Friday, February 19, 2016

African Chefs Tour , Accra

Blog submission Review by ObuobaDufie, with Pics and comments by John Michael
Edited by TasteGhana

Ok so here goes, the Venue for the Maiden event of Accra Premium’s African Chefs Tour was obviously nice as it was The Movenpick Hotel.

The entrance to the banquet  hall had nice paintings outside and a bar where you could get a variety of wines and hard liquor to suit your palate.
Waiters were good they knew which wines were dry or sweet, something of a rarity in most places ,  so that was good to see.
The banquet hall itself was decorated with KLM stuff all over.
There were tables you could sit at with your food and the chefs had their tables against the walls.
We were serenaded with the best live classical band (I cannot recall their name); they actually sounded like they were straight off a CD player,  that's how good they were.
So I started with Chef Pierre Thiam from Senegal .
He had Theibou djene (the Original Jollof the national dish of Senegal) in a ball with the spices they use in the fish (parsley, pepper, garlic) in the middle and a millet cake of sorts with keta school boys (anchioves) on top and a thick creamy sauce.
He also had a potato and chicken made into a mini cake, my best descriptive effort with a brown sauce and vegetables .
The  food was flavorsome but it was not hot/warm, and for the cost I was really expecting them to have gone out their way with their most weird and wonderful dishes.
I washed my first entrée’s down with some rum from a company that was also present at the food fair at Alliance last year.
I am a rum person anyway so this was quite the treat. Really good. Almost had dark chocolate undertones and so easy to drink. Made  me frown on good Ole Captain Morgan a bit.
Next I tried Chef Christian Abegan from Cameroon.
I honestly have  never had Cameroonian food but I  was very disappointed. So I sauntered to his table about 8pm  and he had  ran out of goat meat  in his goat sauce (was a brown sauce) which I wanted to taste anyway. It was ok,well-seasoned.
He served it with a cassava cake  (I think that was it).  He never really explained despite us
asking,  it tasted like nothing, literally.
He had like a rice and beans with what looked  like their version of waakye which was a lot
more soggy and I think made of broken rice. The waakye was alright , again didn't feel
gourmet enough for the event. The food presentation didn't look pretty.
Finally he had like a spinach fish shrimp dish which tasted like a thick creamy sauce with
stuff in it. He might have had like yam or something mashed in.
And my pet peeve - He served cold fried plantain with it .
So by the time I got to Ndudu - Antoinette Gilbert (Ghana),  her food was finished so was seen by her assistant whiles she was out I guess getting more food.
She had akonfem (guinea fowl) in a ball which was spicy but cold .

She also had Cumin Rice with Suya Curry.

P.s - all of Cameroon's food was cold too.
She also had like gari foto ball and like a yam ball (or some other starch, her assistant
wasn't clear). All spicy and well-seasoned but again was disappointed by choice of dish for
an upscale food event.

They were all just balls feels like they didn't think about presentation or plating and again it wasn't hot

Then went to the guy who in my opinion owned the night, the Peruvian chef , Renzo Guerero.
He served the Peruvian version of Pito which was absolutely delicious, he had mini
potato and chicken on those clear spoon things plated so well and tasted amazing, he
had ceviche which was lemony ,well-seasoned awesomeness, he also had what looked like a quinoa
dish which was again nothing short of  absolutely delicious and another potato dish
which was in those Chinese spoon things again plating was super pretty.
It was so flavourful. He was amazing. What he did right was he made you fall in love with the food visually which the previous chefs hadn't done, he interacted more with  the people , he bothered to do a 
damn good drink and all his food was supposed to be served cold which it was.
I typically don't like cold foods but he really made me feeling like a sister needs a trip to
Peru (the guy himself  was pretty good  looking )

Next was Midunu , Chef Selassie, she had like a chicken in a mini waffle ice cream cone which was really good,

I guess her take on chicken and waffles.

Chicken was well seasoned and had like sautéed onions and the cone was sweet but the sweet

and savory worked really well she also had a plantain dish but I wasn't emotionally ready to deal with more cold plantain so I passed.
She also had some other items that John tried her Alasa Juice and her Rice water with brown sugar dish.

I  ended up going back to the Peruvian stand like 3 or 4 more times (i was determined to get full before I left the place)
Then dessert, it felt like it was literally off a KLM flight. Lol  .No joke. Airplane dessert,  no seriously.
They had a mini cheese cake which was  basically digestive, vanilla flavored cream with
gelatin (mediocre), strawberry tarte (tasted  like fanyogo on a pastry, the strawberry
flavor was too artificial), a coffee tart which was surprisingly good, profiteroles(mediocre) and mini tiramisu (mediocre) .
Service was good the waiters were always so  happy to refill your glass BUT you literally had to hustle for a table every time you got something to eat. Eventually they set up more tables just outside the hall itself but a lot of ppl stood for most of their time there.
I think my disappointment stemmed from the fact that i was under the impression it would be a gourmet experience and for the price I didn't feel like the chefs really presented their best work or in the best way.
The food was heated in Chafing Dishes with the tin with flames underneath.
We see it at weddings all the time they never  really keep food hot, lukewarm at best so I
think they needed to have factored it in. In my opinion it felt they spent more money on the venue,
than the actual food. If it was like a regular food fair like the one at Alliance Francais i would not

fret but for the price and what it was advertised  as left much to be desired.

- ObuobaDufie is an ardent foodie and is always adventurous to try different dishes from all over the world.