We’d like to extend a huge welcome to the lovely Jennifer Okpapi and her Akhaya Cookery School – London’s first (and only?) cookery school dedicated to bringing the flavours of Africa to the UK.
Jennifer’s passion for food developed during her childhood while growing up in a multicultural part of London, where she was exposed to foods from across the world and was always fascinated by food and cookery. According to Jennifer “bringing ingredients together to create something beautiful and delicious that can be enjoyed always bring me joy” and so in 2009 Jennifer’s passion took shape in setting up the Akhaya Cookery School.
Jennifer realised there was nowhere for people to actually learn to cook African food
Noticing a growing number of restaurants specialising in regions across Africa, Jennifer realised there was nowhere for people to actually learn to cook African food, and so Jennifer decided to focus her cookery school business on African food, highlighting their amazingly delicious and diverse flavours, while bringing African food to the mainstream.
Jennifer creates great tasting food by using the highest quality ingredients and believes “using great ingredients is part of the fun of cooking and the easiest way to ensure great results.”As well as running a cookery school, Jennifer has developed her own unique range of hand made spice blends, with many organic and fairtrade ingredients, and this is where Akhaya Cookery School and FoodAdo have come together.
When Jennifer contacted us about opening a shop n FoodAdo we asked her to send us some samples so we could try them out ourselves and put them to the “FoodAdo Taste Test”.
We LOVE the tasting part of our work here, and Akhaya Spice Blends were no different.
Jollof Rice is a very popular dish in most of West Africa, especially Nigeria and Ghana. Based on rice, tomatoes and usually meat or fish, this dish is rumoured to be the origin of Cajun jambalaya and originates from the Wolof people of Senegal and Gambia. The hand-made Jollof Spice blend is a delicious combination of tomatoes, garlic, onions and spices, expertly blended in just the right quantities to add depth of flavour and make a delicious Jollof Rice dish.
Created out of Jennifer’s love for suya (a West African style grilled meat), the Suya Spice Blend is a tasty combination of roasted peanuts, spices and chillies makes for an excellent dry rub for red meat. We made a seasoning paste with a little olive oil and Suya Spice Blend and coated some tuna steaks, leaving them overnight to marinade before throwing them under a very hot grill for just a few minutes on either side. The result? Sheer taste sensation!!!! The Suya Spice Blend has become a bit of a favourite of mine (and helped me impress my girlfriend with a really tasty and super easy home cooked “dinner in”) – perfect for these tough times!
Jennifer has managed to put her personal stamp on traditional recipes and to make them even more tasty, and is rightly very proud of her products and thinks they are absolutely delicious. We’d have to agree with that!