West African cuisine is gaining well-deserved recognition on the prestigious Michelin stage, with recent Michelin stars awarded to two establishments in London.

Adejok√© Bakare, notably, made history as the first woman in the UK to receive a Michelin star for her culinary prowess. Her establishment, Chishuru, initially gained prominence through Bakare’s supper club and has since become renowned in London. Additionally, Aji Akokomi’s Akoko, located in Fitzrovia, impressed Michelin inspectors with its exceptional culinary offerings.

This acknowledgment marks a significant milestone for West African cuisine, which has historically received limited recognition beyond its communities. Spanning 17 countries, including Nigeria, Ghana, the Gambia, Senegal, Chad, and Mali, West African culinary traditions surpass national boundaries, rooted in centuries-old practices predating colonialism.

The cuisine is distinguished by bold flavors, incorporating elements such as smoke, heat, and savory umami profiles. Common dishes feature slow-cooked bases of onions, bell peppers, tomatoes, and spices, resulting in rich and complex flavors. Signature dishes like jollof rice, egusi soup, groundnut stew, spiced peanut sauce-marinated kebabs, and fufu highlight the diversity and depth of West African gastronomy.

With Michelin recognition, West African cuisine stands poised to garner increased global acclaim, spotlighting its cultural richness and culinary excellence. As these culinary pioneers in London set the stage, the world is invited to indulge in the vibrant and diverse flavors of West Africa.

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