Gourmet Fare

Out of and into Africa’s Culinary Delights

A perfectly prepared bacalhau, a salt-cod dish favored in Angola. Photo courtesy Expo 2020 Dubai. Handout via The Gourmet Gazette

A cultural and culinary journey through Africa is on the agenda at Expo 2020 Dubai which is slated to open up on October 1st, 2021 and celebrate the cultures of the world for six months drawing to a close on March 31st, 2022. The African food hall dubbed Alkebulan, which was the first name given to the African continent and which translates as Mother of Mankind or Garden of Eden, is the concept created by the award-winning chef Alexander Smalls. The food hall will showcase African cuisine from the entire continent enabling visitors to taste and understand all of its rich and delicious traditions. Each counter and concept has its very own design and underscores the individuality of the region, the cuisine and the chef. It is also clearly a celebration of African gastronomy.

Award-winning chef Alexander Smalls, the creator of Alkebulan. Photo courtesy Expo 2020 Dubai. Handout via The Gourmet Gazette

“African food is as diverse as the continent’s countries and communities, yet it is still under-represented in the world. Bringing a piece of Africa to Expo 2020 is not only a dream come true, but also an opportunity to showcase the rich diversity that makes African cuisine unique from region to region. Food and music are both instrumental to our culture, and Alkebulan is a place that marries the two, welcoming visitors from around the world to be immersed in our flavors and traditions.”  explains Mr. Smalls.

A tasty and satisfying chotlo pie, chotlo is enjoyed in Botswana and South Africa. Photo courtesy Expo 2020 Dubai. Handout via The Gourmet Gazette

Alkebulan brings together 7 chefs and their ten food counters. Among the offerings is Afro Street Eatery from the chef Coco proffering all of the wealth of West African cuisine and its aromatic flavors. Enticing, exciting examples of African food include the bacalhau, a beautifully prepared dried salted cod dish enjoyed in Angola, primarily consumed by the Bakongo or Kongo people which often call it makayabu. Bacalhau is the Portuguese word for cod with Angola being a former Portuguese colony. The appetizing chotlo, a delicacy of the Tswana people and a favorite dish in Botswana and South Africa, is filled with tender shredded beef and boiled and then when served as a pie baked to perfection. Stay tuned for updates on the upcoming World’s Fair, Expo 2020 Dubai.
©Trish Valicenti for The Gourmet Gazette

The look of the Food Court at Expo 2020 Dubai. Photo courtesy Expo 2020 Dubai. Handout via The Gourmet Gazette

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