Chef-restaurateur Alexander Smalls and TGP International have announced plans to bring their African food hall concept Alkebulan to London.
Smalls (pictured) and TGP revealed the concept at EXPO 2020 Dubai last year, a celebration of African cuisine, art and music, with global expansion plans to kick off in London and New York.
Alkebulan, the original name for Africa, will feature 10 chef-led concepts from across the African continent curated by former opera singer and James Beard Award-winning author Alexander Smalls, co-owner of restaurants the Cecil in New York City and Minton's in Harlem.
Smalls said: "Despite its rich culinary heritage, African cuisine has been overlooked and underestimated for many years. With Alkebulan, we look forward to bringing its diverse and spectacular culinary palates to the forefront by introducing a unique dining concept to two of the world's most thriving food destinations.
"We aim to not only deliver a taste of Africa but offer a one stop destination that becomes a boiling pot of the various African cultures at the core of its 54 countries and offer opportunities to young culinary entrepreneurs from under privileged backgrounds. We want to provide them space in the food halls to start their own businesses as part of an incubator program, providing support through coaching and mentoring as well as financially."
Simon Wright, founder and chairman at TGP International, added: "Due to our vast experience within the hospitality sector, we see the huge potential for African cuisine and are immensely proud to pave the way with the ‘world's first African dining hall'. With the concept performing so well in Dubai, it is evident that Alkebulan offers an incredible investment opportunity with unsurpassed potential.
"We see London and New York as the perfect markets to expand, putting Alkebulan on the map as a globally renowned destination for African cuisine. This is not just a dining destination but a community project that supports upcoming African talent and provides a platform for Africa's next generation of creators. Not just in the kitchen."