Chef Wulis on Being A Nigerian Chef, Cooking Tips and Best Kitchen Tools
Side View Magazine presents a conversation between Chef Wulis and contributor Rachel Ebuh.
Anwuli Joy Ogbonnaya popularly known as Chef Wulis is the executive chef and owner behind Wulis Kitchen in Nigeria. Her work is evident in a menu that fuses Nigerian cuisine with other cuisine without altering the African distinctiveness of the meal like in her Banga Risotto recipe.
The multitalented Chef Wulis shares her views on being a chef in Nigeria, her best kitchen tools and cooking tips for novices.
Side View (SV): HOW HAS THE EXPERIENCE OF BEING A NIGERIAN CHEF BEEN FOR YOU?
Chef Wulis (CW): The journey thus far has been amazing, but to insist on only the positive experience is to say that life is a bed of result.
We are occasionally faced with different types of Nigerians; some of which are the type who loves to eat their regular Amala and Ewedu without modification, and there is the continental type who loves to eat classy meals on a low budget, and then the fine dining or high end Nigerians who love good food and are willing to pay for the services of the meal thus enjoyed.
We are constantly spotted in the market place; beating down prices with market women and selecting the best product in the best pricing in other to produce amazing culinary treats that are appetizing to the palette.
Finally it’s been a wonderful experience been a Nigerian Chef, the exposure, the skillset, are what makes up our story.
SV: BEST COOKING TIP FOR A NOVICE?
Understanding your recipe is key and as such it is a skill you maybe didn’t realize even existed. The process of understanding the proportions of ingredients that should go into a particular menu should be balanced in other to achieve a good out come. Cooking unlike baking and general pastries does not have specific or standard for measuring ingredients that is why you hear things like a pinch of salt,little drizzle of oil, a dash of this and that.. So your ability to able to understand what quantity of each ingredient to use per time to give your desired result.
Edit what goes into the pan:
When cooking in a pan, don’t overcrowd. This will create steam instead of direct heat.
Don’t cry over Onions:
Put onions in ice water for 10 minutes before cutting them; this prevents them from causing your eyes to water.
SV: WHAT IS THE BEST THING YOU HAVE EVER COOKED?
CW: My ultimate Banga Risotto; this meal is bae and so it has basically our Nigerian heritage, one could say its an Afro-italian fusion. There are also amazing meals that I have created but this just seem to stand out.
SV: KITCHEN TOOLS YOU CAN NOT LIVE WITHOUT?
CW: Interesting, My Knives and Measuring cups; I personally don’t think I can live without them. I got married to my knife and the measuring cups were in attendance; we all swore to stick together and never ever separate from each other, we just marked our HWA (Wedding Anniversary) last month. So you see.
SV: DO YOU DABBLE IN FOREIGN CUISINES?
CW: Oh yes, I am a Nigerian Chef who loves to play around with our cuisine while fusing other cuisines. I love to make meals just like my grandmother; so occasional I fuse ingredients from several cuisines and make it originally African and wherein I have no intention of altering them I make them as it is.
SV: ARE THERE ANY CHEFS YOU LOOK UP TO AND PROBABLY WANT TO WORK WITH?
CW: There are several chefs in the industry that I look up to and have so much respect for. Working with them may not be it now for me but i rather chose be mentored by them because they inspire me and give me reasons to keep pushing to bring out the best in me. Some of them are Chef Tiyan Alile and Chef Fregz.
MORE EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEWS WITH CHEFS AND FOOD EXPERTS TO COME, STAY TUNED!