" ITREALMS: 'I'm best recipe creator' says Executive Pastry Chef, Kola - ITREALMS

Sunday, April 02, 2023

'I'm best recipe creator' says Executive Pastry Chef, Kola - ITREALMS

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The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Bakewell Consult & Culinary Academy, Lagos, Mr. Kolawole Olagunju Isaac, declared to ITREALMS' GBEMI OMOTOSO, that he is best known for creating recipes for bakers.
Excerpts:
Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Bakewell Consult & Culinary Academy, Lagos, Mr. Kolawole Olagunju Isaac - I'm best recipe creator declared Executive Pastry Chef, Kola - ITREALMS
Why do fellow bakers call you Chef K?
Its just an acronym for Chef Kola as you know I'm meant to be addressed based on what I do is just the same way we address Doctors as well.

Chef K, tell us more about your name with regards to baking?
Actually, I'm an Executive Pastry Chef and that is highest level you can attain in baking industry. Most of the things I do are bakings, dessert, cakes, pastry, bread, cookies etc.

Your educational background?
Professionally, I went to pastry school in France for 2years in the year 1994-96. 
I'm a certified Hazzard Analysis And Critical Control Points (HACCP) by America University which qualified me to work in any restaurants in United States of America (USA) at Supervisory level.

How many years have u been in the industry and how has it been especially during the COVID-19 and with the present naira crunch?
I have been in the industry for over 20 years now. I was an outlet manager for one of the Chicken George Restaurants. Also, the first cake manager for Sweet Sensation & Confectionery, likewise, first cake manager for ARABA CAKES at Yaba, just to mention a few.

During COVID -19 was a bit rough which I knew affected every baker in the industry but immediately after the lockdown, there was a positive change because I had a lot of persons coming to my school for bread class which was the trending business at that time.

You know it was very hard to allow people to your office, because of the fear of contracting COVID -19 especially those of us that have our office attached to where we lived at that period, one is very careful of whom to allow into the building and even some of the clients are scared of visiting which really affected the patronages.

One is scared of the virus and most of my client are based overseas; who fly in to take their classes but during that period some of them could not travelled due to the lockdown restrictions.

The present Naira crunch is really affecting the business.

What advice will you give a baker at this present time?
My advise for bakers  is that they should stay focused and don't bake all in the name of selling without thinking of their profit because that is what the business stands for. Also, they should always use their social media very well in other to showcase their professionalism to the world.  Above all, they should always pray and ask for God's direction on their business.

How did you get into the industry?
I was working with a company, 'JUSTFOOD LIMITED' as the pastry Chef on one of the company products which is whipping cream 'MILLAC GOLD'; which I was meant to use to teach many bakers and chefs on so many products they could create with it.
Thereafter, I was then invited to some of the bakers exhibitions to teach them different things that was how I got into the industry fully.
A product of Bakewell Consult & Culinary Academy, Lagos
With your vast experience in the baking industry, how will you assess the industry?
It's a money-making industry with a lot of opportunities to achieve what you desire positively.

What distinguishes you from other bakers?
It's because I'm an Executive Pastry Chef, bakers work under me. If you at that level as an Executive Pastry Chef, you must be able to create unique recipes for bakers, which I'm well known for in the industry as the best recipe creator.

How many international or national awards do you have to your credit so far?
So many awards at national level, but international is one. The international one is best recipe creator of the year that was 2016. While, on national was the best tutor of the year, best bread baker of the year etc.

Your best working tools?
My Mixer and Rollin Pin.

How do you relax after a tedious working period?
I play PSP, watch Wrestling and UFC fight.

What measures do you put in place to checkmate apprentices' excesses?
I always let them know their limit and there's always a closing time I wont allow you to be in my studio till 6pm especially the ladies.

What is your perception about mentoring?
Mentoring is not working in this part of the world based on what I have heard. Most asking for mentoring are not getting it fully because some of them that are mentoring are meant to be mentored and some of them that want to be mentored are not always serious with what they want. However, the best mentor is God.

How can it be encouraged and what measures could be put in place to make it more acceptable?
Until we understand that we rise by lifting others. Not just using people you are meant to mentor as slaves in order to achieve your goals. Also, imbibe the fear of God.

How do you see yourself from others perception?
I still need to do more because I'm not satisfied with where I am.

Your favorite food?
French fries and Crispy chicken. Also, I love pounded yam and Ẹfọ Riro.

What other skills do you engage in apart from baking/culinary?
Cooking.

What other profession would you opt for other than baking/culinary?
Modelling.

Do you engage in online classes?
Very well.

Your view on social media as a means of advertising?
It's the best, convenient, accessible and cheap.

What qualities does a new entrant require to be a chef?
A high level of dedication and focus. The person must be very brilliant because you must be ready to read and understand the system very well. Being a chef is very deep which is not as easy as a baker.

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