Intrducing our March Muse, Tolani Tayo-Osikoya. Tolani, also known as Chef T and popularly known as Diary of a Kitchen Lover, is a Nigerian Food Blogger, recipe developer, food tutor, and entrepreneur. Filled with positivity, faith and charisma, Tolani is recognised as one of the top 50 most impactful voices of women in Africa.

Q1. Who, or what, inspired you to become a Chef?

Ans: I won’t say who, I will say what. My love for food inspired me to see cooking as an art and I love to feed people. Watching big chefs online and appreciating food as an art inspired me to become a chef. I love the fact that you can mix things together and you can come up with something powerful

Q2. What is your favorite part about being a chef?

Ans: The fact that I see people eat my food and they love it, I love the fact that people can taste my food and look up to me, I love the fact that I can mix different ingredients together and come up with one dish that keeps people talking

Q3. What is your favorite or least favorite dish to prepare?

Ans: I used to detest cooking beans but now I love beans so much, beans and soft plantain. Growing up, I was the chef of the house and the process of cooking beans then was very hard and I thought it was the norm but as I grew, I discovered there was pressure pot and you can cook your beans in less that 12 minutes and that made me love beans more.
Least favorite: I don’t like cooking soups, soups in general

Q4. What country in the world has the best food?

Ans: I haven’t been to too many but I think Asian countries have the best food, the way they use their pepper and they way they cook their rice. After Asian, I’ll say Italians, asides from their good pasta, they have really good pizza and gelato

Q5. What are the three things you must have in your fridge or pantry at all times?

Ans: Number 1 is egg, I love eggs, my family love eggs and I don’t run out of eggs. Herbs and garlic. There is never too much of garlic in your food. With these three you can literally make out anything at anytime

Q6. If you could, choose, if you could choose only one breakfast, one dinner, one dessert to eat every day for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Ans: I’m not a breakfast person but I will say overnight oat as breakfast then for lunch rice and stew, with egg, dried fish, seafood and pepper soup for dinner, it’s very light and you can be a sinner with it. You can take as much as possible and it won’t be too much

Q7. What was the biggest change you have had to deal with in your career?

Ans: It went from being a challenge to being a change. This was 2019 when I still use to teach online classes. I had 40 recipes to teach and back then I wasn’t aware of backing up my files and I used to do 9-5 with diary of a kitchen lover. My phone decided to misbehave and I lost all 40 files. I wailed for days if tears could bring back the video but it changed me in many ways cus it taught me many lessons. I had to put myself together and recreate those 40 recipes because I had a timeline, I was going to start a class in 2 weeks and I had to realize that change is constant and anything can happen at anytime, you have to be ready for it. When challenges come how will you be able to handle them? Right now I have files as far back as when I made those 40 videos. That situation changed me and I was able to structure my business and put everything together in case of things like that reoccur

Q8. What’s the most beautiful thing you’ve ever seen or experienced?

Ans: I would say my baby girl, my daughter, the most beautiful girl I have ever seen. I remember when I held her I asked so many questions like why is she so yellow? why does she have so much hair? She was literally perfect. Her birth and pregnancy is the most beautiful thing I have ever experienced. I had it so easy, God really blessed me with her after waiting for so long. Even until now she is so pretty and calm. Her birth is the most beautiful thing I have ever experienced

Q9. What’s the first thing you thought / did when you discovered you were going to be a mother?

Ans: I almost fainted. I brought out my phone and recorded my reaction trying to test for pregnancy. The moment I found out I almost fainted and I kept on screaming “I am gonna be a mother” I said that almost 100 times, I called my friend to share the news

Q10. How are you handling your new roles?

Ans: I’m really blessed I won’t lie, right from her birth right until now, I have never stressed. God really blessed me with the gift of her, family and friends. Literally every member of my family traveled with me. Grandma took her the moment I had her and I didn’t have postpartum depression. The moment I landed in Nigeria there was a nanny waiting for me. If I decide not to come to work with her, she is in safe hands and I thank God for that

Q11. What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned about life?

Ans: Life hits you so fast, things change so fast be ready for anything. In everything you do be kind, you don’t know how is who and who is rooting for you or putting your name down for something good. Be genuine and don’t push people away because you don’t know where your problems can be solved from and be open to changes at all times

Q2. What advice do you have for new moms or moms to be?

Ans: Take life one step at a time, it might be difficult but breathe, knowing that whatever happens today, your child will be fine. Focus on yourself look after yourself whilst not neglecting your duty as a mom. We tend to forget where we were before and we find our sleeves loosing ours key in the bid to take care of our child. Create memories so you can look back and say you were there when specific things happened. I record everything and record them in a memory book so she can look back and say “thank you mom for keeping memories of me”

Q13. What is fashion to you?

Ans: Fashion means many things to me, fashion defines you, it’s something people see and they can tell the kind of person you are. Personally, I love bright colors, I love to smile and be happy regardless of anything. It’s also defect in my fashion sense. It’s what makes you comfortable, it’s your style. For me I love big clothes, colors and it just defines the fact that I love to be comfortable.

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