Nigeria`s Consul General to South Africa, Ambassador Uche Ajulu-Okeke, has urged African airlines to serve African food on board their planes.
Mrs. Ajulu-Okeke made the call in Johannesburg, South Africa, when members of the African Chefs United paid her a courtesy visit.
She urged the chefs to write a letter to the African Union urging it to compel African Airlines to serve African dishes on board their planes.
Mrs. Ajulu-Okeke said African cuisine would help create employment as well as foster unity and sense of pride among Africans.
She said the Chinese had used their cuisine to create global impact about their people and culture.
“Look at what the Chinese have been able to do with their cuisine across the world. So, it is your association now that can promote African dishes across the world.
“I want to suggest that your association should write a letter to the African Union so that through the instrumentality of the Union, we can have a global conference on African cuisine and chefs. The first thing we should start doing is to compel African Airlines to serve African dishes,” she said.
The President of African Chefs United, Citrum Khumalo, said the organisation believes that Africans could be united through food.
He, however, said African food should be of high standard to boost local tourism on the continent.
Mr. Khumalo said that chefs from 17 African countries had attended an African food festival in Johannesburg which was aimed at boosting indigenous African cuisine.
“The first mission that we are really working on is to use food and hospitality to unite Africans. Tourism is the future gold of Africa. The gold that we are digging now will deplete and we will depend on tourism and if the standard of food and services are not compatible with that of Europe, we will fail,” he said.
The President, Association of Professional Chefs Nigeria, Paulinus Okon, said his members had learnt some lessons from the food festival.
He said the association would pass on to others all the lessons learnt at the festival.
Mr. Okon said the association had held three chefs workshops in Nigeria to improve local dishes as well as promote culinary art in the country.