In a Jollof Rice competition which held in Washington D.C. on the 2nd of July, 2017, Nigeria won first place, finally putting an end to the question that sparked the #jollofwars … Who cooked the best jollof rice?
If you’re not active on social media, you’re probably reading this with an incredulous expression, but trust me, #jollofwars is a thing and we finally have the first ever Jollof Rice competition to give validation. The competition, which was a Jolof Hackathon, took place during the Jollof Festival.
It featured countries like Nigeria, Liberia, Ghana, Cameroon and Sierra Leone, each country represented by teams of 2-3 people. Afterwards, festival attenders were given the opportunity to blind test each one to determine the winner.
The finalists had five minutes to present their dish before the judges who used the presentation, taste of the dish and originality to determine the winner. Ms Atinuke Ogunsalu, of Queensway Restaurant and Catering, Maryland won the Jollof Hackathon. She represented Nigeria, much to the delight of Nigerians, home and abroad. She also got the prize sum of US$1000 and the role of chef at Jollof Caviar, an upcoming African fusion Restaurant launching in Washington in 2 years.
The Jollof Wars won’t end here, there is another Jollof Festival in Brooklyn, NYC and of course, since we don’t expect Ghana to take this defeat lying down, we expect some more battles on social media at least. But like the folks at Kobini.com say, “Nigerian jollof is nobody’s mate.”
Amused or curious about the Jollof Wars and want to read some more? Read about when Richard Quest came to Nigeria and the ensuing Jollof Wars during that period.
Also if you would like to try your hands at making Nigerian Jollof Rice, we have the recipe from Chimamanda’s ‘Americanah’ right here.
Have you tasted Jollof Rice from any country before? Which did you prefer?