HEAD of Culture in Nigeria, Otunba Segun Runsewe the D.G of National Council of Arts and Culture will declare the trending chef challenge on Jollof Rice open at the upcoming Akwaaba African Travel Market.As the Jollof rice challenge draws nearer, so is an increase in buzz and enthusiasm among the competing countries. The event organized by Akwaaba African Travel Market with the sole aim of promoting culinary tourism in Africa already has the Chefs set and more than ready to hit the scene.
Over the weekend, Africa was thrilled with the Jollof rice challenge organized by the Ghanaian Tourism Authority (GTA) at Legon Botanical Garden.
The competition, which featured Ghana, Gambia, Nigeria and Senegal, formed part of the “See Ghana, Eat Ghana, Wear Ghana, and Feel Ghana” campaign being championed by the GTA, under the auspices of the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Creative Arts to promote local tourism on a global scale. It also served as a selection process for the Ghana Chef Association to choose the 5 chef coming to Lagos for the Akwaaba event.
Gambia prepared the jollof rice without tomatoes but with mustard, fish and other ingredients, making their jollof yellowish-white as compared to Ghana, who used tilapia, tomatoes and other ingredients to make their jollof attractive and tasty, giving it a reddish colour. The Nigerian and Senegalese chefs used ingredients they believed could make their jollof super and delicious but, unfortunately, they could not win.
Ms Felicia Aniagyei, the Acting Public Relations Manager of the GTA, in an interview with the Ghana News Agency, said the Jollof Competition, which falls under the “Eat Ghana” module, was to encourage Ghanaians to be proud of their local dishes and patronise them wherever they went. She said the occasion was also used to showcase some locally made cuisines including Kenkey with fish and rice balls with groundnut soup. This month has been dedicated to the “Eat Ghana” module while next month, September, would be for the “Wear Ghana” module, followed by the “Feel Ghana” in October.
Ms Aniagyei noted that engaging other African countries in the competition was to help showcase the varieties of jollof rice and deepen the relationship among the participating countries.
Akwaaba Travel Market jollof rice War will serve as the final event according to Ghanaian Chef President, Chef Isaac. To the Ghanaian chefs, the prize is already theirs, and here is something you should know about the Ghanaian Chef association. The goal of the Chefs Association of Ghana is to unite chefs and cooks across Ghana in a common dedication to professional excellence.
The Chefs Association of Ghana (CAG) was founded in 2005 and incorporated in Accra as a non-profit association in 2006. It was incorporated under the Companies Act, 1963 (Act 179) as a company limited by guarantee With over 400 members, a number of regional branches and a National Secretariat in Accra, the association is set to promote the culinary profession. According President of Ghanaian Chef Association, ‘’The Chefs Association of Ghana (CAG) is seriously preparing for the Jollof Festival in Nigeria being organized by Akwaaba Travels, with 5 top Chefs across the sub-region. The Chefs Challenge Programme is an international cooking competition that affords participating countries to acquire skills in modern cooking trends to be able to deal with international cuisine.’’
Since its inception, the Association has enjoyed a deep and long-standing tradition as Ghana’s true representation of the professional chef and cook. The Nigerian Chef Association however, have selected the best Chefs to represent the country. Meanwhile, The 13th Akwaaba, African Travel Market 2017 received a boost as Olam Nigeria Limited, the biggest rice producers in the country partners the organisers of the yearly travel fair for the maiden edition of chef challenge/food expo, one of the events lined for this year. Olam as the official sponsors of the much talked about #Jollofrice war by Akwaaba Travel Market, delivered bags of Mama’s Pride Rice brand of 1kg, 5kg and 10kg to a team from Akwaaba for the upcoming event slated for 10 September 2017 at Eko Hotel and Suites, Lagos.
Speaking at the company’s office in Lagos, while receiving the Akwaaba team led by Gbabo Laura Dein, Olam’s Regional Sales and Marketing Manager Mayowa Joshua said the organisation is looking forward to be at the travel fair adding that the company is excited about the partnership.
The culinary event is aimed at promoting tourism in Nigeria by showcasing the best of Nigeria to an international audience. The tourism event will be hosting chefs from Ghana, Gambia and Nigeria to compete for Jollof rice challenge, 36 states in Nigeria compete for the best main meal and a group of Nigerian chefs compete for the best prepared rice in varieties. These activities were created purposely to bring out the best in West Africa in terms of rice production and promoting the outlook of culinary tourism and local delicacies to foreigners thereby promoting indigenous hospitality and style.
Akwaaba African Travel market introduced the Chef Challenge and Food Expo on the hospitality day to foster local food experiences amongst travelers and to promote culinary tourism and entertainment. Akwaaba is a 3-day travel expo that brings different travel product together. It is from the 10th to the 12th of September. Following the event is the Aviation day to x-ray the successes recorded the previous year in the industry to ensure it was accident free and measures taken to sustain the feat. The Women in tourism awards aimed at recognizing 100 outstanding women in African Tourism and finally the youth in tourism conference.