Adejoke, the first black female chef to be awarded a Michelin star

Adejoke, the first black female chef to be awarded a Michelin star

Gone are the days when people were ashamed of eating their native foods in the Diaspora. A Nigerian chef who previously worked in property management and care sector’s dream came true when her restaurant, Chishuru was given a Michelin star.

Adejoke Bakare, the founder and head chef of Chishuru a West African restaurant located in London has become the first black female chef to be awarded a Michelin star and second in the world. Adejoke was born in Nigeria to Igbo and Yoruba parents and lived in Kaduna, a Hausa territory, making her familiar with different foods from different tribes. She moved to UK to study microbiology. The home cook who used to host family and friends began participating in supper clubs in 2016 after her friends convinced her.

Screenshot-2024-02-09-at-5.00.08 PM-1024x1019 Adejoke, the first black female chef to be awarded a Michelin star

She transitioned to a restaurant owner after she entered the Brixton Kitchen competition in 2019 and won in the amateur category. The win came with a six months residency in Brixton village, starting Chishuru as a pop up restaurant which gave her the hopes of pursuing cooking as a career as she had doubted herself before.

Joke as she is known by her friends explained that her restaurant is not only a Nigerian restaurant but a West African restaurant as foods from that region are similar. Her restaurant was placed in the top 100 restaurants in UK at the National Restaurant Awards. Chishuru moved from Brixton Village to Soho in September 2023 and has just earned a Michelin star in less than six months of its grand opening.

One of her popular dishes include guinea fowl with taro root, ehuru and uziza sauce which was featured in TimeoutLondon sixteen best things they ate in London in 2023. Joke runs her restaurant with her business partner, Matt Paice who was working in television before accidentally becoming a chef. Shows how much if we follow our passions we can be anything we want to be even without going to school for it.

Meet Adejoké Bakare, chef at restaurant @chishuru serving modern West African cuisine in Fitzrovia, central London.
She shared with us her feelings after receiving 1 star in the MICHELIN Guide Great Britain & Ireland 2024.

Our Inspector’s point of view: Having attracted a fanbase with her various pop-ups and presence in Brixton Market, Adejoké Bakare’s West African restaurant found a permanent home in this warm, bright spot which comes with a real neighbourhood feel. Delicious, satisfying and full-flavoured dishes showcase cleverly judged spicing, with sauces proving a particular highlight – whether thick scotch bonnet with ekuru, or caramelised onion and lemon with guinea fowl yassa. It’s all accompanied by friendly service and a fun atmosphere.

Chiedza Mukucha

Chiedza Mukucha is a digital media and marketing Intern at My Afrika Magazine with 2 years experience and a mandate to help with changing the narratives of Zimbabweans and Africans at large, in its history and current affairs. Presently, it seems the African story is told and altered by third parties, and it is our injuction as African storytellers to document real-time and factual stories to increase our digital print as a collective. Chiedza is also an avid African literature reader and researcher. X (twitter): @Chiedza_RM

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