Profiles

How Ozoz Sokoh Is Fusing Local Food And Art To Celebrate Nigerian Cuisine

   

african-voices

Ozoz Sokoh, also known as the Kitchenbutterfly talks about her journey into food blogging with CNN’s African voices.

How she came to love food

When I was nine, I hated food. My dad took my sister and I to Edinburg in August’ 85, for the summer festival. I basically had a meal that changed the course of everything. We went to a fast food restaurant and I had a meal of burger and miranda, and I loved it, like I gobbled down every last bite. And when I was done I cried because for the first time in my entire life, I was full and it hurt.

How she came about the name, Kitchenbutterfly

I tried to reflect on things of who I was as a person. For a while, I couldn’t find the right name but when I thought about my journey with food and the fact that I have evolved as an eater and as a cook, I used the butterfly as a metaphor, so, the kitchen butterfly was the natural outcome of all that I was thinking.

on Food blogging

Blogging and food writing in general let me capture my ideas in a moment, share them in a timely fashion but also keep them for future reference. It combines my love for food, writing and photography.

I’m incredibly passionate about Nigerian cuisine, my philosophy and I like to call it the New Nigerian Kitchen. It centres around celebrating Nigerian cuisine and I don’t think we’ve done much of that in the past. I’m passionate about changing that. A lot of times, I can’t keep up with most things I want to cook, so there’s motivation to get up every single day just because of that.

It’s not about being fancy, ignoring the old and rubbishing the old, it’s all about celebrating tradition, it’s about finding new ways to use ingredients, it’s also about understanding ingredients.

Advice to young cooks and chef

I think there’s a lot of opportunity and infinite possibilities and I’d say to young cook and young chef, don’t let people’s opinions, desires hold you back because you are enough as a person to know what you want, what you need and how you want to express yourself.

Don’t let tradition and people’s views of tradition stop you from creating, exploring, and discovering new ways to use the old and familiar ingredients.

Watch the full interview here

 

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