In a bid to discover hidden talents of Nigerians with culinary skills on the street, Newspread.ng, an independent online newspaper, has launched a street cooking competition tagged Sabi Chef to discover and reward street chefs across Nigeria.
To Announce the that street cooking competition at the press conference yesterday in Lagos, Director/Editor in chief of Newspread.ng, Mr Uche Nnadozie stated that the inaugural edition of the competition would take place at Muri Okunola Park, Victoria Island Lagos on December 8th, 2023.
Explaining the concept behind Sabi Chef cooking competition, Nnadozie said, “Newspread is an independent online newspaper celebrating Nigerians and their accomplishments through news reporting wherever they may be,” adding that “It is in continuation of the role of showcasing the creativity of Nigerians, that we decided to invite street chefs to compete against one another with a view to elevating their craft and recognising their talent, work ethic in a fast-changing world.”
On celebrating local culture, the director at Newsparead.ng said, “Street food is an integral part of our country’s culture. Where else is the melting pot of Nigeria’s culture than Lagos state,” h enquired.
“This is why we are starting our quest for popular street cuisines in this city by hosting a competition dedicated to it so that we can celebrate the local food culture and traditions of our people.”
According to him, “Our show provides a platform for talented chefs and cooks to showcase their culinary skills and creativity in preparing street food dishes.”
Nnadozie believed that Sabi Chef, which would be an annual festival in Nigeria, would attract tourists and impact the economy of the country. “Good festivals such as Sabi Chef can attract tourists and food enthusiasts, thereby boosting the local economy through increased footfall and spending,” he added.
In a bid to make Sabi Chef an international festival, CEO of Newspread.ng, Mr Shola Ewuola said that there is a plan underway to host a Sabi Chef show in London England by mid of next year while the Nigeria leg would be hosted in December 2024.
On Sabi Chef fostering innovation, Ewuola said “Encouraging chefs to experiment and innovate with street food can lead to the creation of unique and delicious dishes that can benefit the local food scene.
According to him, “Street food brings people together, and a competition can promote community engagement and a sense of togetherness.”
To qualify to participate in Sabi Chef the organisers said that the entry is open to Nigerians who are from 18 years and above and are not professional chefs. “Every legal resident of Nigeria who is 18 years and above is qualified to compete to become the Sabi Chef. Professional chefs are not qualified to participate,” the statement revealed.
“There shall be 10 finalists chosen from hundreds of applicants from across Nigeria. The applicants send a one-minute video for our panel of judges to score with set criteria. As we begin our market storms this week, we shall also use the avenue to onboard hundreds of interested participants directly on the street,” Nnadozie confirmed.
Sabi Chef provides a platform for chefs to network, learn from each other, and potentially form collaborations.
According to organisers, “Sabi Chef in Lagos will serve as a means to celebrate local culture, promote culinary skills, boost tourism and the economy, foster innovation, engage the community, educate about food safety, provide entertainment, and offer networking opportunities in the food industry.”