As our Culinary Delights journey continues, I must say that I am often amazed at how large the food and culinary ecosystem is in Nigeria. There are so many culinary enthusiasts and entrepreneurs around and I find it quite inspiring.
Most of you will have heard about EatDrinkFestival which is an annual event that convenes thousands of foodies to partake in a unique culinary experience. It is the food festival to attend every year, so I was choosing my guest for this edition of Culinary Delights’, I was delighted to share a meal with one of the founders of Eat Drink Lagos, which is one of the premiere websites for food decisions around Lagos.
Folayemi Agusto, my guest is the co-founder and Festival Director at EatDrink Media & the co-founder/CEO at Festival Coins Ltd. EatDrink Media started as Eat.Drink.Lagos a hobby turned go-to food bible for inhabitants and visitors deciding where to go, and what to eat and drink in Lagos. EatDrink Media has grown to include the annual EatDrinkFestival which has hosted over 100,000 visitors since 2015 and recently expanded into Abuja in June 2019. EatDrink Media has also hosted sold-out supper clubs for chefs and restaurants, including a special for CNN African Voices. I wanted to speak with Folayemi about what we can expect at this year’s Eat Drink Lagos. Festival and also pick her brain on the story of how a once hobby, has turned into a full-blown business with different revenue streams. We decided to meet at HSE Gourmet. I have heard about this place for a few years now but never had the opportunity to check out so I was glad to do so with Folayemi last Sunday.
It was a sunny afternoon and it was the perfect day for brunch. HSE Gourmet is located on 25 Babatope Bejide Cres, Lekki Phase 1, Lagos, I walked in I appreciated the modern décor. I also immediately noticed the diversity of diners inside. There were families, couples and lone diners which indicates that at HSE Gourmet there is something for everybody. I had the highly recommended mac and cheese which I thoroughly enjoyed. I started off with some English breakfast tea, and I liked the selection of variations of tea available.
I am a huge cheese lover, and I was impressed .at how balanced the taste of the cheese was. Not too strong but still scrumptious and tasty. I could have stopped at the mac and cheese but because I had not eaten all day, and tend to over-order when I am hungry. can anyone relate to this? I decided to order the braised short beef ribs. The portion was very large and while the order was tasty, the food came out cold the first time and I had to ask them to kindly reheat it. Overall I was satisfied with my meal, I even packed it to go and enjoyed it the next day.
Here is what Folayemi had to say “One of my favourite things about HSE Gourmet is how versatile it is for different categories of diners. Most times a restaurant is perfect for date night, but not families. Or it can be great for solo diners, but not for business meetings. HSE Gourmet is perfect for all of those things and people watching too because there’s always a diverse clientele of families, couples and solo diners every time I’ve visited. When I was handed the menu at HSE, I noticed the cover page had a list of Festive Specials. Not let the name deceive you, the menu items aren’t particularly Christmas themed but are just a range of limited-run items that are available during the holidays. I’ve never seen a Specials Menu that I didn’t want to order from so I opted for the Breakfast Flatbread. Initially imagined all the items – sausages, eggs, tomatoes, mushrooms would be cooked individually and served on a flatbread like a breakfast plate, so I was surprised when I received what could also be described as a breakfast pizza. Although I was surprised by what I received, I certainly wasn’t disappointed by it. I especially enjoyed the mushrooms and the saltiness of the sausages.”
The menu at HSE Gourmet is quite wholesome and varied. You can anything from salads, buttermilk pancakes. pasta, ribs, pork chops and much more. They have a great selection of teas, fruit juices, milkshakes and cocktails too. I would recommend this place for a casual meal, family brunch or friendly catch up.
With the intention of sparking creativity, imparting skills, and engaging Festival attendees in a more meaningful way, EatDrinkFestival is thrilled to announce the addition of the Festival Workshops to the line up this year.
In four unique workshops, Festival attendees of all ages and with varied interests will have the opportunity to participate in a hands-on workshop led by industry experts.
The 2019 EatDrinkFestival Main Stage will offer exciting and education programming to delight Festival attendees of all ages. Each year, the Main Stage features renowned experts in the culinary arts and mixology which is reflective of the growth in the industry in Nigeria.
For 2019, music is an even bigger part of the Festival experience. Throughout the day, Festival-goers will be treated to sounds from live DJ sets from a strong roster of Nigerian DJs. In the evening, the Festival Main Stage will host live performances from celebrated Nigerian artists. The 2019 EatDrinkFestival will close with a headline performance by the Queen of Afro-House, Niniola. For information about the festival visit www.eatdrinkfestival.com.
Braised ribs N6500
Mac and cheese N 2500
Breakfast flatbread N 6650
For information about the festival visit www.eatdrinkfestival.com