Street food is a ubiquitous part of our culinary landscape, and for good reason. It’s delicious, affordable, and convenient. But more than that, street food is a cultural expression of our heritage and values.
From the akara seller on the corner to the suya stand down the street, street food vendors are the backbone of Nigeria’s culinary scene. They’re the ones who make sure that we always have a tasty and affordable meal option, no matter where we are.
On Independence Day, 3X4 Gourmet, a renowned food brand specializing in authentic African food, culture, and experiences, hosted the Lagos Street Food Celebration at Tafawa Balewa Square, Lagos Island. The event was an initiative to push Nigerian street food cuisine as the next frontier in the country’s cultural exports.
The Lagos Street Food Celebration was a resounding success with attendees enjoying a variety of delicious street food dishes representing the diversity and complexity of Nigeria and its people. The menu highlighted the evolution and globalization of Nigerian food, from traditional favourites like akara and moi moi to more modern creations like guinea fowl meatballs and Zobo-flavoured cocktails.
“We are thrilled with the success of the Lagos Street Food Celebration,” said Banke Makinde, founder of 3X4 Gourmet. “Our goal was to showcase the richness and diversity of Nigerian street food cuisine to a wider audience, and we are confident that we have achieved that goal. The event was a celebration of Nigerian culture and heritage, and we are grateful to all who attended and supported it.”
The event also featured cultural entertainment such as traditional dance performances and art exhibits by indigenous talents. The organizers collaborated with the curator to host a multi-sensory art exhibition that added a fun and interactive element to the event, showcasing the best of Nigerian street food culture.
One of the featured artists was Ahmed Abiodun whose sculptor “Chop Beta” was a captivating life-size sculpture installation that celebrated one of Lagos’ most beloved street snacks – Puff Puff. The Lagos Street Food Celebration was more than just a culinary event, it was also a celebration of Nigerian culture and heritage.
Banke continued, “I am so proud of what we accomplished with the Lagos Street Food Celebration. It was an incredible event that showcased the best of Nigerian street food cuisine and culture. I believe that Nigerian street food cuisine has the potential to be a major cultural export for Nigeria. It is delicious, diverse, and affordable. I am committed to continuing to promote Nigerian street food cuisine and helping it to reach a global audience.”
The Lagos Street Food Celebration is a showcase of Nigerian ingenuity and a sign that Nigerian street food cuisine is on the rise. With growing global interest in African culture, there is a growing movement to elevate Nigeria’s cuisine to the same status as other global cuisines and street food will be at the forefront of the push. Through 3×4 Gourmet’s initiative, Nigeria’s street food cuisine is being elevated and celebrated.
The event was sponsored by key organisations in the industry and beyond, including the Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation (NTDC), Lagos State Ministry of Tourism, Arts & Culture, Bank of Industry, BUA Foods, and Flour Mills Nigeria, among others.
This cultural, multisensory celebration of our roots, art, and food will be one for the books. See more images from the day!