I have never attended a food fair before, so yesterday when I was invited to attend the ‘Fiesta of Flavours’, I didn’t know what to expect. I only knew that the event was packaged by Events planning company Eventful and that First bank was the headline sponsor.
Before heading out, I did my research on what the event was about. According to Eventful, the organisers of the event,
‘Fiesta of flavours’ is a world-class food and beverage fair which will bring together hundreds of food and beverage enterprises, offering an opportunity for attendees to experience foods from Africa and the world. There will be various trainings and seminars for food service professionals and hospitality providers, five course dinners, three-course lunches, children’s food exhibitions, cooking classes and a live band amongst others. Internationally acclaimed Chefs such as Chef Coco, Chef Tiyan, Chef Reuben and Chef Fregz will be available to mentor customers who have worked hard to turn their passion and flair for food into a viable career option. Most important, it will be a platform through which you can engage with FirstBank and explore the various ways they can support your business, career and lifestyle needs and put you First. It holds at the Harbour Point, (off Ahmadu Bello)Victoria Island, Lagos from December 4th to December 6th 2015.
I was very sceptical at first about attending on the first day, because of traffic and people going for the Experience, but after checking my schedule I decided that yesterday, the opening day of the fair was the best day to attend, so I headed out.
I got there around 2 pm in the afternoon, after bracing heavy Lagos traffic and surveyed the venue. The first thing I noticed was that it was very colourful and diverse. There were Vendors from various sectors but they all had one thing in common: FOOD. I decided to walk around and familiarise my self with the environment, while I took pictures. My first point of call was the stage.
What attracted me to the stage wasn’t the huge screen, or excited dancer. It was the petite, beautiful DJ that was jamming the latest songs, in the best sequence possible. She was gently moving to the music too, and enjoying the rich sound the speakers produced from the songs she chose to put out. As I moved closer to take a picture of her, I couldn’t help but notice her array of beautiful tattoos, and this made her even more fascinating. I asked her about her name, and she said she was DJ Butterr, in a very rich American accent. I asked her if she was Nigerian, she said yes, but that she was based in Houston. I took some photos of her and continued my exploration of the fair.
Next stop was the Phillip stand, and this was because of their warmth of eagerness to tell you about their products. They demonstrated for me two of their new products-The Avance Juicer and the Air Fryer. The Avance Juicer is very impressive, as you don’t need to peel the back of fruits before using. It separates the shaft and extracts the juice for you. The best part? It does this in seconds! And the juice you get is smooth and free of any particles our shaft. It is also very easy to clean. The air fryer on the other hand fries your chips and chicken with little or no oil and it does it pretty well. So now I have given Philips free advert, but I tell you, these two kitchen machines are essentials especially for those who are keen on eating healthy.
By the time I finished looking round, it was time for the opening of the event in the hall, and Mrs Bolanle Ambode was the guest of honour. I must state here that this is my first encounter with the new First Lady and I was very impressed with her carriage, and the way she related with people. She was all smiles throughout, and seemed patient. The best part is that she got to the event 45 minutes early, because she didn’t want traffic to be an excuse for being late. I was very very impressed with how she conducted herself throughout at the event yesterday.
The opening kicked off with prayers, and then the convener, CEO of Eventful Mrs Yewande Zaccheaus gave her opening address and explained how the idea of the ‘Fiesta of Flavours’ food fair came to be. She explained that as an event company, she had always wanted to have her own original events and that the idea came when she was planning a 50 birthday for a client. She touched on how food ffected everyone from all walks of life and how its importance in the economy couldn’t be overemphasized. She also mentioned how First bank the headline sponsors believed in the idea from the get go and threw their weight on it to make it a resounding success.
After that the First Lady of Lagos state Mrs Bolanle Ambode gave the keynote speech in which she commended the organisers for thinking of such an event and putting it together. After her speech, a panel discussion on “Food, The New Oil?” kicked off, and it was very enlightening and insightful. One of the things I learnt is that food is a 4 trillion industry that employs over 100 million people.
After the discussions in the hall, the first lady was led out to declare open the event officially which she did. She was then led to watch a live cook out by Chef Fregz, whose cooking I must say was fasicnating to watch.
Overall, the event was fun, and I enjoyed every bit of it. Oh, I almost forgot to mention, I had after my whole waka bout at the fair one of the tastiest chicken wings and fried rice by BONGOU. Me I don’t know what they put inside o, but the spices in the chicken was rich and delicious. Infact I had to wait for over thirty minutes to buy take away, that’s how good it was. Make sure you visit their stand when you visit the fair today.
The Fiesta of Flavours is still going on, and is the ideal outing especially for a family. First bank and Eventful got it right on this one, and I can only imagine how it will be next year if the first edition is this well organised.
Kudos to the organisers, I had fun.
More photos below:
Mrs Ambode looks to the Camera as the cook off by Chef Fregz is about to kick off
You can follow the conversation on Twitter, hashtags are #FiestaofFlavours #Foodisfirst.