Chefs and Facilitators’ Profile
From the four walls of her mothers kitchen, Tiyan Alile’s chef life embarked on a culinary journey and many culinary experiments, she went on to set up Tea Time Cakes in 1993 selling cupcakes in Secondary School, she later on set up Tees Hot Bites, a flaming Barbecue Grill at the Ibadan Golf Club with a super hit secret barbecue sauce recipe, She moved on to Matchsticks which is a concept that made Nigerian food in a refined modernist fusion style. Her epicurious mind would later lead her to hone her own skills and become an exclusive dining chef for several dinner clubs as well as her dinner club -Tarragon, named after her favorite herb which is morphing into a modernist fusion style restaurant and would be open for business before the end of 2015.
As founder and promoter of Culinary Academy, Tiyan Alile’s objective is to change and improve the standard of Culinary Arts Education and Culinary awareness globally. With corporate law consultancy background, her managerial experience is brought to the forefront of achieving her set objectives. Armed with the slogan “Where Great Minds Create Great Food” Tiyan Alile believes she is capable of teaching anyone to create great food. She works with the principle that we create with our minds and interpret with our hands so she taps into the residual creativity in everyone’s mind and translates it to great food in the kitchen.
She made the decision to to seal her identity as a chef and garner more experience so she attended the prestigious school Academie D’ Cuisine in the United States to obtain a ProCertification in Advanced Culinary Arts and then founded her own Culinary school- Culinary Academy, a pedestal from where she is changing the palate and food lifestyle of many. At the Culinary Academy she teaches Diploma Students in Culinary and Pastry Arts and from a lifestyle perspective she teaches themed recreational cooking classes; engaging food enthusiasts and epicureans on a tasteful culinary journey.
She is the current President of The Culinary Arts Practitioners Association in Nigeria.
Gbubemi Fregene, also known as “Chef Fregz” was born in the south-western Nigerian city of Abeokuta.
Fregene left Nigeria in early 2010 to study for a Diploma in Cuisine at Le Cordon Bleu Culinary Institute in Paris, France. A school that has, in the past, churned out worldwide cuisine’s finest in the world; including Gaston Acurio, Mario Batali, Simone Beck and David Burtka. At the institute, he learned classical French cooking techniques while also absorbing cultural influences from around the world.
On completion of his diploma at Le Cordon Bleu, he worked as an intern at the Prestigious Market Restaurant, Paris, between November 2010 and February 2011. Fregene became the only one of that batch of interns who was retained and employed by the restaurant after the internship period.
On his return to Nigeria, the “Chef Fregz” brand was birthed out of a need for the young chef to communicate and connect with the upwardly mobile crowd which he has serviced hitherto.
Chef Fregz™ Special at Cafe Licious steadily gained momentum and a cult following and grew and moved to GET Arena in Oniru. He also became the chief columnist for Bellanaija Cuisine and this has created a rapidly growing online presence via Bellanaija, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. Chef Fregz also serves as one of the resident judges on the hit TV show Knorr Taste Quest.
As a private chef, he has catered for several events; from breakfast meetings to offshore dinners, from middle class to top class, people and is gaining a rapidly growing reputation in this industry as a young chef who has something new and different to offer.
As a Chef, Fregene’s passion is to merge creativity that is fresh and unbridled with elements of the budding youth culture and the world-class training he received at Le Cordon Bleu. This enables him to make every meal a truly unique culinary experience.
Chef Fregz has a few strong names under his belt so far. These include Leadway Assurance, Hercules Offshore, Eventful Ltd, Polo Store, Puma, Hugo Boss, D.O II Designs, The US Consulate, and The Italian Consulate.
Chef Fregz is a Knorr chef who believes that in order to create great tasty meals you need a lot of love and passion.
Imoteda is a Le Cordon Bleu trained chef who has long shared her passion for cooking with family and friends before deciding to share it with the world. She’s the Head Chef at “Heels in the Kitchen” a food service company dedicated to creating unforgettable culinary experiences with a focus on quality ingredients accessible locally.
When she’s not in the kitchen where she practically lives she can be found curled up in bed online shopping for clothes, accessories and most importantly SHOES.
