London-born chef and entrepreneur, Tokunbo Koiki attributes her visceral love for Nigerian food with the formative first decade of her life, which she spent in Lagos.
She eventually moved back to London and began cooking when she was only 12 years old – starting off with fried eggs and plantain and later moving on to tougher dishes like pounded yam and okra stew (which is now one of her signature dishes).
After many years of cooking for family members and close friends, Tokunbo finally decided to turn her passion into a business by launching Tee’s Food Corner, a pop-up Nigerian street food stall in London.
Then two years ago, she launched Tokunbo’s Kitchen, which is a private chef and supper club service that allows people from different cultures to experience and enjoy authentic Nigerian food – because we all know it's the best.
Speaking with Okay Africa about what inspired her to start her business, Tokunbo said:
"There are about 1 million Nigerians in London alone, but if you ask the average Londoner about Nigerian food, they don’t even know what it is. I didn’t want to just open a restaurant for Nigerians and other Africans.
I want to introduce Nigerian food on a gradual basis to a global audience. Whether it’s London or Barcelona, I can travel the world introducing people to the colorful flavors of Nigerian food."
Since the launch of Tokunbo’s Kitchen, Tokunbo has managed to feed over 5000 people – having successfully operated at different street food festivals, pop-ups and chef residencies – and she is just getting started.