The Wedding Experience

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My friends from Knorr Taste Quest and I, came together to cater for a wedding and it was fun! Long story short, the concept was Kitchen Victore’s brainchild then Antia brought his man power along and I filled in the gaps. The menu was as below:
Hors d’oeuvre
Asun on a stick, delectable chicken wings and prawn crackers drizzled with sweet chili sauce
Entrée
A choice of either of the following:
Buttered parsley rice with Sautéed potatoes and chicken in stewed veggies
Or
Chow Mein, Sautéed potatoes and prawns in red wine sauce
Or
Shrimp fried rice with Sautéed potatoes and Fish in stewed veggies
Or lastly
Our renowned Edikang-Ikong soup rightfully paired with pounded yam

Side

A unique vegetable salad of cherry tomatoes, avocado, onions, broccoli, boile eggs, rocket and parsley with a vinaigrette dressing.

Dessert

Salad of tropical fruits, strawberries and black grapes laced with a mango-coconut sauce.

The wedding was a big one and so we were not the only caterers there. Side attractions included boli and barbacued mackerel, balango and small chops.
The experience was thrilling and the food was in a class of its own. For the picture story look below and for booking, please drop a request. Happy viewing : )
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The crew

The crew

 

The crew too

The crew too

The wedding decor

The wedding decor

Victor and I

Victor and I with the very able boys behind

Meet "the" salad

Meet “the” salad

Me posing by the Boli boss

Me posing by the Boli boss

Chef Hero and I

Chef Hero and I

Boli prepz

Boli prepz

 

Almost done

Almost done

Mackerel steaks on the BBQ

Mackerel steaks on the BBQ

Mr Balango

Mr Balango

Small chops (puff puff and spring roll) frying

Small chops (puff puff and spring roll) frying

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A spread of hors d'oeuvre

A spread of hors d’oeuvre

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Food adventure: Dinner @ Wakkis

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It was Wura’s birthday so her lovely hubby took us out to Wakkis; an Indian restaurant in Abuja known for delectable Indian and oriental cuisine served à la carte. I was so excited coz I had heard so much about Wakkis but had never been there.

Prior to this I had been looking for money to go on a food adventure so you can imagine how I leaped at the opportunity (you know now, awoof no dey run belle). The last time I went on a food adventure, I had so much fun. https://gourmetfinesse.wordpress.com/2013/01/21/sights-and-tastes-of-lagos-iya-basira-tinz-part-2/

Opened in 2000, Wakkis http://www.wakkis.com is a hit dining spot where a lot of dignitaries have come including the famous Don King. The menu offers a variety of chicken, lamb, sea food and vegetarian courses and the ambience is great!

Theirs is a showmanship kitchen that allows the guests (I like how they call their customers guests) to see the Chefs at work and begin to savor the food even before eating it. I got to see the Tandoori oven which is at the entrance. This is a traditional clay oven, used in Indian cuisine.

So basically we had a two course meal. For starters we had; Spicy chicken tikki and crumbed king prawns with tamarind, mayo and chili dips. For beverage we had; Lassi (sweetened yoghurt), Fresh watermelon juice, Chapman and water. And lastly our main course was Chicken curry, Meen moilee, Tandoori lamb shoulder and grilled lamb served with an assortment of rice, naan and raita.

Although I did not bag the award of a being a Wakki’s Wow guest, the food was awesome, the portions were bountiful and in short I had a wonderful experience. So if you are looking for somewhere to have New year dinner, try Wakkis and tell me about it.

Below is the picture story:

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Standing in front of Wakkis.

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Wakkis neon sign.

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Chefs working at the Kitchen. One putting skewered meat into the Tandoori oven.

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Chef hanging up skewered meat and jacket potato to rest.

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Array of meat and side salads.

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Back view of Chefs at work

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Snuggle pups awaiting their food.

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Wakkis ethnic interior.

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Our drinks.

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Up close and personal.

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Crumbed king prawns: half a dozen king prawns marinated in lime and chili, deep fried and served with chili mayonnaise.

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Spicy chicken tikki: Curried chicken and potatoes croquette with chili and tamarind chutney. This was my favourite starter.

