Owner and chef, Dept. of Culture
Jul 6, 2023
Why we’re fascinated: Because there are very few people in the world we would want narrating a two-hour meal for us. But Balogun, the chef and affable host at this acclaimed Nigerian restaurant in Bed-Stuy, is definitely one of them. Because as good as the food is at Dept. of Culture — the place was just nominated for a James Beard Award for being among the best in the city — it’s Balogun’s stories that precede each course, whether about his family, his childhood in the Nigerian state of Kwara, or the many different cuisines of his native country, that make this such an unforgettable night out.
— Scott Lynch