The health benefits of Ofada rice featuring Chef Elias of Elias Foods
Let’s get to meet you. Tell us about yourself and your background
My name is Elias Kodjo Sassou, a young Togolese born in Nigeria (Lagos State) dedicated and enthusiastic culinary chef with strong kitchen ethics and determination to succeed, worked in some great small kitchen where I was awarded and recognized for my great work, founder of Togolese professional chefs in Nigeria and diaspora. Convener of Elias foods culinary training. I am an intermediate listener, speaker, reading, and writer of the English and French languages.
What inspired you to become a chef?
What inspired me towards being a chef as I am a foodie, my mum and also when I got to meet many chefs in the industry
Being a Chef in Nigeria would surely need a lot of hard work, how were you able to raise funds to start your business, and did you grow your customer base?
Of course, yes…you mean raising funds? Giggles! I love savings right from childhood to the days of me being an employee, At the beginning of a journey, it’s very likely nobody will believe in your business ideas as much as you do, more reason why you have to put your money where your mouth is and start with the little you have, it from my savings, days I was an employee and you know raising myself at to great level was my priority vision, and with sleepless and hard work am getting
My customers are my first priority… Always after their satisfaction
We are blessed with so many kinds of food items in Nigeria. How do you generate your recipe and blend everything into a nice delicacy?
Nigeria is a great country. I strongly agree with the array of food the country is blessed with. You can actually write a book describing the many kinds of food enjoyed in Nigeria.
When it comes to preparing something special, I try to be innovative and bring life into the recipe to get the best delicacy.
In your years of cooking, what common food do you think is underrated in Nigeria?
There are so many food items that people haven’t explored to the maximum. The most common of them is the ofada rice. Which is popular in the southern part of Nigeria. The health benefit is very important as a natural source of Fiber that has not gone through much modification, it can lower cholesterol and reduce your risk of heart disease and stroke. Since fiber makes you feel full, you may find it easier to maintain a healthy weight. Also, ofada rice contains vitamins and minerals that help the blood transport oxygen and perform other vital functions.
As an experienced Chef with vast years of experience. What is the highest point of your career?
You know being a culinarian (chef) is like a clarion call. It is an opportunity for you to leverage on so many interesting life adventures. I cannot really attest to the highest point of my career as I am still exploring my career and trying to make the best use of it.
What advice would you give younger people who want to horn their culinary skills and make a career out of it?
Focus is the key because the journey is never meant to be smooth but with hard work and dedication for sure success is the result. Enroll in a good culinary school, read cookbooks and keep up with the latest trends when it comes to food.
Asides from being a chef, do you have other professional ideas you might want to explore in the future?
I will definitely explore more options outside the culinary business, do creative collaborations with platforms outside my industry
What is the basic skill set necessary for an aspiring Chef?
You would have to go for special training on how to handle knives which is synonymous with a chef’s daily life. You would have to have an open and creative life. Then, keep good hygiene.
What is the most ordered meal on your menu list?
I would say pasta. It can be cooked into different varieties and also consumed with all forms of protein. I serve a lot of foreign visitors and one of the first kinds of food they readily order initially is pasta.