I have never attended the GTBank Food and Drink Festival, and maybe because I have always seen the event as a space for the blistering heat, sweaty mass of bodies, and dehydration. It’s like a mini Coachella with food and drinks as the main attraction, and why did I have this blip of an idea that some of the food would free? This year’s installment of the festival spanned four days that started on Sunday and ended yesterday, and routinely had a masterclass that assembled award-winning culinary experts and top chefs from around the world. Particularly, I was excited about Jeff Mauro, co-host of the Food Network series The Kitchen and host of Sandwich King.
Look, I like food and I watching quite a number of cooking shows, from MasterChef to Chopped. Mauro has amassed a culinary identity around sandwiches, and it made sense that his masterclass entailed making the ”ultimate sandwich.”
But I didn’t like that the venue of the festival, the GT Center in Oniru, was relatively small to accommodate the food exhibitors and food enthusiasts. While the masterclass with Mauro was great, I couldn’t resist capturing it on video. It was during the sweltering heat that I realised that I should have worn shorts instead of jeans, a t-shirt instead of a long-sleeve shirt. Thankfully, I was sensible to have a cap on. At this point, I had consumed cocktails with generous quantities of ice-cubes, then proceeded to buy for myself some sauce. Outside the enclosure was where the fun was, teeming with people sprawled languorously on the green lawn, on benches and around food spots.
But I still can’t overstate the heat. Standing fans were thoughtfully positioned at a number of places, trolleys with perspiring GTBank-branded bottled water were pushed around, as were hand fans. I strolled through the farmers’ market busting with fresh produce, browsing through the offerings. Interestingly, there were couplings here and there, people making new friends and creating an avenue for relaxed, casual interaction and networking. Will I go for the next GTBank Food and Drink festival? Yes, I will.