By Liane Faulder
A local home cook with a flair for Nigerian street food has created a pop-up, summer dinner series called Travelling Dishes From Aunty Dupe’s Buka.
It’s a veritable travelling street food show, specializing in snacks and dishes that the creator, Dupe Adedeji, used to eat as a child when on a road trip with her family.
They would stop at shacks, called bukas, to indulge in traditional street foods such as acara (beancakes), jollof rice (rice cooked in spiced tomato sauce) and zobo (an hibiscus tea).
“Food is a passion that I do on the side for family, and friends and the small community of Nigerians,” says Adedeji, 27, who works by day in social services.
“In early 2019, I decided to take it more mainstream. I was thinking, ‘our food is really good, why don’t we just share it with everybody else?’”
The pop-up series, held at four locations between June and September, is a way to showcase her favourites — elevated to include modern cooking techniques — in an atmosphere that invites strangers to chat, and to celebrate meeting new people.
“One of the things I miss is that at a street joint, random strangers talk to each other as if they know each other. After you leave, you want to go back because you get good food, good conversation and laughter,” says Adedeji, who promises that same vibe at her pop-up series.
Tickets are $55 for three courses and available through eventbrite
Later, Adedeji hopes to launch Nigerian cooking classes and to cook for folks in their own homes.
The event dates are June 29 at the BlueSkys Arts Lofts
and Market, July 27 at Strathearn Hall, August 24 at Cafe Lavi
and Sept. 21 at Sugar Swing Ballroom
The exact menus for each event will be released a month prior to each event on social media. Follow Dube on Instagram at @auntydupesbuka, where there will also be free giveaways to each event done once a month.
The June 29, alcohol-free event at BlueSkys has two seatings at noon and 4 p.m. It starts with a non-alcoholic hisbiscus drink, followed by chicken pepper soup, and asaro and plantain with steak bites. Nigerian pound cake with hibiscus flower ice cream is the dessert.
(In case you hadn’t heard of it, the venue, BlueSkys Arts Lofts and Market, is located in Queen Mary Park within a burgeoning, mini-food area also home to Salz and Honest Dumplings.)
For more information on the Nigerian street food series, call Adedeji at email@example.com
Follow me on Twitter @eatmywordsblog