Nigerian Chef, Folashade Shoyonbo, on Sunday in Lagos emerged winner of a Jolof Rice Contest after beating chefs from two other West African countries.
Shoyonbo beat several others from Nigeria, Togo and Benin Republic during the contest at the 15th AKWAABA African Travel and Tourism Market which opened on Sunday in Lagos.
The Jollof Rice Contest, which was organised to promote culinary tourism in Africa, saw two other Nigerians, Deborah Esene Fatima Lawal, clinching second and third positions, respectively.
Shoyonbo said she was surprised over her victory and never envisaged winning the contest as she left immediately she presented her cuisine to the judges only to be called back.
She advised other chefs to stay tenacious and dedicated to their work, saying that success awaits those who persevered.
She thanked the organisers for encouraging African chefs and for giving her the platform to showcase her cooking talent.
“Am so happy right now; I never saw it coming, in fact it is a surprise for me and I could not hold my tears when I was told I emerged the winner.
“I appreciate the organisers of this fair and everyone who had encouraged me since I embraced this profession and I will advise everyone to remain dedicated and focused on their chosen career.
“I was determined to be successful in this profession and here I am today,” she said.
Shoyonbo, a graduate of Accounting who also had Diploma in Catering, is a chef with Lagos Continental Hotel.
“I am a graduate of Accounting but was not fulfilled until I embraced this profession; there is huge gain in doing what you love,” she said.
NAN reports that Shoyonbo won the trophy and a fridge while her first and second runners up went home with generator and a set of dishes, respectively.