Food is ready, Oya come chop!
Traditionally in Nigerian culture, food is an expression of Love. When food is ready to eat it is quite common to hear someone say, “Oya come chop”! It is in line with this same tradition that Tokunbos’s Kitchen held its first supper club at community hub, The Engine Room, Waterside Way in Tottenham Hale Village on Saturday, 23rd April.
Created by phenomenal single mother turned entrepreneur, Tokunbo Koiki, inspired by her Nigerian culinary roots, Tokunbos’s Kitchen, is a new breed of African inspired supper clubs in a bid to bring authentic Nigerian food to a more global market.
The name Tokunbo in Yoruba means “From across the Sea” and seems to fit her desire revolutionise Nigerian cuisine. She first started Tee’s Food Corner in 2015, a pop up Nigerian street food stall and Tokunbo’s Kitchen in 2016, a private chef and supper club service for people from all cultures to experience and enjoy authentic Nigerian food.
The rise of supper clubs in the UK, such as hers comes at a time when there is still not enough emphasis on celebrating the immense diversity of African cuisine, more specifically Nigerian delicacies in the UK and Europe as a whole. According to primary research undertaken by West African Cooks website, African themed supper clubs make up less than 1% of the entire London Pop up Market share.
Food lovers were made to feel at home seated on tables decorated with ankara cloth, named after popular places in Lagos – Ikoyi, Ikeja, Surelere, Lekki. Table nibbles included groundnut and shredded spicy suya meat and a new African drink called Wonjo, a non-alcoholic beverage from the Gambia.
One guest tweeted, “I had a wonderful time. Food was amazing and the crowd was awesome. You rock girl! The organisation, the vibe etc”.
Tokunbo says “My vision is to create a space and opportunity for people from all cultures to experience and enjoy the type of delicious home cooked Nigerian food I grew up eating.”
“My overall goal is to have Nigerian cuisine as a favourite choice on the London food landscape. I started Tokunbo’s Kitchen here in London as this is a city that has shaped me into the proud British-Nigerian woman I am.” she told me.
Born in Camden, London, to Nigerian parents, Tokunbo lived in Lagos, Nigeria for the first nine years of her life, and has been cooking since she was 8 years old.
The next supper club will be held on Saturday, 25thJune, and the plan is to hold one twice monthly over different venues across London.
For more information visit http://www.tokunboskitchen.com