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The Launch of Grand Afro Brunch (The GAB)

The Grand Afro Brunch (the GAB) is a brand-new event series celebrating the vibrant tapestry of African cuisine. Launched on March 10th, 2024, in Milan, Italy, it offers a unique dining experience transcending time, culture, and generation. Guests enjoyed a meticulously crafted five-course menu with three signature cocktails, created by myself (Chef Immaculate Ruému). Welcome hors d’oeuvres kicked off the brunch experience in an intimate gathering fostering cultural exchange, networking and fun.

The Grand Afro Brunch Menu

The Grand Afro Brunch menu was created to highlight Afro culture around the world, both in the diaspora and in the motherland. Celebrating how we are all connected through food and how culture transcends time and generation.

Hors D’oeurves – Akara & Ogi

Akara is typically made with black-eyed beans and served as breaks with corn porridge. It is also known as Acaraje in Afro-Brazilian culture, where it is known to be used as an offering to the Gods in the Brazilian Candomble culture. I made this version using chic peas which is a more common legume in the Mediterranean diet, as I like to use as many locally sourced ingredients as possible.

Ogi, a local name for pap (porridge) in Nigeria, is a fermented cereal pudding crafted primarily from maize, sorghum, or millet. In the traditional preparation method, the grains undergo a soaking process in water for as long as three days, followed by wet-milling or grinding and subsequent sieving to eliminate husks. Pap can be found taking various forms across Afro-descendant cultures.

Plate 1 – Abacha Fresco
Cassava/Manioca flake salad with lobster and cashew nut dressing

Abacha is a dish originating from the Igbo culture in eastern Nigeria. It is also commonly known as African salad. Typically marinated in palm oil and spices and served with fresh greens and meat or fish. This is my rendition of African salad which I’ve called Abacha Fresco served with steamed lobster and cashew nut dressing.

Plate 2 – Olé
Yam Waffles served with honey-fried chicken

Ole is the word for Yam in the Urhobo dialect of Southern Nigeria. I served it in the form of yam waffles and chicken – paying homage to the African American soul food culture.

Plate 3 – Suya Beske
Fried Soya curds in Suya spice mix and honey 

Suya Beske – Suya is a dish that originates from the nomadic Hausa tribes across West Africa. It’s grilling meat with a peanut-based spice mix. In this dish, I’ve used Beske which is the name for tofu in Nigeria. The Beske is made from soybean; blended and drained into milk and then fermented with lime. The final product is Beske (aka Tofu) which is then cooked and seasoned with suya spices.

Plate 4 – Koko
Millet porridge with coconut & mango

Koko – is the Hausa name for millet pap. A variation of Ogi (pap/porridge) made from different types of corn. Koko is just the version made from millet. Bearing similarities to American grits and many other foods from cultures of African descent. You can eat it both sweet and savoury. I cooked the millet in coconut milk and served it with mango, coconut flakes, lime and honey.

Plate 5 – Orhë
Sweet ‘Plantain pancakes with caramelized walnuts

One thing we all have across various Afro cultures is sweet plantains. Steamed, grilled or fried – I call it the rich aunty of banana. You can do anything with it. I created these sweet plantain pancakes and topped them with walnut caramel. Enjoy.

Signature Cocktails

Cocktail 1 – Hibiscus Bellini

In ancient West African culture, Hibiscus was originally used as medicine for high blood pressure. Over time it has become popular in making festive drinks such as Zobo in Nigeria, Bissap in Senegal and Sorrel in Jamaica. 

Cocktail 2 – Palm Wine Margarita

Palm wine is the sap from the trunk of palm trees. It’s a natural alcoholic beverage and the longer it ferments the stronger it becomes. It made a perfect addition to the classic margarita.

Cocktail 3 – Tamarind Chapman

Not to be mistaken for the classic Chapman. Although this drink is just as refreshing and tangy, it hones a balance of sweet, sour and tart flavours thanks to the use of Tamarind pulp. Tamarind is a hardwood tree originating from Africa but also found in Asia and various tropical areas. Its bean-like pods contain seeds encased in fibrous pulp, which starts green and sour before ripening into a sweet-sour, paste-like consistency.

If you want to learn more about the Grand Afro Brunch, you can connect via Instagram here, where you will see more highlights from the event.

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Chef Immaculate Ruému

Welcome

I'm Immaculate Ruému. A Michelin-trained chef that enjoys all that encompasses food. Exploring a variety of local international cuisines with the aim of ‘Breaking Global Culinary Boundaries’.

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