Eko Hotel and suites was flooded by food lovers, bloggers, travel journalists, tourists and people in the hospitality industry from all over Africa to witness the most anticipated Jollof rice challenge of the year, organized by Akwaaba African Travel Market.
The event started at exactly 3pm with an opening speech by Otunba Olusegun Runsewe DG NCAC [National Council for Arts and Culture].
The Jollof rice war at Akwaaba African Travel Market brought together some of our most celebrated chefs and drink brands for an evening of superb food and drink while the chefs compete amidst entertainment. The contestants were members and few nonmembers of the Chef Associations of the competing countries [Nigeria and Ghana].
The culinary event was aimed at promoting culinary tourism in West African as Cuisine could be an excellent tourist attraction in travel destinations and local cuisine is an integral part of travel experience. Food serves both entertainment and cultural purpose, it therefore cannot be separated from travel since the cuisine of a country cannot be separated from its culture, custom, tradition and history, it is however the soul of the people.
Each chef was challenged to create the best of African Jollof rice, which has been a topic of discussion this year.
Every attendee received a judging pad after purchasing a sampling coupon which entitles them to a portion of the Jollof from each chef.
However, the Major judges where non West Africans from Kenya Rwanda and South Africa in the travel and hospitality business at the Travel event – Rosemary Mugambi , Bunny Bhoola, Vickie Muyanga, Charity Githinji, Florence Wanjiku Njau, Julie Dabaly Scot and Didier Bayeye.
There was a major setback as GTA [Ghana Tourism Authority] and the Ghanaian chefs were delayed at Seme Border so arrived late and could only present one plate of Jollof rice jointly prepared by 9 Ghanaian Chefs, this was against the rules. However, since the reason for their lateness was beyond them, the team was asked to nominate a chef as winner from Ghana who will get a 48 hours in Calabar courtesy of Remlords Tours.
The Nigerian Chefs had their food sampled and judged regardless and after a fair vote by the non-west African Judges and the general public, the winner emerged and was announced on the 12th of September 2017- Chef Idowu Olajide Micheal was named the champion with a score as high as 117, the 1st runner up was Deborah Esene with 113 while the 2nd runner up was Samuel Sange Nguuma with 109. The Major winner will be hosted at Lansdown Resort in Aburi Ghana and Africa world Airlines [AWA] while the other participating chefs received a certificate of participation.
The culinary event was officially sponsored by Olam Rice and water supplied by Funtuna water, both excellent and reputable brands.
While thanking the 25 chef’s competing in the event the organizers promised a bigger event for next year on the 9th of September with chefs from 5 West African Countries.
More pictures from the event.
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