Nigerian native, Chef Lola is most known for her YouTube videos in which she shares her recipes with many all over the world. We wanted to dig deep into the chef to find out just who the mastermind is and what it was exactly she loved so much about this passion of hers. Tune in as Chef Lola discusses her love for food, her mother’s impact on her, and what you can expect to see from her in the future.
Tell us a little about yourself. When did your love for food begin?
Everyone knows me to be Lola but my full name the Nigerian name which is Oluwafunmilola, it means God has given me wealth and my last name is Osinkolu. I grew up in Nigeria before I moved here to the states. I moved here about 10 years ago.
My love for food began when I was a kid. I can’t really say the exact age, I actually asked my parents and they had no answer (laughs). I remember when I was eight-years-old, I was given a responsibility a whole lot of guests, about 50 people. I was able to do that successfully. For me to have been able to do that at just eight, that means I would’ve started cooking way earlier.
I studied geology and mining in Nigeria but I never practiced (laughs) I went straight into the cooking business.
What inspired you to share your recipes with the world and create your channel?
Before I talk about my inspiration, I want to talk about my mom. She is the one who I copied cooking when I was a kid. She is a solid rock behind all of the cooking that I’m doing now. I owe that to her. She is late now but I cannot forget the impact she made in my life and in my cooking.
My inspiration came from my husband. When I moved to the states, we used to have get-togethers at my house every weekend. I cooked for everyone every weekend and they were all so happy. They always talked about the food. My husband discovered this talent and asked me if I wanted to start a YouTube channel. I knew YouTube but I did not even know where to start. He encouraged me. He actually wanted me to start a restaurant but I thought it was going to be too demanding of me being a mother of three. I chose YouTube and it has been very good to me.
What is your all-time favorite thing to make or eat?
Yes, I do! We call it the Nigerian stew. This stew is very versatile; you can use it to cook almost everything. I cook this stew, like every time (laughs). You can rarely come to my house and not find this stew. You will always find the stew or the ingredients to make this stew at my house (laughs).
What is it about cooking that you love so much?
Well, I love the fact that you can go inside your kitchen and create your own recipe. I look at cooking as if it’s an art. Sometimes when I see a recipe that I like, I g into my kitchen and develop my own way of cooking it. By the time I serve it to my family and friends, the joy and appreciation really just melts my heart. Those are just a few of the things that make me love cooking so much.
Do you find anything that you struggle with in creating your craft?
Coming from my Nigerian background, when I came to the states I discovered that the only problem I have is with people watching my videos from other countries have problems with the way we measure our things here in the states. Often times, they find it hard to recreate the recipes because of the measurements. I’ve gone the extra mile to get a table for them on my website but I do struggle to get it right. I try to find a balance between that because there is no point in making a recipe where people cannot recreate it. I am struggling with that because, in Nigeria, we measure our things totally different. I’m still trying to find my balance and encourage my followers to get the standard measuring cups that we use here.
What else can we expect to see from Chef Lola in the future?
Wow, this is kind of the toughest question for me (laughs). I want the world to know about the beauty of African cuisine. Just like we know about Chinese cuisine everywhere, I want the world to know more about our ingredients, what makes our food special, and things like that. I’m working hard and I’m not the only one in this space that is doing that. We have many other Nigerian bloggers that may struggle to get our culture and food out there for people to see and appreciate. I believe in the next couple of years, Nigerian food and African food, in general, will be more appreciated so I am really working hard on that to push out the word and recipe so that people know.
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