MCZ’s Exclusive Chat and Interview with Chef Stone.

The interview you are about to read was an exclusive chat and interview with celebrity chef Abiola Akanji popularly known as Chef Stone; the founder  of Red dish culinary school in Lagos and Abuja Nigeria.  He spoke with MCZ Food Media critically and intensively about

his chef life, and he did shed more light on the 30 Iftar meal ideas that he just concluded, his new show “Keeping up with the chef”,  the food industry in Nigeria and many more.
MycookeryZone Mcz:

Good morning and thanks for joining MCZ Food Media.

Abiola Akanji:

Good Morning.

Thank you for having me
MycookeryZone Mcz:

We want to congratulate you on the successful conclusion of the 30 Iftar meal ideas.

Abiola Akanji:

Thank you very much, I’m glad it reached out to as many people as possible

MycookeryZone Mcz:

It is very obvious that you are passionate in making lovely cuisines, what inspired you to start cooking or to go to a chef school?

Abiola Akanji:

For me, cooking was something I grew up watching my mother do with so much love

Different dishes

She baked too

It was the complete package and I decided Yes! I have to dabble in this art some day

So here I am.

MycookeryZone Mcz:

So where did the name “Stone” come from?

Abiola Akanji:

Oh when I was in the University, all my friends used to say I act like i dont have feelings…and then came the name ‘stone’
MycookeryZone Mcz:

Sounds weird but COOL

You were one of the chef’s that performed of the chef’s that performed at the GTBank Food Drink Fair 2017, how was the experience like?

Abiola Akanji:

Yes I was

It was surreal

My mother came out to watch me

Everybody came out to watch me, I attended some of the other chef master classes

It was a great experience for me.

There was a lot of Good, Good people and an over all nice ambience.
MycookeryZone Mcz:

Nice……

What do you call your own style of preparing food?
Abiola Akanji:

Good food *

I like to call it Fast paced fine dining.
MycookeryZone Mcz

Hold on chef Stone you know it’s a good thing to prepare delicious delicacies.
Abiola Akanji:

Yes of course it is.
MycookeryZone Mcz:

And it’s another nice thing to name every dish, have always wondered how chefs come about naming dishes , what inspired this name?

Abiola Akanji:

What inspired ‘fast paced fine dining’ ?

MycookeryZone Mcz:

Yes.
Abiola Akanji:

Basically there’s not a lot to that

I don’t like the idea of meals taking so long to make especially our home grown meals

I like a recipe that’s easy and quick to make

It doesn’t necessarily have to be noodles seeing as a lot of people think that’s the only meal that’s quick to prepare.

It can be quick and simultaneously be fine dining also.

MycookeryZone Mcz:

Loool

Go on.
Abiola Akanji:

That’s it in a nutshell

My style of preparing food is called fast paced fine dining because I like quick meals and fine dining at the same time.
MycookeryZone Mcz:

Okay

Of cause MCZ Food Media tracked you throughout the ’30 Iftar meal ideas ‘ that recently concluded. What was the inspiration behind the ’30 Iftar meal ideas’ ?
Abiola Akanji:

The inspiration behind the 30 first meals was simply the month of Ramadan

I know how hectic it can be having to fast, go to work and then prepare the meal for breaking fast at the end of the day. The racking your brain on what to make everyday can also be a drag So I decided to make things easier for everyone who might be fasting out there and confused about what to make everyday

You know what I’m talking about

The time you spend making decisions about what to cook everyday that isn’t similar to what you had the day before

That’s a lot of work for the brain

So allow chef stone to make things easier for you.
MycookeryZone Mcz:

According to you, ” 💯 percent of donations from our proud supporters will go to charity” . with all sincerity at this time of recession, how did your sponsors respond / react when you called on them for the sponsorship?.
Abiola Akanji:

Lol

Normally I do a lot of give aways on my Snapchat

Social media in general

So the sponsorship wasn’t a big deal to people because there was also no stipulated amount of money It was for charity and it could be any amount of money you can afford to give out

Nothing is ever too small for charity

So recession or no recession, , people have good heart

Most of the time.

MycookeryZone Mcz:

Diving into your newly launched cooking show “Keeping up with the chef” what is it all about?.
Abiola Akanji:

It’s an exciting new show

Every episode we have a new guest who cooks along with chef stone by just listening to the directions as instructed by Chef Stone

The rule is to not peek and also make sure you follow the instructions well enough to produce the exact same thing I produce

I too will go through the whole process

Cooking, plating, execution, everything.

Fast paced fine dining of course.
MycookeryZone Mcz:

What categories or set of people do we expect to see on your cooking show?.
Abiola Akanji:

A lot of amateur cooks, that’s for sure

No experts Just people with little to no culinary skills

And just maybe I can make great chef out of you in an episode of being a guest on the show.
MycookeryZone Mcz:

Hmmm that’s gonna be nice….

From your own point of view, how do you see the food industry in Nigeria?
Abiola Akanji:

I think it’s interesting right now

Compared to what it used to be a few years ago

Now we have more people trying out new things other than what they’re accustomed to Pushing the boundaries in the Culinary world

Be it in the continental recipes, African recipes Even merging different recipes from different cultures together

We are beginning to appreciate fine dining and I’m here loving every minute of it.
MycookeryZone Mcz:

How do you see the food industry in Africa and the world at large in years to come?.
Abiola Akanji:

It’s going to be massive

I already have a dream of building the largest culinary school in West Africa and if possible, Africa even. A new restaurant is opening every other day of the week

It can only get better at this point and I’m glad people are beginning to cone around to the idea that food can be exciting if you want it to be cooking doesn’t have to be a chore.

The sky’s the limit when it comes to the food industry

Boundaries are being pushed everyday and it’s fulfilling.

Mycookery Zone Mcz:

Where do you see yourself in 5years from now?
Abiola Akanji:

I see myself as a widely recognized chef

More widely I hope

And also owning world class culinary schools across Africa

It’s gonna happen, you watch.
MycookeryZone Mcz:

What will be your last words on this interview, for people that look up to you and also your food lover’s?
Abiola Akanji:

Sleep is for the weak, I always say that

Work hard until you know for sure private here you’ve always wanted to be

And also , do not trust people who do not like food:

MycookeryZone Mcz:

That’s deep!!!

Honestly, it has been lovely talking to you Chef Stone. Thanks for your time and we wish you success in all your endeavors?
Abiola Akanji:

Thank you too

I also had a great time

It was a pleasure.

Follow him: on Instagram: @uberstigg and Snapchat: chef_stone

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