Adejoké Bakare of Chishuru makes Michelin Star history – First black female Michelin-starred chef in the UK
Adejoké Bakare‘s Michelin Star is an achievement that has made history. In a glittering awards ceremony on 5th February 2024, she became the first black woman in the UK to win a star and the second black woman in the world to win one. Chishuru winning its first star marks Adejoké’s journey from running a north London supper club to her West End restaurant which has helped bring West African cooking into the mainstream.
Adejoké Bakare’s journey to Michelin star
Self-taught Adejoké ‘Joké’ Bakare opened Chishuru in Brixton Village in 2020. She has now has won a Michelin star less than six months after moving to the West End. After winning a local cooking competition and running a successful supper club, Adejoké opened her restaurant in Brixton Village in 2020. On receiving the award and the coveted white jacket from Michel Roux Jr she wasover the moon with her win. “I’m speechless,” she said, “Which isn’t usually the case.”
Chishuru has appeared in many best new London restaurant lists in 2023 – The Evening Standard and The Financial Times and Joké’s food has received rave reviews in Observer Food Monthly, The Sunday Times and Vogue.
Rave reviews for Adejoké Bakare and Chishuru
In October, The Evening Standard’s food critic Jimi Famurewa gave the restaurant four out of five stars, he called it a “whirring dynamo of Bakare’s blazing, intuitive talent” and wrote that her food “has the power to take your breath away.”
Harriet Fitch Little, food & drink editor, FT Weekend magazine wrote about Chishuru
“What I loved about eating here is that while the set menu is as elevated as you’d expect of a restaurant where reviewers have gushed over “modern techniques”, “innovation” and “fine dining credentials”, dishes are served with plantain, pickles and a huge bowl of rice for the table. You’ll leave having eaten some exquisite, fiddly dishes and you’ll be full.”
Joké’s desire to work in food harked back to her student years in Nigeria, where she ran a fish and chip cart in her spare time.
She moved to the UK in the 1990’s and worked for a property management company before starting her supper club. She told Great British Chefs ‘My friends all knew that I’d always wanted to cook. I’d always call them up at the weekends and invite them over for a meal. For me, it was all about that joy of feeding people, the noise and the buzz of it all. They’d always say, ‘oh you should do this for a living’ and so when supper clubs started to be a big thing in around 2016, I thought I’d give it a try. My very first one was at Well Street Kitchen in Hackney and it was pretty much all friends and family there, with everyone helping out. The response was great but I was worried it might just be a case of people being nice, so I decided it wasn’t for me.’
From those early supper clubs we are now so delighted to congratulate her for this major prize of a Michelin star and for making history!
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