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This was such a hit we quickly cleared the plate. The tamarind chutney (the black stuff) was especially good.

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Tandoori lamb shoulder: Whole shoulder of lamb slow cooked with spices and roasted over charcoal accompanied by raita and side salad.

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Grilled lamb ribs: ribs marinated in lime, yoghurt and Indian spices, roasted over charcoal and served with Naan bread. This was my favourite main, so tender and tasty.

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Pugy ponsy doing press mouth lol.

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Chicken curry: Nuggets of chicken in a curried cashew nut sauce served with fluffy basmati rice.

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Meen moilee: Fillet of fresh water fish cooked with ginger, tomatoes and coconut cream.

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The spread! The End.

 

Breakie, breakfast

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I did a photo shoot of my breakfast and this was what I came up with. Funny enough, the photo shoot inspired my little cousin to squeeze out her creative juices. And so she simply stretched out her hand through the kitchen window and plucked a twig from the hedge to serve as the garniture that crowned her cake, “tres magnifique”.

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I hear that garniture has to be edible but hey! what I love the most is her search for creativity and beauty even if it came through a most unlikely source like the kitchen window, lol.

Have a lovely morning and always remember to have breakfast before you leave the house because it reduces the chances of gorging on unhealthy food options.

Una well done o! Part 4

In this video you’ll see:
• Women packaging amala.
• Women assisting as I cook Egusi soup.
• Stack of firewood.
• Fried chicken tactfully being stolen by my friend/camera woman. Do you still wonder why the meat has to be kept in a strong room? lol.
• “Licking my hand shamelessly” according to my friend.
• Okay, the “do you like the bum bum?” question was uncalled for, rotfl.

In this concluding part of the “Una well done o!” series, you see that it was an interesting adventure and I conclude with a picture of me showing my secret double life: Chef by day and groover by night. If I didn’t know this myself, my bones told me the next morning, lol.

UJU WEDS

Una well done o! Part 3

In this video you’ll see:
• Woman grating okro.
• Hear the constant “una well done” above the din like it’s some kind of secret code pass, lol.
• Yours truly blending condiments.
• It’s lovely to see that at the human-food interface of communal cooking different generations meet and that there are interactions between the modern indoor and local outdoor kitchens.

Una well done o! Part 1

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The up coming videos were done to show communal wedding cooking in Nigeria in an unscripted style involving actual people and actual events. My sweet friends helped me with the videos which were named “Una well done o!” because a lot of this greeting which means “good job” were intermittently said even when the speaker didn’t need to say it.

The event was my best friend’s wedding and friends, family and relatives came together to cook. The actual wedding day cooking was to be handled by professional caterers while for days leading up to the wedding, well-wishers did the cooking.

The communal cooking is a fun time in which women come together to eat much more than cooking along with manifestations of “too many cooks spoil the broth”. Once the food is ready, it has to be packed in warmers and sent to strong rooms where mean and stern people guard the food so that the food is not finished by the well-wishing chefs. If that is done for the food then trust me, you don’t want to know the measures taken to safeguard the meat, lol.

I was caught in the middle of all this as the father of the groom after eating soup I cooked at an event specially requested I cook soups for him; egusi, edikaikong and kpocho (a Tiv bush meat sauce).

On the one hand, some of the women were impressed by a young lady like me cooking with ethnic methods while some made it a point of duty to tell me all the things I was doing wrong. One even judged me instantly and said that since I didn’t use her method, my soup was not going to be good. All that drama…smh, just kept me entertained…lol.

Anyway I’m not bragging (just as one of my university professors used to say just before he went on a bragging spree) but it seems my soups were nice as the lady in question in addition to other women rushed the food once it was ready all in the name of tasting. So much so that I had to get help in order to retrieve the soups from the war zone and convey them safely to the strong rooms, hehehe.

By the end of the day there were no hard feelings and I would readily cook with these respectable women again if I had the chance. It was fun, they helped me and I helped them. I learnt stuff from them and they learnt from me. Guess that’s what community is all about.

Next come the videos.

