Freedom park, Lagos, was a beehive of activities on Saturday with different food vendors lining the large lawn. Canopies proudly bearing the First@Arts and FirstBank insignia shielded foodies and vendors from the scorching midday sun.
At the Ginger, Tapas & Grill stand, some foodies were feasting on plates of ‘Asun’ and Gizdodo’. The chef, standing in a corner, turned over a medium sized Tilapia fish and chicken on the griller. He dabbled them with an oiled brush as pale blue smoke rose up covering his face.
‘Food is Art’ is one of First Bank of Nigeria Plc’s initiatives to promote art and food as an integral part of Nigerian culture and economy. It is not the first time the bank will show its commitment to the development of the food industry. Last year, it hosted Fiesta of Flavours in conjunction with Eventful.
Folake Ani-Mumuney, group head, marketing and corporate communications, First Bank said the current wave of creativity and innovation associated with the art and business of food cannot be overemphasised.
“At FirstBank, we are proud to be at the vanguard of the foodie renaissance. In consonance with our drive to support small and medium scale enterprises as well as large corporates, we are pleased to promote the food industry across all the value chain. Our partnerships in the arts industry have seen us engaging entrepreneurs, SMEs, and individuals in the arts sphere, providing business advisory, mentorship, and exposing the audience to amazing opportunities in the arts industry.”
The event which was a combination of art of food photography and street food fair offered an opportunity for ace photographer Kelechi Amadi-Obi to share his experience in photography as one of the coaches.
“Food photography is growing in Nigeria,” said Amadi-Obi during the panel discussion on ‘Why We Believe in Food Art’. It is now a major income earner for some photographers and it is providing a strong platform from those in food business and photographers exposure.”
Also, Iquo Ukoh, founder, 1Q Food Platter, explained that food is a vehicle for educating the world. “I love art and I see life and all that brings from the eye of an artist. This is why I love to create new dishes and present them in interesting ways. I am not a food artist but my resolve to push Nigerian and West African foods out to the world I consciously try to put our best forward. This is the only way I believe our rich culinary repertoire will get noticed and appreciated. “
At the event foodies were treated to some tasty street food and drink like canapes, asun, suya, boli, fish, zobo and more. There was face painting for children too!