A new wave in African cuisine is slowly but surely manoeuvring itself into London’s foodie scene. From Ghanaian street food to Ethiopian restaurants, African food is here and it’s about to make its mark even bigger and better.
A quiet food revolution which began with Spinach and Agushi, Eat Jollof London and Zoe's Ghana Kitchen has continued with Chalé! Let’s Eat, Chuku's Nigerian-inspired tapas lounge and now foodie lovers have been given Jasons Little Kitchen.
All we can say is that this is good news for those of us who are tired of African food remaining in the dark, lagging behind Indian and Chinese food. We spoke to Jason to question him about his entrepreneurial venture...
How did it all start?
It all started from not being able to find West African restaurant I was happy with in London. Me and my friends loved my mums cooking so I decided to bring it to the masses with a vision of one day I would own a west African restaurant.
Where are your parents from?
My parents were both born in Ghana and then migrated here for my dad to do his masters degree. My dad is from Kumasi and my mum is from Tema.
What African country do you visit the most and why should other people visit that country?
I visit Ghana the most but I would highly recommend everyone to visit there as the place is so relaxing. Being born and bred in London, life can be very fast paced at times but when I’m in Ghana I feel like I have no worries, as it is a very calming and relaxing country. It’s my home away from home.
Where can I find your supperclub how do I get there?
My supper club are generally held at Jenius Social which is located in North London, Islington. It is not to far from the Arsenal stadium, and is also opposite London metropolitan university.
Whats your favourite African dish? and African drink?
I would have to say jollof rice is my favourite African dish lool, its something I grew up on and is something that’s always in my house lool. I don’t have a particular favourite African drink but the Ghana fanta is something I just love, it doesn’t taste anything like the fanta we have here in England, so when I’m in Ghana I make sure we always have crates of it in the house.
Whose your favourite African Artist?
I would say Wale, but if we are talking afro beats then I’m going to have to say Wiz Kid.
Where would you like to see the supper club in the next five years?
In five years time I would like to have my own restaurant in London.
Can you give us a recipe?
Of course here is my favourite.
You will need:
2 cups of rice
1 large white onion
1 red pepper bell
2 cans of plum tomato
10 tbsp oil
2 tea spoons of salt
2 tea spoons of black pepper
2 tea spoons of curry powder
2 tea spoons of mix herbs
2 tea spoons of ground ginger
1 ¼ of water
- Finely slice onion and cut red pepper into strips
- Blend tomatoes in a blender
- In a large pot on a medium heat, heat up oil (I use rapeseed oil, but sunflower or olive oil can also work)
- Put the 10 table spoons of oil in a pan and start to heat up on a medium heat
- Add onions and start to stir until they are slightly golden
- Once onions are slightly golden add the blended tomatoes and then a ¼ cup of water
- Stir all contents and then bring to boil
- Then add the sliced red peppers, 2 tea spoons of salt, black pepper, ground ginger, curry powder and mixed herb, stir altogether and bring to boil
- Once it is boiling add rice and 1 cup of water, stir and then reduce heat to minimum
- Make sure you cover pot with tin foil and the lid of the pot
- Stir every 10mins until rice is cooked
What sort of obstacles have you come across whilst trying to realise your dream?
I haven’t had many obstacles at the moment, but a few websites have not wanted to feature my supper club because I am doing West African food which is something I don’t understand. London is a very diverse place and people from all different cultures are willing to try other cuisines from different countries. I have also had a lot of people tell me that African food won’t work and that the public won’t find it appealing, but with all these things I just have to keep on going until West African food is shown the respect it deserves.
Any chefs or cooks you look up to?
My mum is the only cook I look up to as she is the one who has taught me everything I know about food and it is from her where my love for food stemmed from. I also really like what Jamie Oliver is doing. I love how he try’s to get Britain to eat healthier especially with the kids of Britain. I’ve worked with children for 5 years and currently still am and I am always telling the kids to eat healthy and cut out the sweets. I wish all schools would ban sweets in pack lunches and only provide good quality ingredients in there school dinners as well.
Thank you Jason for taking the time to speak to West Africa Cooks, we wish you luck with the supperclub and future plans and encourage our devoted readers to try out your food experience and post comments.
For more information and dates of the next supperclub visit jasonslittlekitchen.
West Africa Cooks