Zoe Adjonyoh to host OCC Migrations event with Barings
Date is TBA at Barings, 20 Old Bailey, London EC4M 7BF
18th September 2019
Barings, the global financial services firm, is to contribute to the Oxford Cultural Collective’s series entitled Migrations: all our voices, by staging events at its London headquarters.
The Migrations series is a celebration of the positive ways in which generations of migrants have shaped the UK’s rich and diverse culture, not least through food. At a time of growing uncertainty for many in minority groups resulting from political and constitutional upheaval, it is also designed to stimulate reflection and discussion on the place of migrants in society.
Barings’ contribution to the Migrations series reflects its progressive and positive organisational culture. Each event will be hosted by a renowned food writer or chef, who will share lessons learned from their lives and careers. Crucially, these public events will give those attending the opportunity to come together, to share good food and meaningful conversation, and to better understand and appreciate unfamiliar cultures.
The first event to be held at Barings will be hosted by Zoe Adjonyo, award winning chef and author of Zoe’s Ghana Kitchen, whose work celebrates West African cuisine.
About her own journey, Zoe has written:
“I believe we are on the cusp of an African food revolution. There is a longing to try something that is actually new, not just re-spun, and African cuisines are filling that gap. It’s the last continent of relatively unexplored food in the mainstream domain. For too long Africans have kept this incredible food a greedy secret.
“Since childhood I’ve been having a love affair with food from across Africa. My Ghanaian father used to bring home strange and exotic ingredients such as Kenkey, Shito, Tilapia, Smoked fishes of all varieties and he would cook them – mostly for himself, to get that comforting taste of home. I used to hang around him in the kitchen, quizzing him on the names of the ingredients and where they were from, picking from his plate. Partly to connect with him, partly I realised over time, cooking and eating Ghanaian food was a way for me to connect with his home too. Without any extended Ghanaian family in London this part of my mixed heritage (my mother is Irish) was foreign to me. Food was my entry point to exploring this side of my identity and I fell in love with Dad’s version of Groundnut Soup – which later became my Peanut Butter Stew, now a signature dish on my menu.
“All my life I’ve cooked this dish when I needed nourishment, comfort and a taste of home – also cooking it for friends who would continuously pester “when are you going to cook that peanut butter stew again?” This passion for cooking for people and sharing the flavours of Ghana led to the creation of the West African food adventure which has become Zoe’s Ghana Kitchen.
“Since 2010 I’ve established a successful casual dining restaurant, a bus streetfood and event catering business and I have been lucky enough to write a cookbook of traditional recipes I have re-mixed for the modern kitchen, enabling more people than ever to join the African food adventure with me and explore flavours from Ghana in a way they can incorporate into every day cooking. My mission has been to enable as many people as possible to have access to this amazing food and culture and I hope you find Zoe’s Ghana Kitchen delivers that opportunity.”