Chishuru, a West African restaurant, has achieved the prestigious Michelin star within just six months of relocating to the West End.
Adejoké ‘Joké’ Bakare, a self-taught chef, initially launched Chishuru in Brixton Village in 2020 following a local cooking competition win and the success of her supper club. Expressing her surprise, Bakare, who started as a rising star, serving a limited selection of dishes from Nigeria and the broader West African region with a lone kitchen assistant, said, "I'm speechless, which isn't usually the case."
The award makes Bakare the firstblack woman to win a Michein star in the UK and the second in the world.
The early menu featured homely offerings like jollof with fried plantain, priced at £18 for two courses.
Today, Chishuru stands as one of London’s most acclaimed restaurants, presenting a £75 tasting menu in a two-storey establishment near Oxford Circus. The menu showcases dishes such as moi moi, a bean cake with bone marrow, red peppers, and scallop roe, along with pepper soup combining seasonal shellfish, radish, and apple, and Newlyn cod with tomatoes, Scotch bonnet chilli, and okra.
The announcement of the award took place during a ceremony in Manchester on February 5, where the Michelin Guide also unveiled numerous new accolades.
Bakare's culinary aspirations trace back to her university days in Nigeria, where she ran a fish and chips cart in her spare time. After moving to the UK in the Nineties and working for a property management company, she eventually launched her supper club.
Comparisons might be drawn with The Clove Club in Shoreditch, which started life as a supper club between friends Daniel Willis, Isaac McHale and Johnny Smith, and has since scooped two stars. Other West African winners this year include Akoko in Fitzrovia, which was described as "one of the most memorable meals of the year" by Michelin inspectors.
Renowned food critic Jimi Famurewa awarded the restaurant four out of five stars in October, praising it as a "whirring dynamo of Bakare’s blazing, intuitive talent" that "has the power to take your breath away."
Chishuru winning its first star marks a fortifying journey from a north London supper club to a significant restaurant, one that has helped bring West African cooking to new audiences and further into the mainstream.
The journey from a north London supper club to a significant restaurant, highlighted by winning its first Michelin star, has played a vital role in introducing West African cuisine to new audiences and integrating it further into the mainstream.