Adejoke Bakare, the Nigerian-born British chef, has been bestowed with the Michelin star award, becoming its first black female recipient in the United Kingdom.
Bakare is the founder of Chishuru, a West African-themed restaurant in Fitzrovia, London.
Michelin stars are given by a collective of inspectors employed by the Michelin guide, who visit different restaurants in about 40 countries, as anonymous customers. The guide considers the very best in a given city in terms of food, ambiance, and service.
Chishuru was one of 18 restaurants awarded with a Michelin star on February 5.
The feat makes Adejoke the first black female chef in the UK to earn the accolade and the second black female Michelin-starred chef in the world.
Bakare’s interest in cooking dates back to her childhood days in Kaduna up until she moved to the UK to study microbiology over 20 years ago.
In 2020, she unveiled Chisuru in Brixton, South London after she came out victorious in a cooking competition where the winner got an opportunity to operate a three-month pop-up restaurant.
Her restaurant offers a wide range of West African meals such as Ekuru, Akara, and Moi Moi.
In September 2023, Bakare moved her restaurant to a permanent site in Fitzrovia, London. Less than six months after opening its permanent residence, it has become one of London’s most talked about restaurants.
In an Instagram post, the restaurant congratulated its CEO for her latest achievement.
AdvertisementView this post on Instagram
Speaking about how she became a chef, Adejoke told Great British Chefs that “my friends all knew that I’d always wanted to cook. I’d always call them up at the weekends and invite them over for a meal. For me, it was all about that joy of feeding people, the noise and the buzz of it all”.
“They’d always say, ‘oh you should do this for a living’ and so when supper clubs started to be a big thing in around 2016, I thought I’d give it a try,” she added.
“My very first one was at Well Street Kitchen in Hackney and it was pretty much all friends and family there, with everyone helping out.
“The response was great but I was worried it might just be a case of people being nice, so I decided it wasn’t for me.”
Also speaking with Guardian UK, Adejoke said that Chishuru’s menu is not restricted to Nigerian food.
“You can’t describe our food as “Nigerian” though, because there’s no one food tradition… much of the culinary history predates the lines on a map,” she said.
“My parents are Yoruba and Igbo, and I grew up in Hausa territory, so my food is informed by all three of those culinary styles.”
Last year, Adejoke was also shortlisted in the ‘Chef to Watch’ category at the National Restaurant Award.
Copyright 2024 TheCable. All rights reserved. This material, and other digital content on this website, may not be reproduced, published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or in part without prior express written permission from TheCable.
Follow us on twitter @Thecablestyle