When it comes to top Nigerian chefs, a few names readily come to mind. Amongst these top of mind personalities, the name Tolu Erogbogbo would definitely crop up. A mouthful – but not many know him as that as they are more familiar with his more common moniker – Chef Eros. Chef Eros is not just a celebrity chef, he is also the CEO of successful premium brands in the food industry, which have not just earned him international recognition, and endorsement with premium brands like Miele, but also features on elite platforms like Forbes Africa and CNN.
Although his birthday was February 20, the first of the celebrations was held on February 1 at Cocoon, a five star bar situated at Ikoyi, Lagos with the main event slated for March 4 at his Lekki residence.
Sunday the fourth of March met the venue duly set up in keeping with the Greek theme. The chef further took to his instagram page to hint at a big announcement to be broken by 9pm, which friends – no family allowed – were supposed to guess at.
A white and gold colour code was evident in the thirty-item menu and place settings, the canopied outdoor banquet tables, complete with hanging plants, white draperies, and a water-spouting stone cherub. There was also a high backed throne with a temple backdrop waiting to seat the Nigerian-greek god Eros.
The event kicked off with an indoor brunch held for the chef’s inner circle of close family and friends. Within reach and at every turn, there was mouthwatering food to be had – croissants, pancakes, varieties of cakes, made-to-order breakfast – served piping hot – hors d’ouvres, and several more…
Chigurl, the MC of the event did a terrific job of moderating the event to the delight of celebrity guests, well wishers, fellow chefs, and CEOs of popular brands in the event industry.
The thirty item menu accommodated no less than three thousand servings in an endless circulation of food-bearing waiters.
As more guests came, individuals were handed raffles, for which they were supposed to guess what the big announcement was, and there were gifts readily available for the winners.
Amazingly, as evidenced by the guests in attendance, Chef Eros proved to be that one Chef that could bring key players in the media, food and entertainment industry together under one roof, as attested by the presence of people like Bolanle Olukoni, Aka Nnani, Chef Fregz, Chef Ben, Chef Alex, Bizzle, Seyi Shay, Sasha, Yewande Baba Eko, Omawumi, Sweet Kiwi Ehi, Elle’s Icebox’, and several others.
In perhaps what was the most touching part of the day, the Chef took time to openly laud his mother for all her efforts in raising him and supporting his career. Mother and son openly expressed their love for each other amidst tears whilst onlookers applauded and allowed them their moment.
Other key players in the Chef’s life also made speeches that had the strapping chef shedding a tear or two.
Finally it was time for the big reveal, the moment everyone was waiting for. Guests gathered round with bated breath to hear the much-anticipated announcement and amidst a pyrotechnics display – complete with confetti and fireworks – Chef Eros was announced as the newly appointed Ambassador for Shoprite, Nigeria, West Africa.
While more gaieties were going on, the winner of the raffle, close friend of the celebrant, Demola Sule, who had the closest guess, bagged himself a 6-figure worth four course meal dinner for 10 people!
A representative of Shoprite was on ground to give a congratulatory speech to the chef and his friends, after which the celebrant was dumped in the pool by his ecstatic friends.
While the festivities were going on, the birthday boy was treated to a live performance by Sheyi Shay.
After the vote of thanks, in which he appreciated the guests, his family, and the staff that work for him at Cookie Jar and Eros & Gourmet, the party continued into the early hours of the morning with lots of food, drink and music.