Revelations: Emeka Frederick, co-founder, Chuku's, London
What was your best subject at school?
Economics. I was a real whizz. Straights As – there weren't A*s back then – and over 95% in all my exams. You can tell I'm still proud of that one
What was your first job?
Admin assistant in a business enterprise centre. Then I worked at M&S. I only binned my PAYE slips from those jobs last month
What was your first job in catering?
Work experience as a chef at the Savoy London
What do you normally have for breakfast?
Porridge with soya milk and raisins
What do you do to relax?
Exercise. Calisthenics is my new love, but I was a keen swimmer before. I'm hoping I can open-water swim later this summer
Which is your favourite restaurant?
Morito on Hackney Road in London
What is your favourite food/cuisine?
Nigerian food – obviously! Specifically, egusi (melon seed stew) and eba (cassava dumplings). At Chuku's our egusi is vegan but I'd add goat meat and season with smoked crayfish
How would you describe your desk?
The kitchen table. My sister and I have been hogging it for the last few years. It's from here we've built our business
Cast away on a desert island, what luxury would you take?
Lots of popcorn kernels
What daily newspaper/website do you read?
I read newsletters mainly. Quartz Africa is one of my favourites
If you had not gone into catering, where do you think you would be now?
Working for a start-up in Nigeria or somewhere else in West Africa. That was the initial plan
When and where was your last holiday?
Dubai. I was supposed to go back to Nigeria in April but the trip was cancelled
What irritates you most about the industry?
People saying, "because that's how we/I've always done it." I think that's lazy reasoning
What's your favourite film?
Cool Runnings, by a long shot
What's your favourite book?
Of all-time: The Chimp Paradox by Professor Steve Peters; of the last year: Atomic Habits by James Clear. Both are excellent!
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