Jollof Festival | About the Jollof Festival
A beautiful description of the Jollof Festival in New York, DC, Atlanta and soon, the UK.
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The recipe is deceptively simple: take an umami-rich tomato-based stew. Add just enough rice. Garnish at will.

This is the basic outline of jollof, one of West Africa’s most beloved dishes, easy to cook up but hard to perfect. Like mac and cheese or chilli, it’s ubiquitous, homey, and everyone swears they’ve got the perfect version. Jollof Festival celebrates this favorite, which appears on tables from Senegal to Cameroon, by inviting chefs to come together and contest for whose jollof rules.


“Jollof is a cheap and common dish people make on a massive scale. It’s the target of expressing rivalry between countries, in a good-natured way,” explains Ishmael Osekre, the Ghanaian-born, New York-based founder of the festival. “This is still a big thing in the emigre community. We decided to let people come in and compete, and to let everyone get a chance to enjoy the results.”


 “In many ways, this simple rice dish is a mirror that reveals important parts of our lives, as Africans and people of the African diaspora,” muses Osekre. “I hope people of all backgrounds will come and taste and discover and just enjoy. Though of course, Ghanaian jollof is the best.”