Metropole Magazine

Today's Weather: Abuja NG: Partly Cloudy, Day 360|Night 260

21 Nov

The management of Sheraton Abuja Hotel recently sent two of its chefs, Olufunke Victor and Timothy Amadi, for a two-week training at the Academia Barilla, Italy, in order to perfect the art of Italian gastronomy. Upon their return, a few journalists and bloggers were invited to dinner at the hotel to taste the proficiency of the chefs.

Note that the Academy Barilla, established in 1877, is one of the foremost catering institutes in the world, thus, expectations were high.

The dinner which held at Luigi’s, an Italian restaurant at Sheraton, patronised largely by expatriates in the capital city and Nigerians with an appetite for Italian cuisine.

Dinner comprised a four-course meal beginning with chicken salad with traditional balsamic vinegar. It is in other words shredded chicken and vegetable in balsamic vinegar sauce. Balsamic vinegar is a unique Italian vinegar made from the juice of white grapes that have been preserved for years. The vinegar gave the meal a tart taste that is all good, if you do not mind raw vegetables.

Next was the fresh egg pasta with comodoro sauce. The pasta was actually made by the chefs themselves. The meal was so delicious that it seemed unfair that it should all be gobbled up with none left to posterity. Well, you can always return for more another day. This, like other meals, was served with wine.

Then came the fish with candied tomatoes. The meal consisted mainly of fish sandwiched between slices of tomato. The fish, chef Olufunke informed, was red snapper, which is available in Nigeria. No one can really have anything against fish, but someone with a typical Nigerian palate might do with a sprinkling of pepper, which is available on demand.

The dessert was hazelnut cake with custard and chocolate sauce. The sauce was so beautifully spread on the plate that it seemed criminal to tamper with it, especially considering how yummy the cake was, with or without the sauce.

From the start the table was set with a variety of finger foods including stick bread and cracker. A balsamic vinegar and olive sauce goes well with bread before, and in between meals.

Speaking after the dinner, Chef Timothy noted that before now, there were so many things they got wrong, but added that the training has helped them perfect their skills.

“Everything is precise now, exactly as it is prepared in Italy,” he said.

Chef Olufunke, who had just been promoted to Head Chef at Luigi’s, the first black person to hold the position, told guests to expect the best from the restaurant henceforth.

“They should expect the real Italian cuisine,” she said, “straight from the heart of Italy.”

Like Chef Olufunke, the General Manager of the Hotel, Boris Bornman, has similar message or guests.

“The professional expertise and experience that our own Chefs –Funke and Timothy brought back will definitely impact greatly and create memorable experiences for our guests,” he said in a statement recently.

Part of the aim for sending the chefs for training, he added, was to “build our associates to a level that they can outperform their global counterparts and put our great country Nigeria on the map”.


See below for more pictures:

Chef Olufunke serving a guest

Chef Olufunke Victor and Chef Timothy Amadi

Chicken Salad with Traditional Balsamic Vinegar

Fresh Egg Pasta with Comodoro sauce

Guests and Sheraton staff enjoying their meal

 Hazel nut cake with custard and chocolate sauce

For breaking news out of Abuja, follow us on Twitter: @MetropoleMag


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07 Nov

The Phone and Allied Products Dealers Association of Nigeria (PAPDAN) said it would showcase the best of mobile innovations at the forthcoming Phone Expo Nigeria (PEN) 2014.


The Chairman of PAPDAN, Mr. Iyke Nwosu, who made the announcement today in Lagos, said that the association would use the opportunity provided by the expo to bring the best in mobile handsets, devices and technologies to the country.


“We also believe that PEN 2014 will enable PAPDAN to promote the mission of the association to promote the interest of Nigerian mobile consumers”, Mr. Nwosu said.


The event which has the theme, “Next Frontiers of Connected Nigeria”, will feature exhibitions of latest mobile technologies and co-locate unique events at the annual gathering of the Nigerian mobile ecosystem, he added.


The PEN expo will hold between 2-6 December, at the University of Lagos, Akoka, Lagos State.

For breaking news out of Abuja, follow us on Twitter: @MetropoleMag


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