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Thursday, May 23, 2024

Top 10 must-try street foods at the 2024 GTCO Food & Drink Festival (PHOTOS)

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For three exhilarating days in the heart of Lagos, the GTCO Food and Drink Festival transformed the sprawling grounds of the GTCentre into a bustling epicentre of culinary innovation and cultural celebration.

Nestled along Plot 1 Water Corporation Drive, Oniru, Lagos, from April 26 to 28, 2024, this culinary spectacle dazzled attendees with various flavours, aromas, and experiences.

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The 7th edition of the GTCO Food and Drink Festival, which began on Friday and ended on Sunday, promised an unforgettable experience with diverse activities catering to food lovers of all ages.

When visitors set foot inside the festival grounds, they were greeted by the tantalising sights and sounds of live cooking demonstrations, tasting sessions, and a bustling marketplace teeming with hundreds of food retailers.

One of the biggest hits of the festival — Street food!

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Imagine walking through the festival grounds, surrounded by the hustle and bustle of vendors grilling delicious treats. It was like taking a culinary tour of Lagos food arenas without leaving the GTCentre.

But the fun didn’t stop there. The festival organisers went all out to ensure everyone had a good time. There were games for the kids, interactive exhibits, and even a baking class for aspiring young chefs. It was a feast for the senses and a celebration of food in all its glory.

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As part of the festival highlights, chef masterclasses featured global dishes that added an international twist to the food fest. Famous chefs like Aldo Zilli and Robin McBride led these sessions, sharing their love for cooking with the crowd. Aldo Zilli delved into Italian cuisine beyond pasta, revealing the diverse flavours of Italy. Robin McBride uncovered the secrets of wine tasting, helping attendees explore the world of wine in a sensory experience.

From traditional African dishes to innovative fusion cuisines, attendees revelled in the rich diversity of flavours and cultures on display.

Here, PREMIUM TIMES highlights 10 street foods that stole the show at the event’s food village.

Traditional roasted Corn and Groundnuts

As attendees wandered through the festival grounds, the sight and scent of roasted corn evoked memories of Lagos’ bustling street corners.

Despite its seasonal availability, roasted corn remained a perennial favourite among Lagosians. Charred over blazing hot fires, each kernel achieved the perfect balance of tenderness and smokiness, enveloped in a sweet and savoury aroma that tantalised the senses.

Pitakiwa Boli and Grills
Pitakiwa Boli

The chefs brought the taste of Port Harcourt to Lagos with Pitakiwa Boli and grills that tantalised taste buds with succulent skewered meats and perfectly roasted plantains.

Attendees marvelled at the chefs’ skilful craftsmanship as they expertly charred the meats to perfection, infusing each morsel with smoky, savoury goodness. Accompanied by traditional sides such as yams and spicy sauces, Pitakiwa’s offerings transported festival-goers on a sensory journey through the flavours of Southern Nigeria.

Titus and Kote Grills

Part of the street food lineup at the GTCO, Titus fish stood out as a supreme choice. Its unparalleled taste and versatility made it a favourite among food enthusiasts.

Suya by Glover Suya
Suya by Glover Suya

Suya is an extremely loved street food in Nigeria, and at the GTCO festival, Glover Suya brought their version.

A quintessential West African delicacy, Suya captivated the senses with its succulent skewered beef, marinated in a compelling blend of spices and grilled to perfection.

It’s a taste you will remember, with its burst of flavour and the spicy kick from cayenne pepper and ginger.

Barbecue Delights
Barbecue Delights

From tender ribs to savoury kebabs, the festival’s barbecue offerings promised a smoky indulgence that satisfied even the most discerning palate.

Grilled over open flames, each dish boasted a charred exterior and succulent interior, infused with the rich flavours of marinades and seasonings.

Fried Snail Meat
Fried snail meat

African peppered snails, sautéed with peppers, onions, and garlic, are a delicacy that offers a compelling fusion of flavours and textures.

With a chewy texture and earthy taste, snails readily absorbed the spicy sauce, creating a finger-licking appetiser that left attendees craving more.

Spring Rolls
Spring rolls

Originating from ancient China, spring rolls made a delicious appearance at the festival. They were filled with a paste of julienne-style vegetables and minced meat.

Crispy on the outside and bursting with flavour on the inside, these bite-sized delights offered a perfect balance of textures and aromas, satisfying appetites with every savoury bite.

Puff Puff
Puff Puff

A beloved Nigerian snack, Puff Puff delighted festival-goers with its golden-brown exterior and fluffy interior.

Deep-fried to perfection and tossed in cinnamon sugar, each bite offered a warm and comforting indulgence reminiscent of childhood memories and family gatherings.

Ram Meat
Ram Meat

Attendees were treated to a culinary adventure as they savoured raw, unskinned ram meat roasted evenly over open flames. Served with a generous drizzle of red sauce and pepper, each bite offered a burst of flavour and juiciness, showcasing the rich heritage of Nigerian cuisine.

READ ALSO: Bank of Ghana suspends GTB, FirstBank’s forex licences

Grilled Catfish
Grilled Catfish

With its wide surface area and moderate firmness, catfish emerged as a delicious canvas for grilling.

Marinated in a flavorful blend of spices and herbs, each fillet boasted a charred exterior and tender interior, creating a dish that delighted seafood enthusiasts and carnivores alike.

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