Experience Cameroon in London with Carine and AirBnB

This month, Airbnb launch a brand new take on travel with their line of experiences. Now, instead of just staying in someone else’s house while you travel, you can experience the city like a local, with a local! Try everything from swing dancing lessons to museum tours to exploring the best pubs in the area with someone who lives there. And InspiringChefs wanted to get involved, so cook, supper-clubber, and our very own founder is running a Cameroonian food experience, to show one side of the vibrant multi-culture that is London.

We meet Carine by Brixton Tube station and head straight to Brixton Village to get to know each other, learn a little about Cameroon, and – most importantly – enjoy a traditional West African street snack – sugar-roasted peanuts. Carine talks us through some fun facts about Cameroon before we hit the shops, heading to some of the best places in London to source authentic West African ingredients. From grain to tiny white aubergines to dried stockfish, in Brixton you can find almost anything you could possibly want to cook with, and Carine explained every major ingredient to us, walking us through why and how each staple is treated.

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As we were filming the experience for Airbnb, we had to fit all three days’-worth into one so, after we had done our shopping, it was back to Carine’s to learn to cook some of what we had just bought. Day two of the Cameroonian experience brings you a cooking class at Carine’s home. We begin by making cassava and banana puff puffs, learning how to peel a cassava properly, and why brown bananas are actually a good thing - the best part of it all was that we got to eat them with Carine’s spicy sauce. Afterwards we learnt about some of the other techniques and spices used in day-to-day Cameroonian cooking before it was straight on to experience number three!

Day three of Carine’s experience wraps it all up in style with a Cameroonian feast, cooked by Carine herself. The first course is sangah, a sweet, warming dish made of sweetcorn, bitterleaf, and palm juice, then on to the next course of salt cod with prawns, bitterleaf, and fermented cassava before the main course of barbecued fish, and finishing it all off with grilled banana and sorbet.

The whole day was friendly, lively, and informative – a chance to meet some interesting people and learn a lot more about another culture and how much of it is accessible in London. There were, of course, more treats and secrets along the way – but we don’t want to give away too much! You will have to book it through Airbnb and try for yourself!

Interested in hosting your own foodie experience day? InspiringChefs is looking for cooks from all over the world to create similar culinary experiences – so if you want to share your love of food, cooking, and the traditions of your part of the world… Get in touch!

Carine Ottou