The thought of Anthony Bourdain in Lagos is every Nigerian foodies dream. I am not quite sure any of us really thought he would come this way anytime soon. Well I know for a fact I was not expecting it. Let me tell you how it all happened.
I’m laying on my bed, lights off, about to plug my phone to charge and I get an email notification of a contact form on my website being filled. I open the email, turned on the light, rubbed my eyes and even pinched myself a few times. “It can’t be me.” I started jumping up and down my room but this lasted all of 2 minutes because I needed to reply immediately incase I jinxed myself. I sat down to respond to the production team. They said they were thinking of coming to Nigeria and they needed perspective on how and where to start. To be honest, I thought my role was going to end at consultation but you see the way my Jesus is set up. He was like “girlllll you better dream bigger.”
When does Anthony Bourdain in Lagos happen?
A few weeks of Skype calls, it was settled. I was going to be on the episode of Parts Unknown with Anthony Bourdain in Lagos. We decided to rope in more experts on Nigerian food to make this all interesting so I told my mum 1Q Food Platter and Kitchen Butterfly to join in on the conversation and we were all very excited.
Closer to the time which was in April 2017, I realised the recording was going to be scheduled around the time I was going to have my very first indoor restaurant booth at the GTB Food and Drink Fair so prep time was very essential. See ehn as an aspiring entrepreneur, you cannot but be organised to the T. I learnt a lot about myself in that period because the way I was able to swing it, till tomorrow I can’t attribute the wave of energy to anyone else but God.
The actual shoot
The shoot in itself was very informal. It wasn’t the lights camera action I expected. He walked into the restaurant, we exchanged pleasantries and just started talking. The production team was roaming trying to get angles and we thought it was just part of set-up mode. We just continued having a conversation anyway and the food came and then we realised “oh wow this is already rolling.”
It didn’t influence the style of communication anyway as we just carried on naturally having our conversation around food. We talked at length about the historical cuisine of Nigeria, where it’s currently at and where we see it going. He gave us some ideas around how we could further expand the gospel of Nigerian food to the world. This has been my mission on this blog since I started. Isn’t it funny that Anthony Bourdain would be affirming that dream? We all talked, laughed, and shared our love for food from various perspectives for about an hour, did some photo-ops and we all departed to our various hustles.
There were too many moments where I sat across the table from him and just kept wanting to pinch myself. I felt that even in conversation I didn’t say as much as I wanted to because I was caught up in the moment of “how am I here? What qualifies me?” However, I am very grateful to the team for this experience and I want to say a huge thank you to my followers. You guys have made the Afrolems brand what it is today. The more you engage, the more the brand continues to expand. I am very grateful to you all as well.
If you caught the episode on CNN a few weeks ago? What did you think?
Reference links to other articles on the show
There is a paid link to watch the episode on Youtube