The highly anticipated 2-day #GTBankFoodDrink fair took place on May 1& 2, 2016. The fair served as the perfect destination for those who needed a plan for the long weekend caused by the Worker’s Day holiday.
The venue which was free and open to all, was filled with about 90 food vendors that attracted a large crowd both indoors and out doors. Besides sampling of food and socialising at the GTBank Food and Drink fair, there were also master class cooking sessions on both days by invited chefs who showed their fantastic culinary skills to the keen audience.
There were a total of 11 chefs, Raphael Duntoye, Ozoz Sokoh, Michael Elegbede, Tiyan Alile, Marcus Samuelsson, Michael Elegbede , Gbubemi ‘Chef Fregz’ Fregene, Uzo Orimalade, Iquo & Atim Ukoh,Alex Oke, Dunni Obata.
Children weren’t left out of all the activities, an amusement centre was set up for the children to play then Chef Uzo Orimalade of Cupcake Couture, held a special class for children and the kids loved it! Several kids volunteered to step up to the on-stage kitchen and try their hands at cooking. Chef Uzo who also runs Uzo Food Labs coordinated the children as they delightfully made pasta and baked cookies.
Chef Marcus Samuelsson popular as a judge on the Food Network TV show ‘Chopped’ did nothing to hide his excitement to be in Lagos, Nigeria for the first time at the #GTBankFoodDrink fair.
Marcus Samuelsson who has been opportuned to cook for the President of America, Barrack Obama owns a restaurant in New York City called Red Rooster. The Fela and Jay Jay Okocha loving chef prepared two dishes of prawns and lamb chops that the keen audience was lucky enough to taste. He also gave out aprons and signed copies of his cookbook to the audience who ran eagerly to the stage in an attempt get their hands on the freebies. Chef Marcus also got the kids in the audience to attempt to teach him how to groove to the popular Nigerian dance ‘shakitibobo’.
Marcus who has a photograph of the Nigerian afro-beat legend hanging in his restaurant mentioned that on his first night in Lagos, he had to go out in search of the famous suya and according to him he absolutely loved it. The audience recommended he try another Nigerian food and when Amala and sea food okro was brought to him, he dug into it calling it the best fast food he had ever had, tasty and good. He also requested some ‘Nigerian beer’ to crown off the really tasty meal.
Popular Nigerian chef, Gbubemi ‘Chef Fregz’ Fregene cooked one of his favourite meals during his master class cooking session, Orange rosemary chicken and humoured the audience as he went along. During his cooking session he professed his undying love for Jollof rice and Amala saying “Jollof is the sword, Amala is the breast plate”.
Chef Ozoz Sokoh was the opening act at the first edition of the #GTBankFoodDrink fair master class cooking session.Ozoz, popularly known as ‘Kitchnbutterfly’ proudly displayed her heritage in a T-shirt that had Warri emblazoned on it as she kicked off her cooking session.
Selecting helping hands from the audience, she showed her impressive culinary skills making dishes out of paw paw and afterwards, the audience had the opportunity of tasting the food whose aroma had pleasantly serenaded them throughout the session.
On the second day of the fair there was a cooking competition between two chefs; mother, Iquo Ukoh of 1Q Food Platter and daughter Atim Ukoh of Afrolems.The bespectacled mother-daughter pair headed to the on-stage kitchen and their super fans cheered loudly for the two chefs who incorporated cocoyam, mangoes, mackerel,potatoes and tomatoes into their recipe.
Iquo Ukoh shared that she turned 60 earlier in the year and the audience was shocked because the chef of 1Q Food Platter looks absolutely nothing like her age; all thanks to a healthy diet.
The former Nestle executive also advised against excessive eating of swallow foods such as eba, pounded yam, fufu, semovita and others. According to her, the appropriate portion should be about the size of two tennis balls and much more vegetable soup.At the end of the chef off, the lucky members of the audience who got to taste the food pronounced the verdict, pronouncing the mother Iquo Ukoh as the winner of the cooking competition.
The GTBank Food and Drink fair also came with it’s on in-store radio and though there was a DJ, there were live music performances. Timothy serenaded his audience with sweet music as he passionately played the piano and Femi Leye strung away on his guitar.
While Dunni served some of her audience, a piece of meat fell on the floor and it was unbelievable to see a crowd of people rush hysterically towards it in hopes of picking it up, that’s how delicious the food was.
She made asun with yajichurri sauce and her dish of okra pepper soup caused a frenzy in the crowd during the tasting. For the ultimate source of moral support, she came with her darling mother who revealed that she made Dunni start cooking at the tender age of 10.
Besides bringing people together to enjoy food, the aim of the fair was to lend support to small and medium-sized enterprises.
See you next year!
Check out the full gallery here.