Nigerian self-taught chef Adejoké “Joké” Bakare has said she was speechless after her restaurant, Chisuru, earned a Michelin star.
The win makes Bakare, the first black woman to earn one and for an underrepresented cuisine, West African food.
Speaking about her restaurant she said, “We’re [at] the forefront of west African food and there’s still much more to do so we focus on that … and just build and grow that way.”
This accolade is even more of an achievement for her considering that she is an independent restaurateur which she called “incredibly liberating.”
She also believes this bodes well for the future and is a step in the right direction.
“It did feel rather odd at last night’s ceremony that 90% of the room was white middle-aged men.
“But the passion I see among young women in the industry is such that I’m confident things will change.
“It’s an enormous thrill and privilege to think I might have some influence on that.”
Bakare opened Chishuru in 2020 after winning a local cooking competition and ran it out of Brixton Village with one kitchen assistant.
Chishuru first wowed diners with homestyle West African dishes like £18 two-course meals of Jollof and fried plantain.
Now, her Chishuru, located minutes from Oxford Circus, offers a £75 tasting menu in a two-floor space.
The chief inspector at Michelin in the UK said Bakare’s “style is unique and the restaurant is a wonderful reflection of her personality and her cooking – it is fun, full of life, generous and hugely enjoyable”.