Award sponsored by SevenRooms

Chef of the Year

Adejoké Bakare


Chef of the Year
Adejoké Bakare has had one hell of year. Having taken the brave decision to relocate her popular West African restaurant Chishuru from Brixton Market to a much more central location, Chishuru 2.0 opened in Fizrovia at the end of last year in larger, swankier digs that were more reflective of Bakare’s considerable skill behind the stoves.

It was a move that wasn’t without risk. The more competitive (and expensive) area of Fitzrovia is a far cry from the relative safety of Brixton and its diverse ethnic food scene and yet Chishuru fitted in immediately, with Bakare’s innovative and interesting cooking bringing joy to a whole new customer base.

Such has been the success of the move that the restaurant has even attracted the attention of the Michelin guide, which awarded it a star mere months after it opened. That alone is an impressive achievement, but more impressive is the fact that the Nigerian-born chef is the first black woman in the UK to be awarded a Michelin star, and only the second black female chef in the world to have achieved this.

Seismic shifts in the culinary world can often be traced back to an individual, whether it be Rene Redzepi and the rise of new Nordic cuisine, the Adrias with their avant garde approach to Spanish cooking, and Heston and his molecular gastronomy. With Bakare and her accessible and contemporary cooking the food of West Africa now has its champion.