It is West African road foodstuff with Dozzy’s Grill at the subsequent Monday Evening Foodball

There would be no jambalaya with out jollof rice, and still Dozzy Ibekwe figures most men and women in Chicago just can’t name just one West African restaurant.

“[West African food has] been all around given that the commencing of time,” he says. “So it is truly not anything that’s foreign. In actuality, it’s been a part of the American journey considering the fact that the beginning of The us as we know it today.”

Here’s a restaurant name to keep in mind: Dozzy’s Grill, a strategy which is been nudging West African cuisine on to the city’s culinary consciousness considering the fact that late 2020—and an expected brick-and-mortar, shortly to ensnare your unquestioning devotion at the up coming Monday Evening Foodball, the Reader’s weekly chef pop-up at Ludlow Liquors.

Ibekwe was born in southeastern Aba, Nigeria, but grew up in the south suburbs like any teen, actively playing Nintendo and absorbing the variety and malleability of the American diet. His mom, a nurse, cooked creatively for 5 kids—for occasion, adapting her Filipino colleagues’ pancit with Nigerian seasonings like dried crayfish for funk and fermented locust bean for umami.

Ribeye suya kabob by Dozzy’s Grill

As Ibekwe came of age, he was seduced absent from a computer system science degree by the hospitality business, to start with bussing at a suburban steakhouse and at some point doing the job as a concierge at the then Allerton Crowne Plaza resort, and later on the Ritz-Carlton adopted by stints as the director of activities and catering at the late, great Bonsoiree and as a manager at Chicago Chop Home, just in advance of the pandemic.

About 16 several years ago, he started investigating the relative shortage of West African dining places in the metropolis. “At each opportunity, when taxis ended up still a matter, I’d request the driver ‘Where do you go for West African food stuff?’”

Turns out most did not. “We mostly cook at property,” he says. “The greater part of our dining establishments provide our community—gathering places—but we haven’t really experienced the inhabitants to convey a broader recognition to the delicacies.”

Ibekwe established out to adjust that, first launching Dozzy’s Grill in a South Loop ghost kitchen, wherever he well balanced tradition with innovation he satisfied western eaters halfway with dishes like the Jorrito, a flour tortilla-wrapped bundle of jollof rice, shredded mozzarella, peri peri mayo, and a decision of protein. This was followed by a 6-thirty day period residency at the Currency Exchange Cafe and a host of catering gigs and pop-ups, all main to this glimpse at the menu of his 1st brick-and-mortar opening in Bronzeville this fall.

Akara and dodo by Dozzy’s Grill

Previously this summer season, I submitted to the irresistible Gospel of Dozzy at this new spot, expressed as a sprawling multicourse lunch that provided stacks of beef, hen, and shrimp suya—the peanut- and pepper-rubbed kabobs that are Nigeria’s quintessential nighttime ingesting food stuff. There were being also mountains of akara and dodo, springy, fried black-eyed pea fritters and plantains dipped in peppery ata dindin sauce and there was a vivid, refreshing “Afrobeet” salad, tossed with citrus and fennel.

Just following Ibekwe tried using to bury us with a platter of thick goat burgers, he despatched us all household with containers packed with jollof rice enriched with goat and chicken braising liquid, a recipe that conquered all at a jollof rice competitors at Boxville.

You can exam your taking in stamina with all of people dishes this July 24 on the sprawling Ludlow Liquors patio, and finish you off with a gold-dusted single origin Ghanaian chocolate cupcake—if you haven’t by now loaded up your tank on Star Lager (the best pairing for your suya).

Ibekwe starts slinging suya—and DJ Mwelwa begins spinning Highlife and Afrobeat—starting at 5 PM this Monday at 2959 N. California. Walk ideal in and position your get.

Meanwhile, the Foodball summertime schedule abides:

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