African dining hall Alkebulan has made its debut at Expo 2020, showcasing African food and culture through a colourful culinary lens.
Capturing the essence of Africa, it transports visitors on a journey into the continent’s cultural diversities and gastronomy scenes, bringing together people, communities and nations.
Alkebulan (pronounced al-kee-boulan) – the oldest name for Africa and translating to ‘Mother of Mankind’ or ‘Garden of Eden’ – is a culinary concept curated by award-winning chef Alexander Smalls, a classically trained opera singer-turned-restauranteur.
The dining hall is a celebration of African cuisine, designed as a showcase of contemporary African food and music from across the continent.
Each counter and concept has its own unique design that honours the individuality of the region, cuisine and chef.
Smalls said: “African food is as diverse as the continent’s countries and communities, yet it is still under-represented in the world.
“Bringing a piece of Africa to Expo 2020 is not only a dream come true, but also an opportunity to showcase the rich diversity that makes African cuisine unique from region to region.
“Food and music are both instrumental to our culture, and Alkebulan is a place that marries the two, welcoming visitors from around the world to be immersed in our flavours and traditions.”
At Expo 2020, countries from around the world will showcase their national dishes, giving visitors the opportunity to taste traditional and specialised cuisines from more than 200 different outlets.
Marjan Faraidooni, chief experience officer of Expo 2020 Dubai, said: “Food brings people and communities together – at a time when we need it most.
“We are very excited to welcome the African continent to Expo, and for our visitors to sample new flavours and concepts – the likes of which have yet to be seen in the UAE.”