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Nigerian-born Adejoke Bakare is UK’s First Black Female Michelin-Starred Chef

Adejoke Bakare, a Nigerian-born British chef, received the Michelin star honor, making her the first black female recipient in the UK.

Bakare founded Chishuru, a West African-themed restaurant in Fitzrovia, London.

Michelin stars are awarded by a team of Michelin guide inspectors who visit restaurants in around 40 countries as anonymous customers. The guide selects the top restaurants in a certain city based on food, ambiance, and service.

On February 5, 18 restaurants received Michelin stars, including Chishuru.

Adejoke becomes the first black female chef in the UK to receive the award, as well as the world’s second black female Michelin-starred chef.

Adejoke’s Chishuru serves moi-moi, and pepper soup, among other West African meals

Bakare’s passion in cooking began as a child in Kaduna and continued till she migrated to the United Kingdom to study microbiology over 20 years ago.

In 2020, she opened Chisuru in Brixton, South London, after winning a cooking competition in which the winner was given the option to run a three-month pop-up restaurant.

Her restaurant serves a wide variety of West African dishes, including Ekuru, Akara, and Moi Moi.

Bakare’s restaurant will relocate permanently to Fitzrovia, London, in September 2023. It has become one of London’s most talked-about eateries in less than six months since its permanent location opened.

The restaurant shared an Instagram post congratulating its CEO on her recent triumph.


Speaking about how she became a chef, Adejoke told Great British Chefs that “my friends all knew that I’d always wanted to cook. I’d always call them up at the weekends and invite them over for a meal. For me, it was all about that joy of feeding people, the noise and the buzz of it all”.

“They’d always say, ‘oh you should do this for a living’ and so when supper clubs started to be a big thing in around 2016, I thought I’d give it a try,” she added.

“My very first one was at Well Street Kitchen in Hackney and it was pretty much all friends and family there, with everyone helping out.

“The response was great but I was worried it might just be a case of people being nice, so I decided it wasn’t for me.”

Also speaking with Guardian UK, Adejoke said that Chishuru’s menu is not restricted to Nigerian food.

“You can’t describe our food as “Nigerian” though, because there’s no one food tradition… much of the culinary history predates the lines on a map,” she said.

“My parents are Yoruba and Igbo, and I grew up in Hausa territory, so my food is informed by all three of those culinary styles.”

Last year, Adejoke was also shortlisted in the ‘Chef to Watch’ category at the National Restaurant Award.

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