Jollof Hackathon, DC: July 2nd, 2017.

Let’s face it. Nigerians can’t cook Jollof!

A typical statement you are likely to hear from a Ghanaian or Cameroonian, and it will definitely get you roasted. Especially after the diplomatic fiasco when CNN Anchor asked which country makes the best jollof rice, the Nigerian Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Muhammed said [Video] “I want to say probably Senegal”

At I/O Spaces, we believe we can get to the bottom of this International Culinary Debate using technology. So in collaboration with Afropolitan Insights, we want to find which country cooks the best Jollof during a Live Jollof Hackathon at the Jollof Festival, DC July 2nd in Dupont Circle.

Among the judges is Chef Francis Otoo, Gigi Ness Founder & CEO of African Cuisine Inc and Maame Boakye, Cofounder of Dine Diaspora: a DC-based culinary events and lifestyle company.

Submit your Best Jollof Chef nomination and get your tickets now!

What is a Jollof Hackathon?

The Jollof Hackathon will bring together best-nominated chefs and cooks in a live cooking competition over a 90-minute prep and cook time. (The Hackathon) is a great way to promote Jollof cuisine from your town, city or country of origin.

This year we are hacking/cooking the best Jollof Rice in the DC area.


This event is for the best diaspora chefs, cooks, who want to defend their countries Jollof Reputation.

The Jollof Festival, DC

Kick back and experience an amazing #JollofFestival, with food, drinks, music, and good times in beautiful company. Help us determine who makes the best Jollof dish in DC! Your vote will determine the winner of the Jollof Wars! Learn more.


First Stage (Nominations)

Submit your nominee’s information alongside their country.

Second Stage (Public Voting)

After the nominations close, we will announce the list and will start a public vote on who they want to see represent their country. Only the top two of each country will be selected.

Third Stage (Judge Decides)

The finalists will bring their already cooked dishes, present the best jollof rice dish their country of origin has to offer for judges to vote for during the event. Share and follow the fun and experience online with the hashtag #JollofFestival.

Finalists will be judged on presentation, taste, and originality by the judges.

  • June 10th -Nominations Opens
  • June 27th – Deadline to submit nominations & Public voting starts
  • June 29th -Public voting deadline & Finalists Announced
  • July 2nd -Jollof Festival DC where the finalists will present their dishes during the Jollof Hackathon Live!


CHEF OTOORenowned Ghanaian chef
Francis Otoo over the last two decades has spent the his time on advancing his culinary skills. His expertise have seen him cook and serve in embassies around the world with former Presidents Bill Clinton and Jerry John Rawlings of the USA and Ghana respectively, and other prominent persons like Archbishop Desmond Tutu of South Africa being part of the many he has cooked for.
GIGI NESSFounder & CEO of of African Cuisine Inc
A prominent food enthusiast and critic with a tenured palette for African, Caribbean and Afro inspired dishes manages an organization born out of the love for food that is proudly known to all its followers as African Cuisine Inc. or for short ACI.
African Cuisine Inc. is a non-profit organization serving communities near and far with the aspiration of empowering locals by supporting small businesses, healthcare clinics, and early childhood education.
TAMBRA RAYEChief Meal Healer & Food Hunter of NATIVSOL
Eating is not a destination to fullness.
It’s a journey to wholeness like home.
At some point we all must #comebackhome.
Before we do learn, grow and love the journey. That’s the essence of NATIVSOL.
We are happy to support so many of you over the years from local to global. We look forward to continuing the journey back home to love, peace and healing one meal at a time. 
MAAME BOAKYECo-founder, Director of Event Production & Talent Management.
Maame brings her expertise in talent management, event production, and new business development to Dine Diaspora. She specializes in the production and content creation for events that foster connections between government leaders, corporate institutions, young leaders, and entrepreneurs within diaspora communities. Maame is also the co-founder of Re-Connect Gh and served as a producer for WIE Africa 2014, a symposium produced by the WIE Network. She brings her passion for creating impactful events that bring change agents together to Dine Diaspora.
ANDREA COLEMANJollof Enthusiast.
She is a lover of food, the arts and culture. Over the past 4 years she has attended The Embassy Chef Challenge held in Washington DC. She frequently enjoys Fried Plantain (Nigeria, Tanzania, Tataley & Kelewele in Ghana); Rice and Peas (Waakye in Ghana’s Rice and Black-Eyed Peas); Cornmeal Porridge (Kooko in Ghana); Boiled Green Banana (Ghana & Tanzania); Fried Dumpling (Bofrot in Ghana); Jerk Chicken (Grilled Chicken in Togo) and Manish Water (Nigerian and Liberian Pepper Soup). Over the years Andrea has sampled Jollof rice from multiple West African countries.


  • Trophy & Bragging Rights
  • $1000 in coworking services from I/O Spaces
  • Sponsored Prizes
  • *Chef Offered Position at Jollof Caviar, an upscale African Fusion Restaurant Opening in DC 2019


  1. You can bring already cooked dishes.
  2. You will share what ingredients you used.
  3. You will bring the already prepared dish to the hackathon presentation.
  4. Only voted finalists can participate. No replacements or substitutions.
  5. The finalists will get to attend Jollof Festival for free.

Want to learn more about sponsorship at Jollof Hackathon 2017? Email us!

Submit your Best Jollof Chef Nomination and get your tickets now!