On October 11, 2019, the European Commission in partnership with the French Dairy Interbranch Organization (CNIEL) hosted cooks and professionals to the first edition of AfroGourmands in Lagos state.

Speaking at the event, held in Radisson Blu Hotel, V.I., Laurent Damiens, from CNIEL, said, “The purpose of the campaign is not to displace the use of local produce, rather it is to show the culinary possibilities that can be achieved with a fusion of local and international produce”.

He added that the point of the event is to meet the ever-increasing demands in the Nigerian market. “In 2018, over 248 tons of French cheeses and 178 tons of milk and dairy beverages were exported to Nigeria”, he stated.

Pierre Gay, Meilleur Ouvrier de France Fromager (Best Cheesemonger in France), kicked off things by sharing his in-depth knowledge of cheese, milk, butter, and cream as well as their origins, manufacturing techniques and uses.

From L-R:Pierre Gay, Meilleur Ouvrier de France Fromager; Laurent Damiens, Chief Operations Officer, Strategy and International, CNIEL; and Chef Christian Abégan, at the Afrogourmands Lagos event organized by CNIEL and the European Commission
From L-R:Pierre Gay, Meilleur Ouvrier de France Fromager; Laurent Damiens, Chief Operations Officer, Strategy and International, CNIEL; and Chef Christian Abégan, at the Afrogourmands Lagos event organized by CNIEL and the European Commission

Internationally acclaimed Chef Christian Abégan then hosted a great tasting workshop at the event, where he incorporated local Nigerian delicacies like Ofada rice with dairy products. 

According to him, “Incorporating European dairy products in local cuisine will improve and upgrade the African food culture. It will also increase the demand and interest in African cuisine”.

Participants got to taste a variety of local products like cassava and avocado made with milk products like cream and cheese. 

This is the first time AfroGourmands is holding in Africa. It launched on June 11, 2019, in Dakar, Senegal, continued in Abidjan in Ivory Coast (June 17th and 18th), in Douala, Cameroon (July) and before coming to Lagos state.