Earlier this month London based Congolese-French Chef Mick Élysée hosted a fantastic pop up evening in Hoxton London in aid of the Wonder Foundation, a charity dedicated to empowering vulnerable people through education.
Mick’s love for the culinary art started when he was just a little boy. He was always sneaking in the kitchen to steal food in his mother’s pan while she was busy setting the table for dinner. Family and friends enjoyed her meals so much you could see the joy on their face. It was so delicious that he decided to learn how to create such tasteful dishes.
At 14, he arrived in France, an opportunity for him to educate himself in his passion: cuisine. After graduating from one of the most prestigious cuisine schools, he began his classical training as a commis under some very French famous chefs (e.g. Michel Toulousi). At 22, Mick opened his first restaurant “La Gascogne” in Toulouse. Four years, later he was traveling the world, working in several countries (Japan, Italy, Congo, Canada, etc.) to improve his skills and knowledge but mostly develop his creativity and curiosity experimenting new tastes and ways of cooking.
10 years ago he moved to London, where he is now based, working at numerous high profile restaurants and private member clubs. However he felt something was missing. His roots were calling. Therefore, today, he is honouring his culture by bringing a new image to the African food scene through his very own creative concept, “afro-fusion”: A mix of African tastes with the rest of the world. His cuisine is colourful, tasty with a strong cachet.
Guests at the sold out event were served a delicious four course meal which consisted of Lamb filet with peanut sauce, biteku-teku, okra cassava roots,chocolate tart with exotic fruits infused in Luyeye honey and Kivu coffee cream and more.
The course highlight was definitely the fumbwa shot which was a magnificent twist to this traditional wild Congolese vegetable.
Above pic: Mick with British-Congolese Fashion Business Consultant & Artist Yolande Letshou ( www.ArtbyYolandeLetshou.co.uk)
Above pic: British-Congolese Youtuber & Blogger Audrey Bee (www.missaudreybee.com)
Video footage from the night
Mick has more Pop Ups planned throughout the year expressing “I want people to know more about African cuisine, and the only way to make it well known is to keep moving. That’s why I’m doing pop ups – I’m taking the food to the people.”
Photos by Airwane
Sponsors for the event included:
Wine sponsor: Mango wine – Longonya
His book, Not Guilty which showcases his favourite healthy African inspired recipes is out now. For more information visit www.mickelysee.com