz Naija 3 will be going live on August 27, while the grand finale, Street Foodz Festival, will hold in October, at the Muri Okunola Park, Victoria Island, Lagos.

“After today, we will have a total of 18 contestants who will be going in for the boot camp; a three-day street food business clinic. Two days will be for training, on the final day, they will have an opportunity to pitch to established chefs on why they should be picked as King of Street Foods.”

According to the organisers, the show this year will air on Africa Magic, AIT, TVC, Views Chnnel and Wazobia TV.

“The show is going to run for seven weeks; Saturdays and Sundays. There’s more penetration this year, because it’s more experiential now; we are bringing it closer to the people. So, it’s not just a food platform, it’s a lifestyle platform. Tonight, Crayon performed, so it’s a whole package for families,” Ogundoro hinted.

Giving insight into this year’s Street Foodz Festival, Ogundoro assured, “This year is going to be a wow! The show itself is going to be fantastic because of the judges we have this season and the quality of contestants. We’ve opened it to more people; the production value is going to be higher than what you’ve seen before.”

Tagged The Redefinition, the King of Street Food 2022 (winners of the show) will go home with N10 million cash prize; $10,000 worth training at the Metropolitan School of Business Management, United Kingdom; all expense paid trip to Dubai and culinary scholarship at HBM. Meanwhile, first runner-up will get N5 million cash, while the second runner up will go home with N3 million cash.