Culture Tomi ‘Imoteda’ Aladekomo: Adding Elegance To Your KitchenIverson AkhigbeMay 15, 2022

Born and Raised in Surulere a city in Lagos Nigeria, funny how this gives the goosebumps that great people are from Surulere, born into a family of six with cousins to add who were almost always at home making it a full funhouse, am sure this is something most of us would relate to, we Africans and our love for extended families. Chef Heels is the second of her four siblings with each of them giving a four years gap from the other except the last born who is a year younger than the third born, sounds like someone dogged family planning.  Like every kid who desires her dad she wasn’t one to fall short of his present, she described their bound to be best friends, which leads us to a funny experience she had with her dad “I was strong as a kid, at age eleven I was able to lift up my dad, mind you he was a Six footer, we would play round the house, I would happily take his shoes off his legs when he got back from work and arm wrestle him, well it was all fun to me till a day he popped my shoulder of its socket, to be honest, he was extremely freaked out, but I, on the other hand, was loving and bathing in the euphoria of it all for his attention and concern was all on me, it wasn't an easy day for him.

 I could remember us going all the way to VI and back to Aguda looking for hospital because it was about 11 pm there about” Chef Imoteda also pointed out everyone she told this story felt it weird and traumatic but that was her own version of a fun childhood memory with her father, well I guess truly Normal isn't fun. To be honest, growing up I always feared the idea of a big home with a lot of kids because a lot of kids means plenty of personalities, not to mention humans can be very dramatic but Chef heels classify hers as “a fun and loving one, with lots of special memories” she even hinted out loud they had a what's app group if that isn't a sexy dressed salad of a family I don't know what is.

You'll be amazed how people find motivation in the most unusual of places, we all know every superhero has a back story, Chef Imoteda is a fruit of that branch, I bet you will the voice in your head is picturing the normal back story. whenever  I cooked for family members they saw my potential then I developed on it) let me be the first to tell you you’re wrong as  Milk and Cherries, “I always wanted to be a make-up artist, In fact, in 2014 I went on to work for African magic as head of hair and make-up in one of their programs, I have worked in other sets, wedding party and other glam related field For a fact I worked on the cast for 93 Days and no good turn, which I won awards for, it will also shock you to know I worked in the bank as head of Human Resources and also in the house of Taar.

What actually got me was my child who I had at an early stage of life, I was Twenty at the time and still in the university, you know how we students survived then, noodles and all the junks, then I thought to myself my daughter can't be feeding of what I am eating she obviously needed something more healthy and safe, so I ventured into watching food network, then and there did I realize that there were fewer women on the platform, I felt it wasn't really portraying my personality, It felt like a void that needed filling. Like I said earlier I always loved make-up so I got out a pen and a book noting the concept I would like to portray in the kitchen, glam meets culinary I kept the note not acting on it till one day I called my dad, he hinted me I could actually be a good TV host and I teased him saying being a talkative is not a prerequisite for success in the screen world but he insisted if I was interested in venturing into it he wouldn't mind throwing funds into it, this offer caught my eyes and I remembered my long tucked under the shelf note, I might just have something in mind” that was a first of many steps in the right direction for her, she made further steps into culinary school in London Spicing her skills up. 

Various motivational speakers would tell you “Do what you love, do what is visible, and most importantly what will support your pocket in the long run, thinking it, do it, achieve it” Well Chef Imoteda loved every bit of culinary school, from the long-standing hours to the early morning wake up food preparation routine, the unique plating of dishes we mare food mortals don't pay attention to, they all caught her heart and eye now today you are reading about her. Just remember the three magic words “Think it, do it, achieve it”
Chef Imoteda has already made it clear she always wanted a show that would portray Glam and cooking in one space and time, it was her vision taken off the food network. she told us she had no flats only heels and whenever she walked into the kitchen she was always on heels, even her bathroom sleepers had wedges.

And just like that the name was born, it makes me wonder could this be a Nigerian Cinderella story minus the fairy godmother, plus extreme hard work mixed with dedication, I hope this justifies why I personally call her “Chef Heels
Well on pen and paper the brand is uniquely set up to meet the taste buds of consumers, provide them with various food services ranging from private chef services, catering for events, providing food content, and most importantly providing solid customer services for patronizers
You made it thus far we might as well get to know more about her experiences as a chef, those who have seen her personally or watched her speak would know how much of a lovely voice she has. 

She laid it to us “well it’s been great, it has its moments and trust me food is heavy, forget what you see on TV it’s much more than that but it’s close to it, people always think Chefs are always angry and yelling but honestly that’s not true and importantly it wouldn't get the job done. Well if you ask me I have cooked in London, Toronto, and Nigeria and I feel Nigeria is the easiest and the hardest country to cook in, I know it sounds like a contradiction right but trust me when I say it. Nigeria has fewer regulatory bodies guiding our food market making things easy to go by in terms of rules anyone could claim to be a chef and it sticks here, but that doesn't go in other places I've worked, the hard part is the rise in price and availability of some cooking items which make your charging cost over the top and also make some dishes discouraging to make, but judging the importation cost and all I figured it’s a fair rise in price. 

One other experience which is also some worth a challenge is the fact that I don't have a stable income, It could be fifty thousand this month and the next five million, well this is because I am a Private Chef I don't own my own restaurant so I make due with the people I am able to outsource and keep them loyal and happy to direct people in my direction, food is sensitive so you must know your consumers, what they like,  how they like it and their allergies, sounds hard but trust me nothing is when you have your mind set out right, it becomes a walk in the park” Balancing work and motherhood is one thing most working mothers try their very best to balance, Chef Imoteda has hers to contend with “Thank God my family is a large one and I don't work during the week days on a regular, just intensively on the weekend's well we all know that’s when the kids are actually free to spend time with us but that’s my own busy time, well she has her Dad mostly on the weekend accompanied by her sister and her numerous extended family so when i am hardly around during the weekends the extended has my back, well from time to time on some Mondays I make her miss school and we do whatever she love, be it movie, Ice-cream or any other fun thing that crawls out her mind, she is a very smart kid so I always say not one day off school will make her fail and she hasn't proven me wrong.”