NIHOTOUR Gastronomy Festival

2023 NIHOTOUR Gastronomy Festival draws Senegal, Cote D’Ivoire, Trinidad & Tobago, as event gears up



2023 edition of the highly-anticipated National Institute for Hospitality and Tourism (NIHOTOUR) Gastronomy Festival has now attracted the interest of a host of countries in West Africa, as well as, the Caribbean, as the most culturally eclectic culinary art and related gastronomy event on the continent gets set for Abuja, in June, this year.

NIHOTOUR Gastronomy Festival

For this year’s edition, Senegal and Cote D’Ivoire have made their intentions known of participating and showcasing their culinary collection, just as the Caribbean nation of Trindad and Tobago expects to be present at the exhibition billed for the Abuja International Conference Centre, June 17, this year.

Traditionally, the event attracts thousands of visitors and industry stakeholders who participate in the experiential learning of food production processes and indulge in free sampling of diverse Nigerian and international cuisines and beverages on display.

The culinary exhibition is also laced with traditional gaiety and entertainments that highlight Nigeria’s rich cultural diversity, including musicals and dance choreography.

Senegal, Cote D’Ivoire, Trinidad and Tobago indicated interests to showcase their countries’ culinary art and musical performances through their ambassadors in Abuja.

It will be recalled that since inception of Gastronomy Festival in 2021, Nigerian and International cuisines and cultural displays have been regular features of the event.

During a courtesy visit to the office of the High Commission of Trinidad & Tobago in Abuja by the NIHOTOUR boss, Nura Kangiwa, earlier last week, country’s envoy, Mr. Wedell VC De Landro, further promised to host a pan-music rendition, as part of his country’s cultural display.

“Pan Music is indigenous to Trinidad & Tobago even though the genre has become popular among Caribbean countries and long been exported to North America and Europe. Sadly, Pan Music genre has poor showings in Africa, hence the High Commission here is driven to promote Pan Music in Nigeria and NIHOTOUR Gastronomy Festival avails us a workable opportunity,”  High Commissioner, De Landro said, just as he also disclosed of plans to encourage future Pannists among secondary school students in Nigeria.

Director General of NIHOTOUR, Nura Sani Kangiwa, with the Chief Executive Officer of Atelier Concierge Limited, Mrs. Lucia Cobbina- Shittu, during the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on partnerships to promote and host the 2023 Gastronomy Festival, at the NIHOTOUR office in Abuja

Responding, NIHOTOUR boss, Kangiwa, who is also the Chief Host of the annual Gastronomy Festival, an event he introduced upon his assumption of duty as the boss of the Institute, expressed delight at the introduction of Pan Music rendition among other cultural displays during Gastronomy Festival.

“The participation of Trinidad & Tobago in this third edition of the food festival with Pan-music colourful entertainment will not only enthrall visitors, it will create opportunities for Nigerian tourism stakeholders to partner with Trinidad & Tobago and also expand the reach of the Gastronomy Festival in future editions,” Kangiwa said.

In the same vein, Senegal’s Ambassador to Nigeria, Nicolas Auguste Nyouky, who received the Director General of NIHOTOUR at the country’s embassy in Abuja, Tuesday, May 16, affirmed that his country will exhibit Senegalese cuisines at the Gastronomy Festival.

“The Gastronomy Festival is a unique project, and we will certainly come to showcase variety of our cuisines and other food products. Senegal is foremost in hospitality and tourism services because of our ‘Teranga’ attitude which is in the DNA of most Senegalese. We are a very hospitable people hence Senegalese receive visitors and tourists with warmth,” Ambassador Nyouky said.

Responding, Kangiwa said: “Senegal is a famous country in Nigeria due to your rich foods and unique fashion-style. There is a popular dress-style here in Nigeria called the Senegalese. It is like the Nigerian Kaftan but very adorable and is in much desired here.

”The Senegalese Ambassador replied in praise of Nigeria’s success in movies and creative industry. He said, your Nollywood is watched all over Africa and your music is a delight across the world.”

Kangiwa also paid a courtesy visit to the Ambassador of Cote D’Ivoire, situated in Diplomatic Drive in Central Area Abuja, where he had a fruitful meeting with the Ambassador, Kalilou Traore, who graciously accepted the invitation to participate in the Gastronomy Festival s.

“I will mobilize some of the best Ivorian chefs and restaurateurs in Abuja to exhibit at the Gastronomy Festival and showcase some of our most popular foods,” Ambassador Traore said.

Activities lined-up for this year’s NIHOTOUR Gastronomy Festival include exhibitions of cuisines by select African and European countries, and diverse culinary arts displays such as Knife skills, Fruit Carving, Cake decoration, essay writing/quiz for secondary schools, and cooking competition amongst culinary schools.

There would also be conferences involving Nigeria’s leading tourism and hospitality stakeholders and business operators, especially those that are members of the Hospitality and Tourism Sector Skills Council of Nigeria (HTSSCN) of which NIHOTOUR is the sole National Coordinator.

Additionally, training and master classes have been lined up for media practitioners, mainly from the travel and tourism sector.

According to NIHOTOUR, the Gastronomy Festival was not conceived as a strictly Nigerian culinary experience.

“The original drive was the UN Sustainable Gastronomy Day celebrated every 18th of June.

“Those that were at the 2021 and 2022 editions saw China, Spain and Ethiopia food exhibition stands. There were other food processing companies there showcasing.

“NIHOTOUR is mainly responsible for the Nigerian foods and drinks,” the institute said.


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