La Krim Foods’ Fajana Oluwafemi Adegboyega has emerged the King of Street Foodz, smiling home with N5 million worth of prizes.
To achieve this feat, Fajana beat 12 other finalists after 13 weeks of rigorous competition in the season 2 of Street Foodz Naija, a reality TV show that showcases the best of African delicacies from local chefs.
Held at the Alao Aka-Bashorun Park, Gbagada, Lagos, the grand finale of the cooking competition by FoodBay TV, a part of Maxima Media Group, was spiced with live music performances before the stage was eventually set for the final battle.
Hosted by BBNaija’s Elozonam Ogbolu, other finalists in the cooking competition include Chinenye Okam (Native chef), Alimi Akorede (Korede Spaghetti), Patrick Atigogo (Chef Chencko), and Owoeye Damilare (ChefDNaija). Each contestant was presented with the same recipe to create his or her unique version of a potato dish within 45 minutes. Their cooking was assessed based on the taste, general presentation of the meal, adherence to cooking brief, and observance of hygiene. Fajana finished ahead of time, which provided him ample time to tidy up his cooking station, earning him more points.
With his presentation of potato pancakes and a side of chicken sauce, he stole the hearts of all three judges including America’s Chef Alex McCoy (Lucky Buns), Chef Ette Assam (Ette’s Finger Likin’), and Chef Tosan Jemide (Cakes by Tosan). “When you go to a dinner, you want something hearty and homey. This is something that I’d want to eat in a dinner,” Alex said in his assessment of Fajana’s dish.
Tosan was particularly thrilled with his ingenious way of turning the bland tasting mashed potatoes into a sweet, fluffy delight by adding ripe plantains, eggs and rice flour. “It was very innovative for you to blend your plantain and potatoes,” Tosan said as he chowed down on the pancakes. “That was very innovative, it gives it a uniqueness no other person has. It is like a surprising case.”
Fajana’s win, however, didn’t come as a surprise. Ette’s reaction gave the reveal away. “This is a N5 million dish,” he said emphatically. “I will replicate this one, every time, anytime in my restaurant.”
Fajana’s was overwhelmed with the judges’ reaction and the eventual announcement of him as the winner. “Now I feel like a king,” he enthused.
While Akorede emerged second runner-up, Owoeye clinched the first runner-up position. Speaking at the event, Oluwafemi Ogundoro, CEO of Maxima Media Group, emphasised FoodBay TV’s role in closing the gap between the international audience and local African cuisines. “Food Bay has one mission: to put African food – not just Nigerian food – on the world food map. We started this journey about three to four years ago, building content that cut across different segments within the culinary space.
“We decided to do this because we saw that gap within that space. If you check within the food media, we pretty much have two giants within that space: BBC Lifestyle and Food Network. There is no platform big enough or bold enough to be able to take the African story, when it comes to food, to the rest of the world,” he said.