It’s a fraught time in pre-election Nigeria, and with tensions running high, and what feels like a disaster every other day – it’s more important than ever for individuals to support causes that can make actual change no matter how small, and the Chef’s Relief Dinner – is one of such efforts, spearheaded by Chef Michael Elegbede who was motivated to do something positive about the horrific events of the Otedola Bridge Fire.“Everyone wants to do something, but not everybody has the time to do anything tangible,” says Latasha Ngwube one of the organising committee members “The dinner is the sort of a place for people that want to have a good time but they can spend their money with the knowledge that it’s going to a good cause.”
About the Event
Tomorrow, the Chef Relief Dinner will hold at 788 On The Sea on the 28th July 2018. The special evening will feature 9 of Nigeria’s most talented chefs creating a special nine course dinner, with all proceeds going to victims of the Otedola Bridge Fire. Led by Chef Michael Elegbede who conceived the idea of the Chef Relief Dinner, the talented crew represent a new idea of citizenship – using one’s skills, abilities, and network to create change, bring hope and inspire others to do the same. We felt it only right to give you a brief glimpse to the individuals behind what promises to be an unforgettable night.
Meet The Chefs
Michael Elégbèdé is a Nigerian Chef and Food Advocate. A graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, Napa Valley, Elégbèdé has cooked in some of the world’s most prestigious kitchens, including the 3 Michelin Starred 11 Madison Park before returning to Nigeria where he continues to research and codify Nigerian cuisine with a thriving test-kitchen, consultancy and food advocacy and ambassadorial roles. Michael will be opening his restaurant, which will serve contemporary Nigerian cuisine in 2019.
Chef Alex Oke trained in Culinary and Pastry Arts at the Pacific Institute of Culinary Arts (PICA) in Vancouver, Canada. He is currently chef owner at XO Boutique Bakery on Victoria Island in Lagos. XO features traditional French and new world breads, viennoiserie, and pastries with a modern flair and in a short space of time has gained a reputation as a centre of excellence for pastry arts. He has given master-class demonstrations at prominent food festivals in Lagos, and is a contributor to BellaNaija Cuisine and Smooth 98.1FM.
Chef Benedict Okuzo, was raised in Florence, Italy. His professional culinary journey began in 2013 when he commenced studies at Le Cordon Bleu Firenze (Scuola d’arte Culinaria Italiana). He moved to Lagos in November 2015 with the aim to introduce Nigeria to authentic Italian cuisine and his supperclubs quickly gained a cult following amongst food enthusiasts. Benedict remains true to this ethos whilst cooking consciously and using local and seasonal produce and sharing his knowledge and expertise of Italian cuisine with others within the wider food industry.
Atim Ukoh is the Creative Director of Afrolems, an African Food Blog and Culinary Services Company. A graduate of the University of Toronto in Digital Enterprise Management, she received a Masters in Social Entrepreneurship at Hult International Business School in San Francisco. She has successfully managed the food blog and company for over 9 years and received recognition from media outlets including CNN, Buzz Feed, Ventures Africa and Punch to name a few. She was also on the Nigerian episode of the Parts Unknown program on CNN hosted by the late culinary legend Anthony Bourdain.
Ozoz Sokoh, the Kitchen Butterfly is a food explorer and geologist passionate about all aspects of food – cooking, eating, dreaming, writing and photographing recipes and capturing it all on her blog, Kitchen Butterfly, A ‘Traveller by plate’. Best known for her ‘New Nigerian Kitchen‘ philosophy and practice which celebrates and documents all aspects of Nigerian cuisine, she has created the first-ever seasonal produce calendar as well as a guide to tastes and flavours that are specific to Nigeria. Her work has been featured on CNN’s African Voices and the late, great Anthony Bourdain’s Parts Unknown.
Chef Christian Duhalde is the chef-propriertor of La Taverna Lagos, a food destination for lovers of Mediterranean Cuisine which has also expanded to Abuja. An industry veteran with over 20 years experience in kitchens as far afield as Spain, France and Nigeria, he is a holder of a degree from the University of Santiago, Chile and trained at Le Cordon Bleu, Lima. An avid traveler and adventurer his philosophy is one rooted in exploration and cultural exchange, hence his commitment to share the flavours and food culture of the Mediterranean in Africa.
Uzo Umeh is a Lagos based, Los Angeles trained restaurateur with over a decade experience in the food industry. She graduated California State University Long Beach with a degree in Communication Studies. However, her love of the culinary arts resulted in her founding El Padrino in 2017, a mobile restaurant that curates Mexican cuisine using locally sourced ingredients in Lagos. Her innate affability has resulted in El Padrino evolving into both a food destination and a cultural hub bringing a wide array of people together.
Chef Imoteda Aladekomo is a Cordon Bleu trained chef who has long shared her passion for cooking with family and friends. She created her blog Heels In The Kitchen because of her desire to share her food knowledge with others, particularly those who were often too busy to create delicious and varied recipes in their own homes. Her popularity resulted in her blog expanded into her conceptualizing a TV show that has an avid followership. She also runs a successful catering business and home delivery service, and does it all in the aforementioned heels!
Tolu Eros, is a serial food entrepreneur with nearly a decade of experience in the industry. He graduated in International Business Management from the University of Wolverhampton, and embarked on his culinary career immediately, founding La Saison restaurant in 2009. Since then he has founded Cookie Jar Bakery and Eros & Gourmet, and earned himself the moniker in Forbes Magazine ‘The Billionaires Chef ‘. Chef Eros is a brand ambassador for numerous organisations and is passionate about using indigenous ingredients with classical French cooking methods.