By Rukayat Adeyemi
Lagos, – 28-years-old Caleb Otagba on Sunday received N250,000 cash prize as winner of the maiden Suya eating competition ever in Nigeria.The competition was organised by Sooya Bristo, a one-stop Suya culinary restaurant in partnership with Lost In Lagos, one of the leading premier discovery platforms to commemorate opening of Sooyah Bristo, Lekki branch in Lagos. Over 30 contestants competed in various stages of the keenly competition before Otagba emerged winner. Otagba, a staff of PCV Cleaning Service in Lagos, expressed excitement and thanked God, the organisers of the competition, his family and supporters for providing the platform that gave him an opportunity to win and make money.He explained that Suya might not be his most favourite dish but he enjoyed food, grilled and other creative spiced suya.“This is my second win for the year, as i have earlier emerged winner of the Burgar contest organised by Lost In Lagos and am so grateful to God and hopeful of more wins before the end of the year.“I love anything food and have discovered that my strength operates optimally during any contest.” I appreciate Sooyah Bristo for organising this competition and thank my family and supporters for their encouragement, ” he said.Mrs Olamidun Ogundoyin, Founder, Sooyah Bristo,said the competition was organised to bring joy to people, especially the youths.“Our goal is to be the biggest and best Nigerian food chain and to do that we need to foster growth through community development within our audience, who are the young Nigerians.“Today we have organised the first ever suya eating contest in Nigeria to promote entertainment, authenticity and bringing young people together in an exciting way, in order to reward them through cash prize.” We had planned to host 30 contestants and give out N250,000 to the fastest person that can eat suya but today more than100 participants showed up just to eat ,have fun and showcase their skills ,” she said. According to her, Sooyah Bristo, a quick service restaurant chain based on suya was established for creating innovation on the regular Nigeria street food called suya.Ogundoyin noted that suya had been eating in a regular way for ages, hence a need for an innovation in that space.She explained that the restaurant had developed unique food around suya, such as suya burgar, suya signature rice, suya crep,suya melt, suya signature spaghetti, suya stir fried rice and much more.The Sooya Bristo boss stated that the company which began operation in Lagos in 2018, had grown very fast to open eight branches across the state, while working to begin operation in other states across the country. Ogundoyin said that as against the myth regarding suya, that suya is protein and we all needed protein in our diet, adding that it is a lean tasty meat but should be prepared, served and eaten in very clean and healthy environment. “We prepare our suya in the most hygienic way and always ensure that the area is clean, the meat is healthily sourced from the supply chain, through processing , preparation and delivery of the food,” she said.
Ms Victoria Agorye, Business Manager, Sooya Bristo, said over 700 applicants applied for the competition online and the company was happy for the massive turn out, while hoping to sustain the competition. Agorye explained that while eating suya was not bad as speculated, some Nigerians were scared of eating vulture or illegitimate meat posed as suya and as such, preferred to avoid the food.She warned Nigerians to be wary of where they bought their suya and rather patronise professional restaurants trained in the business of the food to promote healthiness.A contestant, Ms Favour Zubi from Surulere area of Lagos state, expressed joy for making it to the semi- final stage of the competition.Zubi said she had been patronising Sooyah Bristo for long, as against road side vendors because their suya was usually prepared in the most hygienic environment, and as such, safe to be eaten.“You will not even see the suya during preparation until delivery and their environment is always so neat. I love suya, especially with moist pepper and other creative method of preparation, ” she said. (NAN)