Nigerian Reality TV food competition makes debut

A creative and innovative Reality Television Programme aimed at promoting Nigeria’s sociocultural heritage and strengthening bonds of national unity is set to kick off this month nationwide.

The competition, tagged ‘Food Quest 2013’, will be delivered through a nationwide cooking competition that is open for all Nigerians from the age of 18 to showcase their culinary expertise with Nigeria’s favourite foods, including those that are extinct, in a reality TV show to choose the ‘Most Wanted Nigeria Food’. Prizes and consolation prizes would be won in this annual programme.

The maiden TV reality show on Nigerian indigenous foods competition, which is being promoted by the Tourism Development Sector of Global Intelligence Management Consultants and its partner organisation, New Fountain Productions and Events, will provide a platform for all Nigerian ethnic groups to showcase their indigenous foods through a 10-day in-house cooking final competition to discover the most wanted Nigerian food with the widest acceptance among the diverse ethnic groups.

Already, the programme which would be given prominent coverage in national and international media to ensure that the best competitors are attracted for the competition, had been endorsed by the Office of the Senate President and other institutional and corporate entities in the nation’s food and beverage industry.

Speaking on the novel initiative and why her organisation is championing the cause of using food to break ethno-religious and cultural barriers and promote nutritional values of Nigerian indigenous foods to peoples in the world during a chat with journalists in Abuja, the Marketing Officer of the promoters, Yemisi Adepoju, said the event would help in bringing out the best of Nigerians in delivering to the local and international audiences the values in indigenous delicacies.

She said: “We anticipate this event to be bigger and better than other cooking/chef competitions ever produced in Nigeria due to its innovativeness and the value it promises for all stakeholders in the nation’s food business/industry and our dear country in the global cultural heritage arena.

“Nigeria’s food delicacies cut across ethno-religious and cultural divides in such a way that none of the delicacies could be ascribed to any particular ethnic group or tribe. Meals like akara, moinmoin, garri, ogi, akamu, and several others have gained nationwide acceptability and serve as amongst the unifying ties linking millions of Nigerians together at home and in the diaspora.

“In fact, indigenous food or delicacies are serving more today as bridge builders amongst the various ethno-cultural people of our great country and breaking barriers of egocentric pursuits than politics have been able to achieve over the decades”, Adepoju added.

According to her, the auditioning and final selection stages of the maiden edition will be conducted in Lagos during which winners from the 36 states of the country would be housed for 10 days and grilled through cooking contests that will lead to the final selection of winners.

Adepoju, who said the promoters of the event were already reaching out to would-be corporate sponsors and partners in order to sustain the programme on a yearly basis, confirmed that prizes to be won include, a brand new car plus cash prize and brand new kitchen equipment for the Grand Prize while 1st Runner Up winner will get cash prize plus brand new kitchen equipment, and other consolation prizes. In addition, she explained that second runner-up will also win cash prize plus brand new kitchen equipment while several consolation prizes will also be given to other contestants.

On his part, Moses Obikpe, the Business Research and Development Officer of the Programme, told journalists that the innovative programme would re-introduce Nigerian delicacies like aadun, ikokore, corn meal porridge and tuwo shinkafa, amongst others, that have gone extinct back to the dining tables.

He said that these delicacies when re-introduced will create business opportunities for companies in the food industry to introduce new product lines around these delicacies.

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