To be continued…

Love like Strawberries

From the colour of strawberries, I bring you love. This is the story of my best friend Wura who got married to her soul mate Moyo recently. I together with family and friends were opportuned to celebrate life, love and laughter with them. A journey that took them through a 16 year relationship within which was a 5 year engagement taught us all that love triumphs over all.

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Like Belgian chocolate covered strawberries, may your love always reveal a delightful surprise!

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Like hanging strawberry shrubbery, may your love shower into peoples’ lives!

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Strawbask

Like a basket of fresh strawberries, may your love be fresh!

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And like a crystal bowl of strawberries, may your love always show through!

Sauce of Happiness

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You know, yesterday after a long day at the salon, my friend (let’s call him Mr Broccoli) was sweet enough to invite me over for lunch. And guess what he made for me? “Sauce of happiness”, aptly named by his cousin (let’s call him Onceler). And Onceler who apparently is so cool in naming thereby christened Mr Broccoli “Sauce kid” for making such a delicious sauce.

Anyways we had it with rice and it was nice, so here’s a mock recipe:

Sauce of happiness and long grain rice:

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All you have to do is make a stir-fry sauce with gizzard, carrots, green pepper, attaragu (scotch bonnnet peppers), tatashe (red bell peppers), green beans and onions. Season with garlic and knorr cubes and your sauce is ready. Serve on a bed of  fluffy long grain rice. Bon appetit : )

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Sights and tastes of Lagos: Iya Basira tinz. Part 2.

On the fateful day, despite ill health I set out on my journey with two friends (I must say here that I am so grateful to them, they made it fun and possible). The initial target location was Obalende on the Island but since I was ill we opted for two joints which were closer home to Surulere since that was where we were putting up. The first was “Amala Shita” in Surulere and the second was “White house” in Sabo, Yaba.

What follows next is a picture story but I must just say here that mmm! mmm! mmm! that day I had the best amala and abula of my existence courtesy of “Amala Shitta” in Surulere. Image

One of my companions as we got ready to set out. He was really helpful taking pictures undercover and chaperoning.

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My second companion taking a picture of herself on duty can you imagine! Lol. Anyway she did a good job and was the one who took the picture of me eating the best Amala in the world.

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Yours truly feeling cute.

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Just had to add this picture; I heard that because commercial bikes in Lagos have been banned, an increasing number of young people have resorted to using roller blades. Looks cool though.

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The positive assault of my senses start. I present to you stewed snails surrounded by other meaty treats.Image

The green soup in the center is Ewedu surrounded by other Amala accessories. Please, please, please, ignore the stains of the surrounding surfaces and just focus on the vision of the food. That will give you much peace.

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Here the spotlight is on Gbegiri aka Bean soup. It’s a creamy yellow soup made from black eyed beans. Ehn… sorry I don’t know what the black soup on the left is, but don’t be deceived by appearances, Nigerian ethnic meals may not look good but they sure taste good. On a closer look, I can see it’s Efo riro, damn! I can’t believe I forgot to eat that.

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The people here are evidence that the food sure tastes good. I watch and learn. I see that ordering is by pointing.

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I’m learning fast, I do likewise. The server misunderstood my choice and in a hasty attempt to correct the mistake, I almost stab my choice piece with my finger, lol. This is assorted meat (mixed offal and meat) in Obe ata.

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Here I eat the tastiest amala and abula (ewedu, gbegiri and obe ata) I have ever eaten! Get this, I don’t eat with my hands outside my house but this was worth every hand licking step of the way. The amala had this pleasant bitter-sweet taste while the obe ata was deliciously piquant. Kudos to Amala Shita of Surulere, Lagos state.

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We are on a queue at joint 2; White house. It’s long but when you want something good you have to be patient.

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Cross-section of the gifted hands that toil night and day to sate our desires.

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Greedy boy at one o’clock rme (rolling my eyes). I wonder why he can’t wait for the plantain to be removed from the pan. See his eyes, lol.

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My friends said they were full from the food they ate in the previous joint and decide to share a plate of meat.

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I on the other hand was determined to eat more so I had white rice and red stew etc. Let me not lie, the beans was awful, it was hard like roasted peanuts disguised as beans, lol. However the plantain was something else, no wonder the “greedy boy at one o’clock” couldn’t resist. Hehehe.