ON October 2 and 3, 2016, inhabitants of Lagos gathered by the ocean front of the famous Bar Beach on Victoria Island to dine, wine, make merry and enjoy themselves as if they looked forward to the event all their lives.
The celebration and excitement experienced in the two days by the crowd that gathered at the One Lagos Food Festival confirmed that the festival created a hub for flavours of Lagos. “So Lagosians love food?”asked a Chief Executive Officer of a new generation bank as he stepped out of his Range Rover car at the venue.
For sightseers and tourists alike, there was much to learn of the various foods enjoyed by the people of Lagos, while for the business-minded, multiples of newly created processed foods, recipes and food discoveries waiting to be invested on were on display.
Food lovers, food technologists, food connoisseurs and investors milled about the ocean front chewing, drinking, making small talk and dancing to the music of popular aritstes on the huge band stand on the ocean front.
Yasmin Tukur, who owns Arewa Pot Limited, one of the food outlets at the festival, said: “One Lagos Food Festival has been able to showcase not just the flavours of Lagos, but also the flavour of Nigeria.
“You can see that this festival showcases the rich culture and diversity of Nigerian cuisine and delicacies. The music has also been attractive as it has turned this place to a social networking place too. So you do not just buy, but sit to eat and enjoy yourself with friends. I try to be ethnic as possible, because we have so much culture and food to offer.”
The festival also witnessed entertainment and live cooking demonstrations at the exhibition stands of some of the corporate organisations in attendance. There were wine and champagne hosting, international food pavilion and favourite Nigerian suya and barbecue stands as well.
Enthusiasts came all out for the experience. Also at the event was the Lagos State Commissioner for Tourism, Arts and Culture, Folarin Coker, who mixed freely among the Lagos crowd and foreign nationals at the festival.
Mr Coker said: “The festival, as an event, is to raise national awareness about Nigerian foods. It was also planned to promote the production of food locally, encourage healthy eating, celebrate socialisation and promote Lagos amongst other benefits.”