Her belief is that good food shouldn’t be difficult to make. In fact cooking should be so easy that you can do it in your “Sunday Best”.
She enjoys creating family style meals and is the quintessential carnivore. Steak is her everlasting bae.
And yes she does cook in heels.
Adeniyi (Niyi) Williams born in Lagos, Nigeria is half American and half Nigerian. Brought up in Lagos under the watchful guise of his parents, but managed to find his way into the kitchen with his Grandmother (Oye Williams). From the banging of pots, stirring of stews, slicing of vegetables and the bubbling aromas of the kitchen, he was hooked from day one.
During his formative years Niyi Williams became competitive sportsman while attending Millfield School in the UK, and taking up fencing, he eventually became a National Champion. Attending both Pennsylvania State University, USA and Brunel University, UK Niyi continued his passion of cooking and was involved in keeping his fellow students well fed on the weekends. Using a University kitchen his most memorable meal was cooking a Thanksgiving meal for 30 people and eventually feeding 40 people he retired to the pub for a good old fashioned pint.
Niyi moved back to Nigeria in May 2008 and started his work life as a Turbine Engineer and quickly transitioned to become a fast paced downstream petroleum products trader. However Niyi thought something is still missing in his life, he continued to practice his cooking techniques and experiment with his Nigerian flavour roots combined with restaurant tastes around the World. In 2015 Niyi officially launched Foodies United with Babatunde Jeje, a supper club “hell bent” on giving Lagosians with an acumen for nice food an experience worth relieving your Saturday of. You can also find Niyi Williams hanging out at the Culinary Academy on Raymond Njoku, founded by Tiyan Alile as a regular guest Instructor or just helping out his fellow chef instructors show us how to cook.
Uzo Orimalade has a background in Law and Business and spent over a decade working in Corporate America and Nigeria in the management consulting and investment banking sectors. She switched careers to pursue her passion for baking, cooking and home entertaining with the creation of her companies: Cupcake Couture Lagos (which provides retail and corporate clients with premium baked goods), Uzo’s Food Labs (which provides consulting services to the food, beverage & hospitality industry, cooking classes and demos to individuals and corporates, food writing and other associated services) and The Garden From Uzo’s Food Labs (an organic garden that sells organic cut produce and seedlings).
In addition to her degrees in Law and an MBA, she holds an Advanced Diploma in International Hospitality and Tourism from the Institute of Hospitality in the UK and has attended a number of food related courses from institutions in the United States. She is very passionate about the concept of “From garden to table Nigeria” and is an avid gardener experimenting with growing a wide variety of vegetables and creating recipes from her harvests.
Some highlights of her career in Food include:
• Host of Friday Food segment on EbonyLife TV’s The Spot for 6 seasons
• 18 episode season of YouTube channel powered by Google Nigeria
• Monthly contributor to Cuisine section of www.bellanaija.com – a leading lifestyle website
• Weekly contributor to Food & Home section of www.konga.com/blog
• Weekly contributor to Food Nation segment on www.theglowingcolors.com website.
• Kitchen demonstrator at Google House Nigeria: the first interactive house powered by Google in Africa in 2014
• Live cooking demonstration at Taste Off Lagos food event in 2014. – Including article in menu magazine on “Food Shortcuts”
• Uzo’s Food Labs YouTube episodes aired on SpiceTV
• Interview segment with Chef Eros on Access Bank’s online channel Accelerate themed ‘Love for the Burner’
• Feature on Bella Naija ‘Making It’series: From Finance to Kitchen Aficianado
• Full episodes on EbonyLife Tv’s Chefrican cooking show – 2015 and 2016 seasons
• Profile in Wings – The in flight magazine for Arik Air – September, 2015
• Competitor and winner of Chef Cook-Off at maiden edition of Fiesta of Flavours food festival – December 2015
• Food demonstration at Fit with Google event – December 2015
• Judge on 3 Crowns Milk Cook Like Mine competition – December 2015
• Pilot partner with Viber Africa – Launch of Uzo’s Food Labs Viber channel as part of company’s entry strategy in to Africa
• One of the headline chefs at the first GTBank Food & Drink Fair – 2016
YouTube Channel: www.youtube.com/uzosfoodlabs