With just over week left until Jollof Festival, we’ve shared the first batch of vendors menus and released advance tickets (which we recommend you get ASAP). What else is there to look forward to at the event? Well, we’ve partnered up with one of Nigeria’s finest culinary schools, Red Dish Chronicles and Maggi Nigeria for a unique, live cooking competition!
The Mystery Box Challenge will be a chock full of talent. There are eight contestants (all of whom are alumni or current students of Red Dish Chronicles), and they will be judged by some of the finest professional Chefs in the Nigerian food industry. The contestants will be in four teams, and will compete under three categories: Jollof as a starter or Jollof as a main and then Jollof ‘re-imagined’. Each team will have two members, and they will have 10 ingredients and one hour to cook their dishes in each round as follows:
Round 1a: Team A vs Team B – ‘Jollof as a Starter’
Round 1b: Team C vs Team D – ‘Jollof as a Main’
The winners of each qualifying round will then get their creative culinary juices flowing in the final round:
Winner (Round 1a) vs Winner (Round 1b) – ‘Jollof Re-Imagined’
KAREN CHINENYE EKEKWE
Karen (25) is an accounting graduate of Covenant University. Her passion for food led her to enroll in a culinary school and she’s currently training as a chef at Red Dish Chronicles Culinary School. She specializes in making cupcakes and meal plans for workaholics. Her hobbies include cooking, travelling, writing and baking.
HAUWA OMOLEYE ONIFADE
Hauwa Omoleye Onifade or ‘Chef Omey’ is a University of Lagos graduate. She holds a Diploma in Culinary Arts from Red Dish Chronicles Culinary School. Her passion for spices and herbs makes her culinary skills outstanding and a force to be reckoned with.
AUDU STEVEN ISHAYA
Steven Ishaya holds a Bsc in Microbiology and Industrial Biotechnology. He is an alumnus of Red Dish Chronicles. He gained his culinary skills from intensive training and exposure, but his biggest strengths are his attention to detail and his ability to cook from the heart. He is also a certified event planner, content writer and model.
INOK VICTORIA BASSEY
Victoria studied Law at the University of Lagos and later attended Red Dish Chronicles to fulfill her desire to become a professional Chef. She is from Cross River state but was born and bred in Lagos. When she isn’t cooking, she loves reading and teaching. She is currently working on a project to impart knowledge of the culinary arts on teenagers in Nigeria. She hopes to transform the culinary scene in Nigeria.
Morolake started her culinary career in October 2016 at Red Dish Culinary Academy where she was awarded a Diploma in Culinary Arts. She interned as a chef at Nok by Alara Restaurant in Victoria Island, Lagos. She is presently refining her skills operating her own catering business. Rolake plans to emboss her creative mark on the world doing something she knows well: serving up delicious meals made with love.
Deborah Ebube (also known as Chef Debbie) is a Human Resource Management graduate, fitness junkie, and food lover. She loves baking and cooking for people. She also loves exploring cuisines and writing about food. Her favorite food are pancakes. She currently spends her free time inventing things in the kitchen and stuffing her siblings with food.
Victor is a graduate of Covenant University with a Bsc in Mass Communication. He holds a certificate in Brand & Marketing Management. He worked in the corporate world for 3 years and quit to follow his passion for food. He’s currently enrolled at Red Dish Chronicles Culinary School to obtain a Diploma in Cuisine. He owns a start up fast food service called “Chow Station”.
ALOHA EMOGHENE GOMETI
Aloha holds a BSc in Microbiology from the University of Ibadan. She is currently a Chef in training at Red Dish Chronicles for the 1 year Professional Combination Programme. She also runs her food business “Aloha’s Cuisine”, which caters to personal and corporate events. Before starting a food business, Aloha worked at Stanbic IBTC Bank as an account support officer. In her spare time, she loves to read books and spend time with family.
Chef Stone – Graduated from the French Culinary Institute (NY). He worked at Giotto and Paramount in London. He is the founder of the Red Dish Chronicles Culinary School.
Chef Zoey Blaq – Is a Red Dish Chronicles alum. She was triumphant as the winner of Maggi Kitchen Battle at EatDrinkFestival in December. She is the owner of Zabambam Kitchen.
Kitchen Butterfly – is the pioneer of the #NewNigerianKitchen. She has been featured in CNN’s African Voices and the late Anthony Bourdain’s Parts Unknown.
Chef Imoteda – Is Cordon Bleu trained. She is the founder of Heels in the Kitchen and an EatDrinkFestival regular. She is also the creator of the Nigerian Fusion Food Tour.
Chef Michael Elegbede – Is a Culinary Institute of America graduate. He is the executive Chef and owner of ÌTÀN. He has worked at Eleven Madison Park in New York.