This week CNN ‘African Voices’ examines how the continent is shaking up traditional cooking techniques and exporting their recipes to the rest of the world.
In Lagos, Nigeria, the programme meets food Blogger Ozoz Sokoh whose love of food came from a trip to Edinburgh, Scotland, as a child.
Now known as Kitchen Butterfly, Sokoh reveals how she got her name upon moving into blogging: “I tried to think of things that reflected who I was as a person. For a while I couldn’t find the right name, but when I thought about my journey with food and the fact that I’ve evolved as an eater and then as a cook, I chose to use the butterfly as a metaphor.”
A renowned home cook and an online food personality in Lagos, Sokoh is now hoping to introduce her twist on Nigerian cuisine to other food lovers around the world.
Sokoh tells ‘African Voices’: “I’m incredibly passionate about Nigerian cuisine. My philosophy – I like to call it the New Nigerian Kitchen, centres around celebrating Nigerian cuisine. I don’t think that we’ve done much of that in the past… So there’s motivation to get up every single day just because of that.”
‘African Voices’ learns that Sokoh often takes inspiration outside of the kitchen, and accompanies her to the Rele Gallery to attend an exhibit titled ‘What’s Cooking?’
Sokoh discusses the collaboration between photography, technology and cooks with ‘African Voices’: “This project was a long time in the making. I think it’s a really good reflection of my state of mind and my desire to celebrate both art and Nigerian cuisine so seeing dishes from the New Nigerian Kitchen hanging on the wall is kind of this bold statement… Very rarely do you see Nigerian food celebrated, but also celebrated as art.”
The programme follows Sokoh around the exhibition, where she creates a unique cocktail of agbalumo and white wine for guests.
Sokoh offers advice to young chefs on how they can create their own twist on Nigerian cuisine, telling ‘African Voices’: “I think there is a lot of opportunity and infinite possibility. And I’d say to a young cook, or young chef – don’t let people’s thoughts, opinions, desires hold you back… Don’t let tradition and people’s views of tradition stop you from creating, stop you from exploring, stop you from discovering new ways to use old and familiar ingredients.”
Also featured in the programme are South African celebrity chef Reuben Riffel, who explains how he got his big break in the kitchen, and Ghanaian chef Selassie Atadika, who has developed a concept called ‘nomadic dining’ in Accra.
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