Honeyland: A new festival celebrating black cuisine, music and culture coming to Sugar Land

With Chef Kavachi Ukegbu sharing an authentic Nigerian recipe

HOUSTON – With a star-studded lineup of culinary experts and performers, it’s the event you can’t miss.

It’s the first-ever festival celebrating black expression and culture through food, spirits, music, and art. From Marcus Samuelsson to Mary J. Blige, Bun B, and Paul Wall, you’ll meet the best of the best at the two-day Honeyland festival.

Including Chef Kavachi Ukegbu, a Nigerian-American food ambassador, ‘The Art of Fufu’ cookbook author, and founder of Grubido. Grubido is a Nigerian slang describing a person who loves to eat. It’s a food-focused website to discuss, educate, and cook international foods.

Chef Kavachi was featured on Hulu’s ‘Taste the Nation’ with Padma Lakshmi, ‘The Houston Cookbook’ with David Cordua, and ‘No Passport Required’ with Chef Marcus Samuelsson.

She uses the ‘Art of Fufu’ to educate the world about West African cuisine through books, events, cultural exchanges, recipe-sharing, and cooking demonstrations. Today on Houston Life, Chef Kavachi shared the ‘Art of Fufu’ and created an authentic Nigerian dish, Safari Spinach and Fried Plaintain. By the way, this dish is served at her mother’s restaurant, Safari Restaurant. Below is the recipe and video of her cooking with Derrick and Tessa.

Safari Spinach Recipe

- 1 cup fresh or frozen spinach leaves

- 1/4 yellow bell pepper, thinly sliced

- 1/4 red onion, thinly sliced

- 1/4 red bell pepper, thinly sliced

- 1/2 habanero pepper,

- 1 tablespoon oil

- Salt and pepper to taste


1. Heat a skillet over medium heat and add the olive oil.

2. Add the thinly sliced red onions and sauté for 2-3 minutes until they begin to soften and become slightly translucent.

3. Add the sliced yellow bell pepper and red bell pepper to the skillet. Sauté for an additional 3-4 minutes until the peppers start to soften and become slightly tender.

4. Stir in the blended habanero pepper for some heat. Adjust the amount according to your spice tolerance.

5. Add the fresh/frozen spinach leaves to the skillet and toss them with the sautéed vegetables. Sauté for about 2 minutes or until the spinach wilts and becomes tender.

6. Season the mixture with salt and pepper to taste. Be cautious with the salt as the habanero pepper can already add some spiciness.

7. Once everything is well combined and the spinach is wilted, remove the skillet from heat.

Fried Plantain Recipe

- 1 ripe plantain

- 1-2 tablespoons vegetable oil

- A pinch of salt (to taste)


1. Start by selecting a ripe plantain. It should be yellow with a few black spots, indicating ripeness.

2. Peel the plantain by cutting off the ends and making a shallow slit along the length of the skin. Then, use your fingers to gently peel the skin away.

3. Slice the plantain into rounds, about 1/2 inch (1.25 cm) thick. You can slice them diagonally or straight, depending on your preference.

4. Heat the vegetable oil in a frying pan over medium heat. You’ll want enough oil to coat the bottom of the pan.

5. Once the oil is hot, carefully add the plantain slices to the pan. Make sure not to overcrowd the pan; you may need to fry them in batches.

6. Fry the plantains for about 2-3 minutes on each side or until they are golden brown. Use a spatula to flip them over.

7. Remove the fried plantains from the pan and place them on a plate lined with paper towels to drain excess oil.

8. While the plantains are still hot, sprinkle a pinch of salt over them. Be careful not to use too much salt; you can always add more later to taste.

9. Serve your fried plantains as a delicious and savory snack or side dish. Enjoy!

You can see Chef Kavachi and other celebrity chefs on November 11 and 12, where you can enjoy the beats, eats, or sips at the Crown Festival Park in Sugar Land. Passes start at $95.

For the full schedule, tickets, and event information, click here.

Get to know Chef Kavachi Ukegbu, and find out what to expect at Honeyland in the video above.

About the Author:

Houston Life Associate Producer. Petite powerhouse with a love for TV, especially sci-fi and drama. Proud aunt to two nieces and one nephew. Favorite quote: “Not all those who wander are lost.” Embracing life’s adventures, one episode at a time.