The food industry in Nigeria is one of the most important ones, because as people we need sustenance, and as a people, we love to eat! The art of making good food must be commended, and the industry is teeming with lots of fresh new talent that should be watched.
The HQ attended a dinner party, hosted by Yimika Awolowo, the Founder and Head Chef at Eden. We had a chat with her as she prepared the sumptuous meals, and she gave us some insight into her budding business.
Tell us how Eden came about
Eden started while I was in boarding school, and I realised my time was better spent in the kitchen than it was attempting to understand maths in class. I would skip school meals to stay back in my house to cook and bake for my friends. Not after too long, what I thought was just a hobby, turned out to be my passion. I found that every chance I got, I would experiment with food. After studying business management at university, I was given the opportunity to study Patisserie at my dream school, Le Cordon Bleu. There I met like minded people whose energy I fed off and here I am today.
What is your favourite part of cooking?
For me, it’s the sharing. Food is my special way of taking care of my friends and family. It has a boundless quality, where you can express your creativity. I also love the discipline, as a perfectionist, I take comfort in the fact that food is a science, especially in patisserie. If you follow the steps and respect the ingredients, your results will always be the same.
Where do you intend to take Eden in the future?
Right now, I have just moved back to Lagos full time, and I’m currently working part time in the Eko Hotel pastry department. In the future, my vision of Eden is for it to become an upscale patisserie, where people can come to eat in a relaxed environment with their families. Ultimately, I would love to start up a culinary school where I can teach, using locally grown food so that we can improve not only Nigerian cuisine, but revitalise our pastry. As a country we love to eat and Nigerians have very refined palettes. I would love to see that represented internationally along with other world cuisines. My ultimate goal would also be to bring michelin to Lagos with the first ever michelin starred restaurant in Nigeria.
We’re super excited to see what Yimika does with Eden, and after tasting the food, we definitely recommend that you keep tabs on her! Check out her blog Eden Beginnings to get updates!