If you are a die hard foodie, then you must know Iyabo Lawani, She was the presenter/chef of the popular cooking show on National Television “Maggi Kitchen”.
She is a bundle of talent having had a wide range of expertise(Recipe Developer, Food consultant, Actress) and a titan in food and nutrition matters.
The eatwellivewell team had an exclusive interview with her. Read through as she bares her thoughts to us all.
EWLW: Kindly Introduce yourself to us.
I.L: A Food Consultant, Nutritionist/Home Economist, with a catering and Hotel management background, a veteran Actress, a mother of 3 and 4 adopted children. She has an extra-ordinary passion for food, a food stylist/ photographer who enjoys doing what she does.
2014 – Food writer: family tree magazine ..till date
2012-14 – Maggi ambassador on Food Mata radio program on wazobia fm station.
Scripting/Model /Voice overArtist for 15″Maggi TVC Brand hypes and awareness campaign for Iodine, Hygiene, food presentation, vegetables and the new Maggi Mixpy flavors and Radio Jingle shot in Ghana at Insel Communications.
2011- Face of MTN 1 Billion Naira Promo.
2010- Till date – Food Writer: Charly Boy Magazine Column: Food solutions.
2009- Till date – Food Writer: Momentum Magazine Nigerian Cuisine.
2008- Till date- Consultant, food stylist/ for Food Photograpy for Maggi recipe books, ( Rice and Pottages, MAGGI recipe calender, MAGGI Recipe Pamphlet, and MAGGI Mixpy Recipe Pamphlets, Resource/ Research , Home Economist, Script Writer: Maggi Good Food Moments. Nestle Nigeria Plc. Till date.
2007- Home -Economist/ resource for Maggi Junior Cooking Competition
2007-Sept- Facilitator/Initiator of Jewel of The House: A Women Empowerment Program me in Gombe State and MAGGI women forum facilitator till date.
1999-2008- Presenter: Maggi Family Menu/Maggi Good Food Moments.
2004-Jan- March; Food Consultant and Trained African Kitchen Chef of Sheraton Hotel/ Towers Lagos.
2004-March-April- Research Officer: Communication for Change on Women Matters for the G8 summit conference.
1997, 1998,& 1999 model for MAGGI…. scratch and win TV Promo commercials
1997-2000; General Manager: New Wave Productions.
1993-Till date- Actress on Home Videos and Soaps with Over 55 Movies to Her Credit: All for Winnie, Scores to Settle, Abused, Glamour Girls, Dust to Dust, Hunted, Bitter Encounter, Deadly Proposal, Rest in Peace, Domitila, Last Vote, Dirty Game, Cyberia , Goodbye Tomorrow, Silver-spoon, to mention a few.
New Wave Productions.
1995-96: Organizing Committee, Nigerian West Indian carnival
1993- 1995: Organizing Committee, and chief of Protocol for, African Concert Extra , Children of Africa Music concert,
1993-95: Chief of protocol Pman
Music Awards Abuja
1992: Organizers PMAN’s Patron’s Dinner..LAGOON ’92.
1990- 1993- Protocol Officer: Nigerian Music Awards for International Artiste like Miriam Makeba, Kool and the Gang, Winnie Mandela, Yvonne Chaka Chaka, Shaba Ranks, The Sabalalahs, Paul Simon, Hughe Masakela, Manu – de Bango, Donnie Warwick, etc.
1990-1992; Public Relations Officer- PMAN -(Performing Musicians Association of Nigeria).
1989-1990; Manager Bins Hotel, Benin City- Edo State.
Reccomended: How To Make Delicious Independence Eba and Bitter-leaf Egusi Soup.
EWLW: What are your hobbies?
I.L: Hahahaha very funny with all on my profile you can only guess that my hobbies would be cooking, reading and entertaining. Kikikiki.
EWLW :You have been in the food industry for how long now?
I.L: I have been in the food industry full time Since 2000.
EWLW: We understand that you were a former presenter for maggi show on television; can you tell about your experience and how it shaped your cooking.
I.L: Well it has been one joyful ride I must confess. Working with different people my Producer Philip Trimnel and the rest of the crew with their wealth of experience in production helped to make it easy.
My experience also working in the production house of Newwave ( Charly Boy Studio) gave the extra bonus tips to bring on the razzmatazz the program needed. All I can say is am blessed to have worked with such lovely people. Mrs Iquo Ukoh (Nestle) all thanks to her for her sound mentoring. A fantastic foodie herself who knows her onions. I have worked with very fine people I must say people who believed in what you were doing, and I am so grateful to God.
People such Mr Martin Woolnough, Mr Guy Kellaway, Janet Sunkwa-Mills, Uduak Bassey, Imabong Matins, Emeka Nwodo, Gloria Nwabuike, Nordine Meguini, Motunrayo Alade, all of Nestle Nig. PLC, Felix King, and Betty Okunoboh of Oracle Experience just to mention a few.
EWLW: Your food platform name is?
I.L: I have 2 groups and a page on Facebook: Food Rainbow and Food Rainbow Photo Page and Exclusive foods.
EWLW: Whats the inspiration about it?
I.L: I love to share my experience as regards food and that was one major inspiration I had which spurred me to opening the group and page.
EWLW: How has blogging affected your lifestyle?
I.L: Interesting I must say because it gives me great pleasure to be able to help people who are craving to learn anything about food and home management.
EWLW: How do you keep up with the demands of cooking various diverse and creative dishes to display on your blog/facebook page?
I.L: well creativity and cooking of food doesn’t have to be an expensive thing. So I do my best with just simple available ingredients to create interesting extraordinary foods. Like my Nigeria Eba and EGUSI soup for Independence Day. Simple but a display of creativity and it didn’t cost 800 Naira to put it together. See for your self.
EWLW: Looking at the peculiarity of our staple food; how have you been able to balance it to create healthy and nutritious meals?
I.L: For you to be able to create a healthy balanced mutinous meal you have to first understand the food and master the art of food combination. When you understand how our staple plays in our diet and body then you are able to create that healthy balance needed by your body without over doing it. That is where understanding Nutriton which is one of my discipline come to play.
EWLW: Whats your view on Nigeria going global in terms of our food range.
I.L: That will be awesome and that will be the D-Day.i look forward to that.
EWLW: We understand that you are married and have children; how do you keep the balance with the demand to cook and create something new every time.
I.L: Hahahaha!!!! it is called balancing, Planning and time management .
EWLW: What is your major strength as a food consultant?
I.L: I love to play with very available ingredients, keeping it simple and bringing it for everyone. So say turn our local ingredients into something extraordinary. Also trying to encourage our women to make sure that food presentation is key as the eyes eat the food first before your stomach. Also keeping it as healthy as possible as you are what you eat. Yes it is important to let your food be your medicine and your medicine be your food.
EWLW: What is your major challenge as a food blogger?
I.L: Well of course nothing you do in this world that doesn’t come with its own challenges. Sometimes you cook and you ask your self what went wrong? You can’t get it right all the time. No one is perfect. You try several times until you get it and standardize it for people to follow in recipes and methods.
EWLW: What advice do you have for aspiring food entrepreneur/bloggers?
I.L: Don’t ever give up. Keep trying till you perfect it.
EWLW: What keeps you going?
I.L: God and My family!!!
EWLW: How can the public reach you?
EWLW: What can you say about Eatwellivewell Initiative.
I.L: Great initiative I must say. Well done guys. Keep up the good work.
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