The London Africa Food Week (LAFW), taking place on Sunday 26th – Friday 31st May, is a week-long celebration of the African food experience in London. Hosted by Nigerian food pop-up, Tokunbo’s Kitchen, this inaugural event aims to raise the profile of African food, create awareness about its nutritional benefits and celebrate the African food experience in London.
Although there has been a recent high demand in Britain for varied international international cuisines as people have expanded their culinary exploration and their palates, food from Africa is often overlooked.
Thanks to a growing emerging generation of African chefs like Tokunbo Koiki, African ingredients and flavours are gaining momentum across the food and drink sectors.
As far as umbrella terms go, ‘African’ is a large one. The continent comprises a multitude of countries, cultures and regions – the food is as diverse as the continent itself. Still, one unifying aspect of African dishes is that they are often gluten free and high in plant-based protein, fitting in with current trends. After years of the food and drink focus been on the flavours of Northern Africa, there has been a groundswell of interest in the largely unexplored cuisine of Western African countries. In 2017, food trend experts, The Food People dubbed West African cuisine as the “last great untapped cuisine”.
Since the launch of her business, Tokunbo’s Kitchen, 3 years ago Tokunbo Koiki has established herself as a leading voice on West African cuisine with regular press features on the BBC. A trip to Dakar, Senegal in 2016 and an invitation to participate at the New York African Restaurant week in 2017 gave Tokunbo Koiki the inspiration to launch the LAFW. The planned schedule includes a cooking class and food photography workshop at Google’s KitchenSync in their London headquarters. Food lovers can enjoy a taste of Africa at the bustling Africa at Spitafields market day in the heart of London alongside intimate chef-hosted pop up dinners and events. There will be a series of panel discussions as well as hands-on workshops from an established and emerging new generation of African chefs, bloggers and entrepreneurs exploring the role of technology, new media in the discovery, branding and development of African food businesses.
“I went to Senegal to 2016 and it was the first time I tasted Senegalese cuisine and I was absolutely blown away. I want to see more people doing Senegalese pop-ups. I want to eat food from Ivory Coast, Cameroon – from all over Africa” – Chef Tokunbo Koiki, Founder of Tokunbo’s Kitchen.
“African food is no longer just about cooking Jollof Rice, we are now in the midst of serious entrepreneurs expanding culinary ideas and turning African food into a serious business.” – Leslie Leigh, Editor, West Africa Cooks
“At Onidodo, we are passionate about our food. We offer authentic Nigeria dishes with a modern twist which captures the heart and soul of the culture. We are excited to partner with the London African Food Week to showcase modern Nigerian cuisine executed with style and panache to satisfy all tastes.” – Dare Oni, Chef and Owner, Onidodo
While the LAFW is still in planning stages for some events, you can register to attend our partner Pop Up Africa’s Festival – Africa at Spitafields at www.londonafricanfoodweek.co.
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