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British actor Will Poulter, known for his role in “The Bear,” recently spoke candidly about his passion for African cuisine and the lack of representation in the culinary industry. During an interview on “Times Radio,” the 30-year-old actor expressed his appreciation for food from various cultures, including African dishes.

Photo: Courtesy of FX

However, Poulter found it perplexing that African restaurants are less likely to be awarded Michelin stars for their exceptional food and dining experiences. In a clip shared by The Shade Borough, Poulter emphasized the underrepresentation of African food at the fine dining level, mentioning his recent visit to a London restaurant called Akoko. Regrettably, this establishment was overlooked by Michelin, which Poulter considers a great disappointment.

“One of the food cultures that is massively underrepresented in the fine dining level is the food of African origin,” Poulter said. “And the best restaurant I’ve been to recently is a restaurant called Akoko in London, and it’s been recently overlooked by Michelin, which I think is a great shame.”


The website states that a Michelin star is given to restaurants that utilize high-quality ingredients and consistently prepare dishes with distinct flavors. Nonetheless, Poulter mentioned that only four Black chefs have been granted this prestigious recognition since its establishment in 1926, per Blavity.

“There have actually only been four Michelin stars held by Black chefs ever since Michelin’s inception, and there’s currently one in America,” he explained. “There’s a massive oversight of food of African origin and Black chefs in general, but Akoko deserves a star.”

Akoko was established by Aji Akokomi, a Nigerian entrepreneur, with the aim of establishing a restaurant that offers authentic West African cuisine. As stated on the restaurant’s website, their culinary team skillfully prepares both traditional family recipes and innovative dishes, combining the finest seasonal British ingredients with specially sourced African spices.

Akoko embodies their imaginative and creative approach, drawing inspiration from the traditions, art, and culture of West Africa. In an article by the Financial Post in December, it was reported that executive chef Ayo Adeyemi and Akokomi have plans to open a second location in London later this year. The new establishment is expected to provide a more casual dining experience compared to Akoko’s original location.

The 30-year-old actor eagerly sought the opportunity to join the cast of FX’s popular series. Poulter had the privilege of being the inaugural high-profile guest star for the show’s second season. In episode 4, he portrayed a skilled Copenhagen pastry chef who mentors one of the central characters.

He told Variety how much he wanted to be in the acclaimed series and practically “begged” producers for an opportunity,

“I called them. I literally begged to be in the show,” he said. “I asked if I could meet with [the show’s creator] Chris Storer and basically communicated that I was such a fan of so much of his work, but especially ‘The Bear.’”


Emil Flemmon

Èmil Flemmon is the Managing Editor for the 360 Baseline Movement. The Atlanta-based editor, red carpet interviewer, writer, and photographer, has had a career spanning over a decade in the editorial industry. His work has been featured in Kontrol Magazine, The Atlanta Voice, Blavity, Aspire TV, REVOLT, The Jasmine Brand, and Where Y'at Magazine in New Orleans. His mission is to help journalists and publicists have better connectivity and relationships exclusively through the movement.

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