4th L-R : Caleb Otagba, winner, Maiden Suya eating competition, and officials of Sooya Bristo during the competition in Lagos
Caleb Otagba, 28, on Sunday in Lagos received N250,000 cash prize for winning the maiden ‘Suya’ eating competition in Nigeria.
Suya is roasted meat. It is a very popular delicacy in all parts of 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.
The competition was organised to mark the opening of the Lekki branch of Sooyah Bristo in Lagos.
Over 30 contestants competed in various stages of the competition.
An excited Otagba, a staff of PCV Cleaning Service in Lagos, expressed excitement over the feat and thanked God, the organisers, his family and supporters for the opportunity to win and make money.
He said that suya was not his most favourite dish but adddd that 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.
“I 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. To do that, we need to foster growth through community development within our audience, who are mostly young Nigerians.
“Today, we have organised the first ever suya eating contest in Nigeria to promote entertainment and bring young people together in an exciting way.
“We feel happy to reward them through cash prizes.
“We had planned to host 30 contestants and give out N250,000 to the fastest person that can eat suya, but 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, focuses on creating innovations on the regular delicacy eaten on practically every Nigerian street.
Ogundoyin noted that suya was popular, hence the need to introduce innovations and varieties.
She disclosed that the restaurant had developed unique foods around suya and listed some to include suya burgar, suya signature rice and suya crep.
Others included suya melt, suya signature spaghetti, suya stir fried rice, among others.
The Sooya Bristo boss stated that the company, which began operation in Lagos in 2018, had grown very fast and had opened eight branches in Lagos state.
She said that the outfit was planning to begin operation in other states across the country.
Ogundoyin said that suya was a good source of protein and lean tasty meat which ought to 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 and the meat healthy.
Contestants at the competition
Ms Victoria Agorye, Business Manager, Sooya Bristo, said that 700 applicants applied for the competition online.
“We were happy for the massive turn out;
we hope to sustain the competition.”
Agorye said that eating suya was not as bad as feared, noting that some Nigerians were scared of the possibility of eating vulture or illegitimate meat that could be served to them.
She advised Nigerians to be wary of where they bought their suya, urging them to always insist on patronizing restaurants with trained professionals.
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 instead of road side vendors because their suya was usually clean.
“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.