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Sunday, May 19, 2024

First Black Woman in the UK to Receive a Michelin Star in Culinary Arts

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Nigerian chef Adejoke Bakare has made history since she became the first black woman chef in the UK to win a Michelin star and the second black female Michelin-starred chef in the world.

She achieved this huge feat less than six months after moving to the West End.

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Adejoke’s journey to culinary success began when she entered the Brixton Kitchen competition in 2019. With her unique style of West African food, she impressed the judges and eventually won the amateur category, even though she had only cooked for family and friends before then. Soon after, she opened her restaurant, ‘Chishuru’ in Brixton Village in 2020, and now rightfully finds herself at the forefront of London’s West African food scene.

She was shortlisted in the Chef to Watch category at the National Restaurant Awards in 2023, with her restaurant appearing in many best new London restaurants in 2023.

Born to a Yoruba father and an Igbo mother in Kaduna State, where she grew up, Adejoke relocated to the UK in the 1990’s to study microbiology and worked for a property management company before starting her supper club with the persuasion of her friends. Back in Nigeria as a student, she ran a fish and chips business.

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Speaking to Great British Chefs, she said: My friends all knew that I’d always wanted to cook. ‘I’d always call them up at the weekends and invite them over for a meal. For me, it was all about that joy of feeding people, the noise and the buzz of it all. They’d always say, ‘oh you should do this for a living’ and so when supper clubs started to be a big thing in around 2016, I thought I’d give it a try. My very first one was at Well Street Kitchen in Hackney and it was pretty much all friends and family there, with everyone helping out. The response was great but I was worried it might just be a case of people being nice, so I decided it wasn’t for me. My very first one was at Well Street Kitchen in Hackney and it was pretty much all friends and family there, with everyone helping out. The response was great but I was worried it might just be a case of people being nice, so I decided it wasn’t for me.’

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