From Brixton Supper Club To Michelin Glory: Chishuru Wins First Star For Nigerian Cuisine

The self-taught Nigerian chef received a Michelin star in 2023 just months after relocating to the West End.

Mere months after moving to the West End in London, the West African eatery Chishuru has earned a coveted Michelin star.

Winning Michelin acclaim caps a remarkable journey for self-taught chef Adejoké “Joké” Bakare. “I’m speechless, which isn’t usually the case,” a stunned Bakare remarked upon the Feb. 5 award announcement.

Bakare opened Chishuru in 2020 after winning a local cooking competition, and ran it out of Brixton Village with one kitchen assistant. Chishuru first wowed diners with homestyle West African dishes like £18 two-course meals of Jollof and fried plantain. Now, her Chishuru, located minutes from Oxford Circus, offers a £75 tasting menu in a two-floor space.

Signature plates range from moi moi with bone marrow to seasonal shellfish swimming in a pepper soup broth. Bakare synthesizes these touches of her homeland with global techniques. As food critic Jimi Famurewa praised upon awarding a four-star review, Chishuru displays the chef’s “blazing, intuitive talent” through “the power to take your breath away.”

From a humble supper club in North London to a major restaurant player bringing West African cuisine into the spotlight, Bakare originally dreamed of food services, running a university fish-and-chips stand in Nigeria before moving to the U.K. in the 1990s. After years in London property management, she started Chishuru.

According to the restaurant, Bakare has rapidly risen to prominence in the culinary world, earning recognition as one of Code’s 100 Most Influential Women in Hospitality in 2022, as well as becoming shortlisted for Innovator of the Year at the GQ Food & Drink Awards 2022 and Chef to Watch in the National Restaurant Awards.

Other West African chefs who won a Michelin Award this year include Fitzrovia’s Akoko, dubbed “one of the most memorable meals of the year.” But Chishuru stood apart as London’s first Michelin-starred West African restaurant—an ascent mirroring Chef Bakare’s goal to share her culture’s vibrant flavors globally.