On display were different kinds of culinary experience, ranging from pastries (different cake styles), wine stalls and also, savory sit down meals. Beside these treats, there was a place set aside for Nigerian street foods. These are foods that can be found either by the roadside or the ones that are usually hawked from place to place. The food items included puff-puff, fried yam, bean cake or Akara as well as African salad also known as Abacha.
For many who witnessed it, the 2019 edition of the GTBank Food and Drinks exhibition came with lots of excitement. The annual event was designed to celebrate Nigeria’s food culture and to promote enterprise in the small business sector of the food industry in Nigeria. It also served as a platform for small business owners to connect with their target markets. And as usual, this year’s fair, which ended May 1, took place at plot 1-3, Water Corporation Drive, Oniru, Lagos.
Alongside these street foods, there were a few portable pickings present at the fair. There you find a whole lot of snacks packaged in real Nigerian style. These snacks have been there for ages. Among them were garri and groundnut; roasted plantain, also known as Boli which was displayed alongside a peppered sauce with grilled fish – a very attractive and delicious delicacy, much unlike the regular one that is often paired with groundnuts.
There was even more excitement at the grilled meat (Suya) section. It is one of the most popular street foods in Nigeria, particularly in the northern region. The Suya, which was properly garnished was indeed, hard to resist. Ahmed Tukur of the Delicious Kiliahi Home explained that Suya is something we can chew in-between meals. “Our tasty recipe is proof that the days when Suya was regarded as just some street corner dish to chew while awaiting a proper meal are over. As you can see, we gave it a proper dressing.”
There was also a farmers’ market where farmers displayed their fresh and organic farm produce. Opeyemi Martins of the Green Collar Farms told the magazine that eating fresh Agric produce is a necessity for all. “Everyone present at this fair needs to grab this opportunity to patronise our live snails and catfish. We bring them to you just the way you love it,” she said.
Away from the food scenes, the fair also featured a series of Master Classes where those who are into food and drink business experienced live cooking demonstrations of their favourite delicacies by renowned international and indigenous chefs.
Kinorah Awini, a Ghana-based African food blogger was among the international chefs that participated in the food and drink fair. She said her love for cooking started at an early age when she spent a great deal of time watching her father who was a cook, and her mum who was a food critic. “My parent made me have this food drive. I solidified my name as a champion of African ingredients, which I use to create exciting new recipes. I also believe in effective presentation of African cuisine and ingredients across borders which led me to open Telande World, a culinary company and a community for food lovers,” she said.
It was indeed, a great experience to be at the 2019 edition of the fair. While looking forward to even more exciting ones in the years to come, participants were full of praises for the organisers of the event, Guaranty Trust Bank, also known as GTBank, one of Nigeria’s leading new generation banks.