Our guest this week on MCZ Exclusive Interview is Love Nwoko, Chef Laav (pronounced: love). Love Nwoko was one of the contestants that graced our TV screens on the renowned reality cooking show, Knorr Taste Quest (KTQ) season five.
The Human Resource expert and founder of Dulce & Chéri bakery gave some insight on what life was before the reality show, what being evicted truly felt like, how her cake and ice cream bar, Dulce & Chéri came about and everything in between.
HOW WAS LIFE BEFORE KTQ?
Well before KTQ I was a Human Resources expert managing the HR team for a real estate company. Infact I had just lost my job when friends encouraged me to go for KTQ as I couldn’t honor previous interview invites because of work. I was also a new mom, I think my daughter was about 4 months that period.
WHEN AND HOW DID YOUR PERCEPTION CHANGE ABOUT FOOD? WAS IT AFTER OR BEFORE KTQ?
I’ve always loved food especially when people eat it and feel happy and satisfied. That’s why a part of me always knew that if I ever had a business it had to be in the food industry. And like my husband would say, I possess a unique sense of taste that makes me know what taste will blend with another without necessarily making the dish previously. KTQ mainly made me understand the pressure that can go on in such a show… It doesn’t necessarily mean the best won mostly it’s about who can thrive in that pressure.
TELL US ABOUT YOUR LATEST STORE?
For almost 2 years now I’ve been in the cake business and just opened our flagship cake and ice cream bar at Ipaja. It’s a beautiful sit in venue and I can proudly say there’s nothing like it in this area. Our products range from cakes , to ice cream, scones, cookies etc.
WHEN WAS DULCE & CHÉRI FOUNDED AND WHEN DID YOU MAKE IT OFFICIAL?
Well towards the end of 2018 I started baking for a few friends who knew I was interested in baking, they started telling their friends and before you know it I started getting orders. We made it official in February 2019.
HOW CONVENIENT WAS IT SETTING THIS UP JUDGING BY THE FACT THAT WE’RE JUST COMING OUT OF A PANDEMIC?
Well, with the skyrocketing of prices of most things it wasn’t easy but surprisingly the response has been good. And you know life still continues despite the pandemic so we’ve had to push hard but I think it’s been worth it.
OVERTIME I’VE SEEN YOU VENTURE INTO PATISSERIE AS WELL AS CUISINE. IF YOU WERE TO SPECIALIZE IN ONE WHICH WOULD THAT BE?
Definitely Patisserie…. Any cooking I do is for family now
YOU WERE EVICTED FROM THE KTQ REALITY SHOW WHAT WAS GOING THROUGH YOUR MIND AS AT THE TIME AND ALSO, HOW WERE YOU ABLE TO MANAGE THE SITUATION?
Hmmmm, I think I was just thinking I messed up especially since I was literally top 3 the previous episode. I let the pressure get to me and I had to take a bow. Life goes on is what I told myself and I think that was when I decided to delve into baking and I decided to do a French pastry course at Red dish chronicles.
Although, I don’t really do pastries now, I currently specialize in cakes and ice cream and I’m proud to say, our cakes would rank very high amongst best tasting cakes in the country.
DO YOU THINK BEING ON THE PLATFORM ON NATIONAL TV HAS IN SOME WAY PAVED WAYS FOR YOU?
Hmmmm, I would say Not necessarily
WHAT ARE THE SERVICES YOU RENDER AT DULCE & CHÉRI?
We bake cakes, make ice cream and other desserts for events both private and public.
WHERE DO YOU SEE THE BRAND AND YOU AS A PERSON IN THE NEAREST FUTURE?
As a brand I’m hoping we become well known for quality products that are second to none. As a person I hope to be able to hone my skills and become a master at what I do.
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