November 28, 2016

The Nigerian Food Fusion Tour Weekend

I love food. I enjoy food. I'm very picky and don't eat a lot of things, but the things I do eat, I really enjoy. I like to joke that one of the reasons why I liked Cakes instantly is because he told me he was a baker. Even he will tell anyone that there's this joy and happiness that makes my whole body tingle when I'm eating something I really like.

I enjoy a lot of different cuisines, but my favorite would be of the Asian persuasion - oh, and Nigerian of course. We all know that there's just something about a perfect plate of jollof rice, or native soup, or plantain in any form! Nigerian cuisine isn't popular around the world, but there are chefs around who are doing amazing things with Nigerian food. From Kitchen Butterfly to 9jaFoodie to Chef Fregz, and the lady of the moment, Chef Imoteda, Nigerian cuisine is being reimagined, reinvented, and reinvigorated in so many different ways.

When I found out about the Nigerian Food Fusion Tour, an idea birthed by Chef Imoteda (of Heels In The Kitchen), and supported by Chef Fregz, I was determined to go. The premise of the NFFT is to introduce Nigerian cuisine to a larger audience in a fine dining format, and also to showcase the versatility of our food. I looked forward to it a whole month in advance - I like to plan my outings way ahead of time.
My companions for the evening were Rexie, one of her best friends, and hubby dearest, Cakes. The event was slated for 5:30 but we got there between 10 and 15 minutes late. Luckily they were just about to start, so we were just in time.







We were all kinds of hungry and couldn't wait for the food to arrive. On the menu was a six-course "tasting" selection and while we had seen photos on social media beforehand, we weren't quite sure what to expect. There wasn't a confirmed menu for Atlanta, but it turned out what we had was similar to what the tour stops in London and Toronto were having.
Yeah, the cutlery/silverware setting was incorrect but I fixed it immediately :p

 First on the menu was the Egusi and Peppersoup. The description said it was Egusi Tortellini, with Smoked Turkey, Peppersoup, Herbs and Cured Egg Yolks. Thank God I was too hungry to notice the egg yolks because I typically don't like them. I really enjoyed this dish. The egusi tortellini was my favorite part of this course. It was definitely a good surprise.


Next on the menu was the Seafood MoiMoi, which consisted of what I think is a Moimoi Puree, Prawn Cake and Sauteed Herbs. This was my favorite dish of the evening! By far! Everything about it was so delicious - it was perfectly spiced, the textures worked well together and my taste buds were ecstatic!



The third course was Jollof Rice and Dodo. Now let me tell you I've never seen jollof rice or plantain like this in my life. There was a certain person at our table that was VERY disappointed that there was no plantain on the plates...

Little did they know that the dressing on the kale WAS IN FACT made from plantain! I knew it sha.
While that was amazing to me, I was a little confused about the jollof rice. I wasn't sure how this deep fried ball of something was jollof rice.
And then I cut it open. I think this was my second favorite plate of the evening. The rice was a little too spicy for Cakes so I supported him dutifully by eating what remained on his plate :p
The next course was Lamb (not Goat Meat) and Yam. I'm not a fan of Goat Meat or Lamb, so I didn't care too much for this course. Additionally, the mashed yam was a little too creamy for my taste, and I couldn't finish this plate.

The first dessert plate (and fifth on the menu) was Zobo. I actually thought it was going to be more of a drink than actual dessert, but it was Zobo juice over Panna Cotta with Honeycomb and Fresh Berries. I'm not a big fan of creamy foods, so I mostly picked at this dessert. I liked the juice and the berries though.
The final course was Bread and Pap. Before I continue, please tell me there's someone else that also knows Pap as Akamu. Cakes said I was razz when I called it Akamu, but I always thought Pap was the razz name. Anyways, this course had French Toast, Pineapple, and the Pap (I guess). By this time though, I was full and getting sleepy, so I didn't eat too much of it. Plus I don't like Akamu and wasn't sure where it was in the dish :p

Just before we left, we ran into Imoteda, who says she reads the blog but is a silent commenter like most of you are these days :p I chatted with her for a little bit, and she mentioned how she knew there were improvements to be made on the event/tours going forward. However, this is the first of its kind, and she had little to no sponsorship. She actually had to cancel the stop in Houston because not enough people bought tickets early enough, and babes are trying to make money!

One of the things I looked forward to the most was seeing Chef Fregz again, but he had other engagements (aka, plenty money to make) in Nigeria that weekend. I've talked about Fregz here, here and here in previous posts. Back to this event though, like I mentioned, there were some things that needed improving - maybe hiring professional waiters/waitresses, a nicer venue with better decor, and timing. But we definitely enjoyed our food and I'm looking forward to what the next tour will cook up - literally and figuratively.

Of course Rexie and I got up to our usual play before finally leaving. See more of us goofing around here.


Thanks for reading and have a BERRY gorgeous week!

P.S. I'm sorry for the quality of the photos. I've been so exhausted lately that I didn't have the time or energy to edit them. Going to work at 4:30 and 5am tends to get you that way.

P.P.S. The exhaustion is also the reason why some posts have gone up later, and I haven't been able to keep up with comments here (and on other blogs too), but I'm trying to figure out how to manage my time and energy better.

6 comments:

  1. Love the recap, I felt like I was there.
    I am such a picky eater too.
    I don't like goat meat, lamb, pap or moimoi so I wouldn't be full if I attended this.
    Your schedule sounds tough, hope you are able to find a system that works and helps you balance it all.
    Love the fact that you gave tips/ways it can be improved but it didn't come out rude.
    We miss you in Lagos o!!!

    Tuke's Quest

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  2. Love your outfit Berry! You look sharp... Seems you had fun also. I've only been to one food event. I need to go to more of those

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  3. Pap and Akamu. I know them as both and both are razz. I do use pap though even if it reminds me of pap smears.

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  4. Berry, you know I will love this post!
    This is definitely Nigerian food reimagined and reinvented!
    That Jollof is so creative. Curious as to how plantain will taste in a dressing. So creative!
    I love Chef Fregz too. Guy knows his way around the kitchen.
    I love the way you do your recaps. Have an awesome new week. May work and everything else go well for you.

    PreciousCore.com

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  5. Hmm that moi moi puree does not look so appetizing in my opinion, I think I would skip that. I however love the idea of the mashed yam and lamb, and the first pepper soup dish. And you're not razz dear, I always call pap, Akamu. Thumps up to Nigerian chefs who are flying the flag high. Though my tip to them would be not to change things too much cause it'll loose the traditional feel and taste.

     Princess Audu 

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  6. Biko, what is pap? Of course it is Akamu. Berry, I will help you fight anyone that claims otherwise. Let them not use their kpako reggae spoil our ajebutter blues please.

    On another note, hmmmmmmm! I love food as well, so I will be willing to try the re-imagining of Naija food so long as the base is what I know.

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Reading your comments ALWAYS makes me smile. I hope you smile when I reply :)