The relationship between Africa and the UK spans centuries. In the last 2011 UK census 1.8% of the population of England and Wales identified as black African. Various waves of immigration, have led to multiple snippets of African culture in the UK. According to the census, the foreign-born African population come from all across the continent including:
We all know that Africa is a diverse continent and not a country. However, along with music and fashion, generalisations are also made in reference to African food. Undoubtedly, there are similarities in cuisine within specific regions but African food cannot be grouped onto one plate and that’s what makes it fun!
Battle of the ‘A’ continents?
Unlike Asian immigrants to the UK who have carved out a conspicuous niche for Asian Food, Africans have lagged behind in this area…but they are making up for lost time! In addition to African restaurants, some foodies/chefs have gone the supper club /pop-up restaurant route, making African food more accessible.
What is a supper club?
Supper clubs can vary in size and take place at different premises, decided by the host. This can be in a private home or a neutral location. Each guest usually buys a ticket beforehand and eats from a set menu. African supper clubs are slowly spreading across the UK, with many of them in London.
How do you find out about African supper clubs?
Online (including social media) and word of mouth.
Most of the African supper clubs I’ve heard of have been via Twitter, and Meet Up groups like The London Taste of Africa group. I also found lots of independent African food spots at festivals, like the Africa Utopia Festival.
African supper clubs are not just for Africans!
Raised in a West African family, we generally ate our traditional food at home, so I’ve not really felt the need to look for African restaurants, until recently. Admittedly this was the wrong mindset to have. I’ve realised Supper clubs introduce guests to a creative fusion of African dishes that you (as an African) may not cook on a regular basis and they are a great opportunity to socialise with new people (which you wouldn’t really do if you went for a standard restaurant meal). There has also been an increase in non-Africans going to supper clubs, which is great as it puts African food in front of an additional audience, dispelling the myth that African food is just about pepper and heat.
Why are supper clubs important?
First of all they are fun! You get to socialise with different people.
They give independent food entrepreneurs a platform to gain exposure, develop a following and build their business.
Where is the next African supper club in London?
Check out below; why not grab a ticket and get a little taste of Africa?!
Events in November and some featured ones below.
Lemlem Kitchen: Eritrean-Italian fusion – 21st October 2016
Tokunbo’s Kitchen – Theme: ‘Curry for Change’ Nigerian twist on the popular Asian curry dish – 30th October 2016.
Jason’s Little Kitchen – West African – 5th November 2016.
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Snippets of an African legacy