2024GTCO Food & Drink Festival: What to Expect

The seventh annual GTCO Food and Drink Festival is quickly approaching, and since its launch in 2016, foodies have been enthralled with this culinary spectacle. This three-day event, set against the colourful background of Victoria Island, Lagos, promises to be a sensory extravaganza highlighting the finest of Nigeria’s diverse food industry. As we look forward to the 2024 edition, let’s look back at the evolution of this culinary spectacle and explore what’s in store for attendees this year.



Bringing together food enthusiasts and business experts, the first GTCO Food & Drink Festival was a landmark event in Nigeria’s culinary landscape. The event set the groundwork for years of culinary enjoyment with its lively atmosphere and wide variety of food vendors. The two-day event, which took place on May 1st and 2, 2016, provided participants with an opportunity to sample food from around the globe while showcasing Nigeria’s developing food sector.

Two highly regarded international chefs, Marcus Samuelsson and Raphael Duntoye, were the festival’s main attractions that year. Marcus Samuelsson is an Ethopia-born restaurateur who was raised in Sweden. He also owns the Red Rooster in New York and is a judge on the popular TV series Top Chef and CHOPPED. Nigerian-born Raphael Duntoye is the chef patron and owner of Le Petite Maison in London, Dubai, and Miami. Atim Ukoh, Iquo Ukoh, Uzo Orimalade, Gbugbemi Fegene, Tiyan Alile, and Alex Oke were among the other highly regarded chefs who attended the occasion.

A platform for SMEs in the Nigerian food industry to promote their businesses was given by the free food and drink fair. A wide range of products, including dry foods, confectionery and pastries, ready-to-eat consumables, premium crockery, wine and champagnes, and fresh organic groceries, were on display. In addition, various restaurants serving delectable food, alfresco barbecues, and exciting entertainment were present at the fair, along with Cooking Master Classes covering the newest culinary trends. More than 90 food industry exhibitors participated in the 2016 edition of the consumer-focused event, which garnered extremely excellent reviews both domestically and abroad. Over 25,000 people attended the two-day event.


The second edition of the GTBank Food & Drink Fair took place during the Worker’s Day holiday on Sunday, April 30, and Monday, May 1, 2017. In addition to providing small businesses in the Nigerian food industry with a free and dynamic platform to connect with experts in their respective fields and a broader segment of their target markets, the two-day event treated attendees to captivating gastronomic tours across a wide variety of exciting cuisines and delicacies.

The free festival that year included new and exciting features like a Farmers’ Market, where SMEs in the agriculture industry showcased and sold fresh and organic farm products, and a Baking Masterclass for kids. These were in addition to the beloved features of the previous event, like Cooking MasterClasses and Sales Exhibitions by small businesses. Various restaurants with delectable food, outdoor grills, fascinating entertainment, and wine tastings allowed guests to sample a unique and exciting blend of well-known and up-and-coming brands.


Around 150 businesses in the food and confectionary industries came to the 2018 GTBank Food and Drink Fair to showcase the diversity and depth of Nigerian culture in the culinary arts.

The annual food and drink fair, which brought together buyers and sellers from across the nation and diaspora to exhibit their products and innovations in the multimillion-dollar industry, took place at the expansive complex at Ligal Ayorinde, Water Corporation area of Oniru-Lekki environ.

According to Oyinade Adegbite of GT Bank’s Corporate Communications, the third annual fair, themed “Street Food,” received 2000 submissions from food stores, but only 150 could exhibit their produce.


The fourth edition of the GTBank Food and Drink Festival expanded after three outstanding presentations of the largest culinary experience in Africa. It took place at the GTCentre, Plot 1,

Water Corporation Drive, Oniru, Lagos, for four days, from Sunday, April 28, to Wednesday, May 1. More than 300 small companies, more than double the number from the previous year, were given free Retail Stalls by the GTBank Food and Drink Festival that year. Along with cooking classes, the event included several workshops led by internationally renowned experts on food and drink.


This premier event for the fifth edition took place at the GTCentre, Plot 1 Water Corporation Drive, Oniru, Lagos, from Saturday, April 30, 2022, to Monday, May 2, 2022. That year’s free three-day event included seminars in preparing dishes selected from across the globe, as well as more than 140 complimentary retail booths offering everything from the best Nigerian street food to gourmet bite-sized snacks and fresh fruit from the farmers’ market. The thoughtfully constructed play area kept kids actively engaged while introducing new levels of excitement.


The most brilliant minds in international cuisine, the most hardworking Nigerian small-business owners, and a top-notch, cutting-edge kids’ play area were all brought together for the sixth edition of the GTCO Food & Drink Festival to create an unparalleled culinary and drink experience for guests.

That year, the GTCO Food & Drink festival increased the number of vendor stalls from 142 to 204, allowing even more creative and hardworking business owners to not only show off their enterprises to the over 250,000 foodies in attendance but also interact with their clientele and pick the brains of a gathering of like-minded food entrepreneurs. In addition, three of Africa’s top DJs set the tone for a celebration of food, drink, and community-building weekend.


The countdown to the seventh edition of Africa’s most anticipated culinary festival has begun. Guaranty Trust Holding Company Plc (GTCO) has announced the dates for the 2024 GTCO Food and Drink Festival, which is scheduled to take place from Friday, April 26 to Sunday, April 28, at GTCentre, Plot 1 Water Corporation Drive, Oniru, Victoria Island, Lagos.

