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Digital Subscriptions > delicious. Magazine > April 2018 > “Food was a way to remember home and culture”

“Food was a way to remember home and culture”

Inspired by her father’s kitchen tales of decades past and drawn to far-flung family members, journalist Kemi Bamgbose traces the trail of her dad’s much-loved dishes – from London to their roots in West Africa and Brazil


My most vivid childhood memories are of time spent with my dad in my family’s kitchen in south London. Dad was Nigerian with Afro- Brazilian roots and moved to the UK more than 30 years ago. He was a keen cook and, as we helped him sift through piles of black-eyed beans, getting rid of any cracked or shrivelled ones, he’d tell us stories about Nigeria, bringing to life the Lagos of his youth.

Both sides of his family (the Alakijas and Bamgboses) were prominent ‘returnees’, the name given to families who’d left Brazil and gone back to Nigeria when slavery was abolished in Brazil in 1888. Many continued to travel between West Africa and Brazil, with a small contingent settling permanently in Salvador de Bahia on the northeastern coast of Brazil.

Kemi with her dad
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About delicious. Magazine

The April issue of delicious. is here to take you on exciting taste adventures. Diana Henry recalls how her passion for French food was love at first bite, James Martin discovers cheesy meatballs in Texas and Ravinder Bhogal cooks exotic sweet and savoury recipes using caramel. Closer to home, Gill Meller puts pigeon back on the menu and Debbie Major flies the flag for the great British macaroon. Plus, Dan Doherty’s new roast chicken, easy midweek meals from your freezer and much, much more.