Highlights from the 2017 GTBank Food and Drink Fair

On Sunday, the 30th of April, 2017, the much talked about GTBank Food and Drink Fair began. As the sun began to warm the venue, gently, no one was yet certain about what to expect. Guests streamed in, vendors called out, the comperes kept the place alive over the speakers.

The DJ, at the peak of his powers, had vendors dancing while they sold. There was palpable joy, and you could see that this was beyond everyone’s expectations. First credit: In spite of the mammoth crowd, the atrium was comfortably cool.

The impressive masterclass line up had people literally lining up at the doors, waiting to be taught by their favorite chefs. From International Chefs like Raphael Duntoye, Kevin curry, Brian Malarkey and Jehan Powell to Nigerian Chefs like Lerato Umah Shaylor, Chef Nkesi, Abiola Akanji aka Chef Stone, Chef Benedict and Chef Eros. Guests learned how to make a variety of dishes from Italian cuisine by Chef Benedict, to a healthy Jambalaya by Kevin Curry to a yummy jollof risotto served with a honey glazed, gari crusted prawn by Chef Eros.

Perhaps the most poignant masterclass of them all was by Chartered accountant turned food blogger, Ronke Edoho. The certified nutritionist had the last masterclass of the day and she gave an impressive class about eating healthy with Nigerian food. She asked guests easy but loaded questions like “what is quinoa”? challenging people to use local alternatives which are just as good, if not better than local food.

Guests were milling gleefully about, dazed by the sheer amount and variety of food on offer. Inside the atrium there were all shades and flavours of ice creams, smoothies, waffles, muffins, pastries, grilled seafood, sandwiches, coffee, milkshakes, baby food, on and on. Trust Nigerians to appreciate the foreign, but know that they love the indigenous.

The children were not left out as they were ensconced in their own arena, having their own Masterclasses mixed with  a big dose of fun and games. Every now and then adults disappeared into those quarters to enjoy the beauty of happy children working, learning and playing.

The Farmers’ Market area had beautifully thatched sheds, and the grill areas too – enough places for people to take shelter, but many found no logic in evading the sun that was, and still is, Nature’s biggest gift. Under it they lay, their backs against the fine synthetic grass, sun shades covering their eyes… and they savoured the moment.