The GTCO Food and Drink Festival is widely acknowledged as the largest food and drink festival on the continent, uniting millions of food enthusiasts and entrepreneurs in a dynamic celebration of flavours, scents, and cultures that honour Africa’s rich and varied culinary legacy. During the three days, guests can anticipate various delectable culinary offerings, ranging from inventive global fusion cuisines to classic African cuisine. The event will also have hundreds of food merchants displaying various delectable items, live culinary demonstrations, and tasting sessions.

Thanks to the organizers’ careful selection of kid-friendly events this year, the festival will be a memorable occasion for the whole family. The kids will be occupied with games, interactive displays, and other activities in a specially created play area. A children’s baking class is added to the fair as a new, exciting element. This session will provide kids and budding cooks with a fantastic chance to learn about the delights of baking while also encouraging creativity and self-assurance in the kitchen. In an enjoyable and encouraging setting, kids can release their inner chef and learn essential cooking skills by creating their speciality delicacies or decorating cupcakes.



(1) MAUNIKA GOWARDHAN – A Joyful Celebration Of Indian Home Cooking

Maunika Gowardhan is an Indian chef and best-selling author whose passion for real flavours and culinary methods, as well as offering a novel take on the food, have fueled her career. Through her culinary endeavours, she crafts and distributes classic Indian meals reminiscent of her Mumbai childhood and ancestry while incorporating intriguing flavours and ingredients. Her culinary style is straightforward and inviting, specializing in foods that are easily accessible and family-friendly recipes from many Indian groups, many of which have been passed down through the decades in her own family. She uses earthy spices, fresh herbs, and mixes that are synonymous with India. In addition to being a contributing editor for Vogue India, where she frequently writes on the London culinary scene, Maunika is a well-known contributor to publications including Good Housekeeping, Olive magazine, BBC Culinary, and BBC 1’s Morning Live. Her second cookbook, Thali, became a Times bestseller after her much-acclaimed debut cookbook, Indian Kitchen. Her third cookbook, Tandoori Home Cooking, is her most recent release.

(2) LISA BROOKS – Southern Coastal Cuisine

In 2010, Chef Lisa Brooks, a trailblazing culinary artist who adores real Southern cooking and spending time with her family, came back to Charlotte, North Carolina, to share the recipes from her family.

Combining her Southern roots and traditional French training, Chef Lisa turned Heart & Soul Personal Chef Service into a successful business providing upscale dining experiences. She started the Personal Chef Academy, LLC in 2021 to encourage budding chefs—especially women. Among Chef Lisa’s many achievements are her recognition by Forbes, Ebony, and the Women’s Business Journal and her status as a finalist on Food Network’s Chopped. Awarded the title of 2022 Charlottean of the Year, Chef Lisa motivates people with her skill in the kitchen and her love of deep connections.

(3) ROBIN MCBRIDE – Uncorking Your Wine Potential

At the international company McBride Sisters Wine Company, which has its main office in Oakland, California, Robin holds the positions of President and Board Chair.

It is among the country’s most inclusive, approachable, and socially conscious wine companies, ranking in the top 1% in volume and being the largest Black-owned and women-founded business. In 2005, Robin and her sister  started importing wines from New Zealand. Then, in 2009, they began producing wine together. By spring 2017, the two were making wine under the McBride Sisters Collection label from their hometowns in Aotearoa, New Zealand, and Monterey, California. The sisters introduced Black Girl Magic Wines in 2018 as a joyful wine brand honouring the women in their family and community. On International Women’s Day in 2019, the sisters unveiled SHE CAN Wines, a high-end canned wine.

(4) UCHE UZOKA – Kids Baking Masterclass

Chef Uche Annie Uzoka is the founder and creative director of Gourmet Twist, a fast-growing food company with locations in Atlanta, Georgia, and Lagos, Nigeria. Chef Uche’s culinary

experience began after she finished her education at Reddish Culinary School and the University of Lagos. She specializes in pastries and meals with Afro-infused flavours. Driven by her love of cooking and her ambition to provide distinctive dining experiences, she leapt into entrepreneurship in 2017 and opened Gourmet Twist. Chef Uche has gained global recognition and praise for displaying Nigerian cuisine’s rich tastes and dedication to excellence in pastry and culinary arts. Chef Uche is committed to providing exceptional dining experiences that showcase the richness and vitality of African food, even as she broadens Gourmet Twist’s customer base and ventures into uncharted culinary territory.

(5) GALE GAND – Mastering Creamy Chocolate Desserts

In addition to serving as a pastry chef, Gale Gand is the co-founder and partner at the Michelin two-star restaurant, Tru, Chicago.

She hosted Sweet Dreams, a long-running program on Food Network that is presently available to stream on Discovery Plus. In addition to writing eight cookbooks, she collaborated with Julia Child on her book and the PBS series Baking with Julia. Gale is a national culinary instructor and artisan soda pop producer, well known for her nationally distributed brand of Gale’s Root Beer. In addition to being inducted into the Chicago Chefs Hall of Fame and the American Academy of Chefs, she holds two James Beard Awards. She also schooled in Paris at La Varenne. Gale judges pie and food competitions professionally and participates in several food and wine events worldwide.

We look forward to another incredible celebration of Nigeria’s diverse food culture and reminisce on years of culinary brilliance as we excitedly await the coming of the 2024 GTCO Food & Drink Festival. The festival, which rose from modest beginnings in 2016 to become a top culinary event, never fails to wow audiences with its wide range of dishes, creative programming, and steadfast dedication to presenting the best of Nigerian cuisine. The GTCO Food & Drink Festival offers an experience unlike any other—a veritable feast for the senses—for those who are experienced foodies and those who are just interested in discovering the flavours of Nigeria.

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