Welcome to May. May it be all you wished for and more. This month, we celebrate the leading Nigerian Chefs of our time. The ones that have made history, the ones that are reinventing Nigerian Food and putting it on the map.
Our first Chef is Gbubemi Fregene. Bubbly, lovable and full of life, Gbubemi is the Head Chef at Chef Fregz, a premium private catering service. A rare breed of excellence and humility, Gbubemi is from Warri, an Itsekiri man to be precise.
Gbubemi is the self-acclaimed personification of delicious Jollof rice. He is a graduate of Industrial Relations and Human Resource Management from Covenant University. He holds a Diploma in Cuisine from the prestigious Le Cordon Bleu Culinary Institute, France.
As young as 16 years old, he knew that he was going to be a Chef. His mother advised him to be an educated Chef in a bid to discourage him from what she thought was a phase, but that only fueled his drive to achieve. Whilst at Covenant University, he interned at Oakwood Park and Protea Hotel in 2004 then continued at Oleander Lodge in 2007.
After attaining his certificate at Covenant University, Gbubemi began his journey into the business of cooking with Mai Suya. Making irresistible Suya and finger foods. With a lot of convincing and the support of his family, he went to France to study. When Gbubemi graduated, he interned and was retained to work at Jean-Georges Vongerichen restaurant where he was groomed by Jerome Toumlin.
Upon returning from France and receiving many rejections from luxury hotels in Nigeria, he evolved his finger food business into a catering service called DVARD. Today, this has evolved into Chef Fregz.
He is passionate about cooking and inspired by people. He also launched his summer style cookouts called Chef Fregz Special. Arguably, Gbubemi is one of the genius minds that reinvented Nigerian food with his creativity. Taking ordinary everyday meals and upgrading them into gourmet cuisine. This skill has led him to work with major brands such as Knorr, Samsung, Kenwood, and Glenfiddich amongst others as well as catering to billionaires.
Never lost for words of encouragement, Gbubemi has been a source of inspiration. You will always find words of hope and motivation on his Instagram page.
This is why we love Gbubemi Fregene.