In the past few weeks, I’ve been blogging quite a bit about picnics, and as I researched easy food to eat outdoors, I was struck by how few African-inspired dishes I could find on offer, which did not have to be served hot to be delicious. I turned to an expert, a talented cook who, like us, takes the traditional and presents it anew in a contemporary fashion. She believes in food that looks good and tastes fabulous.
Nky Iweka is the author of two cookbooks: ‘The Modern Nigerian Cookbook – Nigerian food with a twist (currently under consideration with publishers) and ‘Quintessentially Efik Recipes – Foods of Nigeria’ (published in 2014). Nky is the Executive Creative Chef at Tupelo & Green, an Executive Culinary Services firm which offers consultancy, educational and capacity-building skills for catering staff of blue-chip clients and private clients. Key to their ethos is ensuring that their food (African and non-African) is delicious, healthy and beautifully presented in a manner which reflects the calibre of their clients.
This is what she says of the African picnic challenge.
When I was first approached by Toghal to put together an African picnic inspired by their beautiful fabrics, I initially thought I would go for more traditional and portable Nigerian fare such as Abacha (aka ‘African Salad’), a colourful combination of shredded cassava, stockfish, garden eggs lightly bound togther with fragrant spicy palm oil sauce. However, I soon decided to set myself a challlenge using readily-available ingredients from supermarkets.
Find out how Nky rises to the challenge of an African picnic over the next few days.
The napkin in the photo is our blue Tracks pattern, inspired by art created by Mbuti women from the Congo forest.