French cooking is almost ubiquitous, French chefs and menus dominate any list of London’s top restaurants. And it’s not that we’re unadventurous and only willing to try the cuisine of the country next door, Indian curries are practically a British national dish. But when it comes to African food, we simply haven’t ‘got it’ yet. Which is where Zoe Adjonyoh comes in.
Adjonyoh founded Zoe’s Ghana Kitchen with the intention of bringing African food and culture to the masses. Eight years after she began evangelising in the form of a string of sell-out supper clubs, a hugely successful popup at Pop Brixton and a best selling cookbook, London seems to be starting to catch on. There have been a slew of African restaurants catering to more than just the African diaspora, so clearly the work of Adjonyoh and others is having an effect, and to prove it The Institute of Light have announced that she will be bringing her West African flavours to a newly announced residency.
The residency at the Hackney venue represent something of a home-coming, it was at the Hackney Wicked arts festival that Zoe’s Ghana Kitchen first set out, and the residency will be a chance to showcase just how far she’s come. Dishes on the menu will include cinema snacks with Akara fritters to be enjoyed at the institute’s screenings alongside small plates of Oto cakes with soft boiled egg, Cassava crisps with scotch bonnet salsa, Kenkey and Sardines and Zoe’s signature Ghanaian Red Red Bean Stew, all designed to be eaten with your hands. Larger meals consisting of Jollof Chicken with lettuce wraps, Goat Shocko and Plaintain pork belly will surely convince diners that African food deserves it’s permanent place on our culinary radars.
The residency will give Adjonyoh the chance to host regular events, one off dinners and collaborations with some of London’s leading chefs, as she has done consistently since launching, with the intention of continuing to pioneer African culture and women in the industry throughout the year.
Zoe’s Ghana Kitchen comes to The Institute of Light on Wednesday March 7th