By Inyali Peter, Calabar
The maiden edition of Calabar food exhibition which took place at the weekend at Municipal Garden, Calabar, Cross River State, has sparked call from the public for its adoption as one of the major activities in state annual carnival.
A large section of Cross Riverians, who participated in the event, said that if properly funded by government, the event can boost the tourism drive of the state.
Speaking, Mrs. Silas Asuquo, said that the program which was an insight into cooking in another dimension, has given people, especially, chefs, opportunity to learn new recipes about Nigeria and other countries foods.
Asequo, who described the program as “special”, however, lamented that the Nigerian Government doesn’t show too much interest in the programme, adding that a proper food and drink awareness should be encouraged to help the public to know what to eat for healthy living.
According to her, this program is an insight into cooking in another dimension. People, within and outside the country, are here trying to see how they can get recipes to prepare something better. “It is a special program because it anchors on food awareness. So, many people take food as fuel, that’s when the stomach is empty, they refill it but there is more to food than that. While eating food, we need to be very conscious to eat what agrees with our body system. This is why the government needs to key into the program seriously,” she highlighted.
Also, Abijal Abia, a fun lover at the event with his family, commended the organizers; Chorus Limited, for the initiative, urging them to collaborate with government and agencies to make it more frequent. “Calabar food festival is something I have been looking forward to and I’m so excited it has finally come,” she declared.
“I have been a professional chef for over 21 years. The experience so far in Calabar festival has been very impressive. I have learned a lot that I will take to Portugal and other international festivals and competitions I will attend,” declared Bilal Jamal, an international chef from Portugal.
Ette Raph, a renowned chef in Calabar, while calling on investors in the state to key into the program, said that the impressive turn out showed that people now appreciate the culture of food and drink in Nigeria.
Raph said that, “This is the first food and drink exhibition in Calabar and so far, the participation has been impressive. It shows that people now value the culture of food and drink. Nigerians now appreciate quality food.” He added, “For now, it may not be about making profit but subsequently, we know investors will come in and it is going to be a bigger event next year.”