Discover this article from Sahani Magazine which presents the Chef Jennifer Okpapi, founder of the first cookery school for african food, in London, Akhaya Cookery School.
For some time, we have been witnessing the emergence of a generation of African entrepreneurs willing to give a new dynamic to their cooking. They make every effort to enhance their culinary heritage and chef Jennifer Okpapi is part of them.
Originally Nigerian, Okpapi Jennifer is the founder of the first school for African cuisine in London she named her second name “Akhaya” which means “unique.”
The school is located in north London in a multicutural neighborhood in the image of the British capital. It is quite simply that the young Nigerian leader has opened the doors of her school in a friendly and relaxed atmosphere. We found a nice bright space, nicely decorated and fully equipped.
The idea of creating Akhaya came from her overwhelming passion for cooking. She first trained to become a chef and she then continued with business studies.
Unlike others, she did not want to work in a restaurant. Instead, she choose to do a job for her to cook while transmitting her knowledge to her customers. Thus the project Akhaya Cookery School was born in 2009.
Jennifer told us she had solicitated few organizations helping to create a business to realize her dream. And also has a business mentor who regularly advises her.
“The creation of business is not an easy thing, it is important to be surrounded. In London, there are several African restaurants but there was no place to learn our cuisine, that’s how I had the idea of creating a school, “she says.
The courses offered by Akhaya Cookery School are not limited just to Sub-Saharan Africa, the chef also explores recipes from North Africa.
You can also learn how to prepare african vegetarian dishes. The courses are open to all,and offers services tailored to your needs, whatever your level is. Jennifer Okpapi is surrounded by a competent team that will meet your expectations.
The course of 3 hours is £ 75 for groups up to 12 people. There is also a 6-week program to £ 380 for 6 people.
Jennifer has created in her school a welcoming atmosphere where sharing and exchange make sense. “Customers from all backgrounds participate in our courses. Some come out of curiosity for a new culinary experience, others have made trips to Africa and want to find the flavors they have discovered during their stay, also we get Africans who simply want to reconnect to their roots … ” says Jennifer.
We had the opportunity to attend an evening introduction to African cuisine in which different recipes were presented. We discovered the Chapatis (unleavened bread of Kenya), Akara (fried beans from Nigeria), Kelewele (spicy plantain Ghana) … etc.
We had a good time and it was an opportunity for our team to get acquainted with gourmet London. “Our courses are the perfect opportunity for our clients to come with friends or family to learn while having fun and meeting new people” confirms Jennifer.
The efforts and determination of Jennifer Okpapi start paying Indeed, her school won a growing success in London. Recently, she received an award, the Great Taste Award 2011 for the creation of the range “Hazina” (treasure in Swahili). These are combinations of ingredients to make African stews and puddings. She also does original spice blends from the original fair trade sale on her website. In addition, the school has been the subject of a report done by CNN, one of the most famous news channel in the world.
To visit the website.
Source : Sahanimagazine