Chef’s Palette With Chef Eros
An inventor of magnificent gourmet food, founder of Cookie Jar, Eros and Gourmet which is a culinary service company; Tolu Eros popularly known as Chef Eros is the king of the kitchen. He infuses the finest ingredients sourced locally and around the world and creates exotic meals.
We had an interesting meeting with the celebrity chef to discuss food, business and his life as a top chef.
What inspired you to be a chef?
The love for good food. Being a chef wasn’t something I chose, it chose me. I was one of those kids who had their heads in their books but when I went to university, I found the love for food. I worked at a restaurant abroad and when I relocated to Nigeria I bought my first restaurant at the age of 21. I didn’t choose the title “Chef” people called me that because I create my dishes and also life inspired me.
Do you prefer working on your own or with a team, and why?
I do not like cooking on my own; I am a passionate chef but not a passionate cook. I love to create culinary experiences and recipes. I try them out for the first time and also train people on how to make them. I am not an average chef who repeats recipes; I prefer to work with a team.
How would you describe your personality?
I am fun loving, eccentric, focused, original and responsible. A lot of people think I am snobbish and too serious, but that depends on what I am doing at that moment but I am a lot of fun when I am partying.
Outside of work, what do you enjoy doing?
I enjoy watching T.V shows, traveling, eating and relaxing.
What motivates you?
The reaction I get from people every time they taste something that I have created is the key motivator to try something new. Also people around me that are dependent on me motivate me to want to do more. The fact that I started this business with 1 person and today we are hiring 47 people motivates me to do more because we are touching more lives as we go along and we take very good care of our people.
What is your 30 minutes recipe?
I have a sweet tooth but my 30 minutes recipe will be blue berry pancakes.
What goal do you want to achieve as a chef?
I want to be the founder of the largest bakery chain out of Africa. A lot of people do not know that I am a business man and I want to be a pioneer in the industry in terms of manufacturing of gourmet food items off the shelf such as ready meals, cookies, biscuits, chocolates, sauces and more. There is a lot of things I have been working on and I am gradually introducing them the market.
What are the ultimate three ingredients you cannot cook without?
I find it hard to cook without peppers, sweeteners, especially natural sweeteners, and also butter.
What influences your cuisine?
The ingredients I have access to; I always look for alternatives for ingredients that are not available. Also, if I cater to a group of people today, you will find out that I will select the items that they love most for my next cuisine.
Are you married? And when you get married who will doing the cooking?
No, I am not and either my wife or the cook will do it. I will only cook when I am creating recipes or trying to do something special for my wife, I want to go home and put my legs up and not be asked to go back into the kitchen.
The hospitality industry is saturated, how you stand out among your peers?
I am Chef Eros, I simply just stand out. I have my own signature look to every single thing that I do. I stand out by the fact that I am one of the only chefs who combine both cuisine and dessert; I do both excellently well. My presentation skills are pretty strong and also my business skills. Business wise it could be said that I am probably the most successful of all chefs in Nigeria. I studied international business management as a degree and I have pursued that in the food industry. Cookie Jar is an international brand.
Any advice to the youths that have passion for food and cooking?
Yes, definitely cook what you love to cook and eat. Stay original and stay true to yourself. Forget about what the next chef is doing and just do you. Do you the best that you can