Nkonye Mwalilu, a first-generation American-born Nigerian, has lived on three continents and nurtured her knowledge of cooking and her love for consuming Nigerian food, through her relationship with her aunt and her parents.
Nkonye, a Fort Wayne-resident since 2013, saw an opportunity in the city to create more diverse dining experiences and cuisine types. Over the course of two years, she hosted private dining events in her home, each centered on a selection of African food, from Jamaica to Nigeria.
She’s now expanded that private-dining idea by partnering with Joseph Decuis, Indiana’s acclaimed farm-to-table restaurant, and the Nigerian Association of Fort Wayne for a charitable event celebrating Nigerian cuisine prepared with stock from Joseph Decuis’ Wagyu Farm. The event will take place at 6 P.M. on October 4, 2018, at the Joseph Decuis restaurant, 191 North Main Street, Roanoke, IN 46783. To book your spot, if not too late, call 260.672.1715.
The $65 ticket covers the meal, one drink, and gratuity; part of the proceeds from the event will be donated to the nonprofit organization Nigerian Association of Fort Wayne (NAFW).
The event is a result of Nkonye’s passion for African cuisine and the Eshelmans’ belief in culinary diplomacy. The event will feature high quality foods prepared by Joseph Decuis chefs with Nkonye’s recipes.
Founded in 2004, the mission of the NAFW is to promote programs that reflect the aspirations of the Nigerian people with the hope of drawing Fort Wayne-Nigerians closer to their heritage. They offer educational tuition assistance programs for youth, cultural showcase celebrations in the local community, and a social and financial support system for member families in need.
Nkonye said she is thrilled by the opportunity to invite others to indulge in one of the most tangible (and edible!) facets of Nigerian culture: FOOD. She sees her partnership dining event of African fusion through Nigerian cuisine with Joseph Decuis as a wonderful start, and looks forward to sharing more of her love of different world perspectives through her lens of food and culture.
Two days later, the NAFW will host their own night of culture and food, to celebrate the 58th Independence Day of Nigeria, on October 6, 2018, 5:30 P.M. to 10 P.M. at The Summit, 1025 West Rudisill Blvd., Fort Wayne, IN 46807. The price per ticket is $10; children and students with an ID can eat for free. The celebration is sponsored by individual donors and corporate partners Parkview Health, UniqueHab Solutions, and Pace Medical Staffing. For questions, email Nkonye at firstname.lastname@example.org or Ann at email@example.com.