As posited by Abraham Maslow, there are various physiological needs namely, “food, shelter and clothing”. These three elements are the basic necessities of life and man has been configured to settling all of these before any other luxury craved for by man.
Across cultures in Nigeria, there are many sides taken to the male cooks despite the perception that men are not good cooks. However, this view does not hold water across the country most especially in the area of the cooking to make profit. A typical Igbo man is not ashamed to own and even operate his restaurant. He is so skilled that he rarely shies away from killing the goat, dressing it and cooking it.
The experience is quite different from the male who runs a commercial food business in Northern Nigeria, they are called “maishia” they are so passionate in the way they fry eggs, prepare noodles of various flavours and the most interesting part of it is the way in which they pour tea from one cup to the other using both hands like a waterfall.
In Yorubaland, for instance, generations ago, the male child is not usually trained in culinary skills, as such, the pressure of catering for the family rests largely and solely on the women. Interestingly, this is one of the most demanding tasks undertaken by ladies, while in their father’s houses till they become full fledge women catering for their families till old age.
However, times are changing, parents have now realized that teaching boys to partake in house chores do not reduce their esteem or their capabilities to attain great heights. It has helped people to appreciate the various activities done by women in the house and this has contributed immensely to division of labour in the family.
Having said that, there is a change in the dynamism of which men now react to the commercial part of cooking. This is asides the growing culture of chefs in the various hotels to the current trend of having men work in the female dominated ventures such as running a cafeteria or restaurant.
One of those who have contributed immensely to both the running of food services and hospitality business is Mr. Kola Adewale, the helmsman of The Place Restaurant. The Place has set the pace through the introduction of a restaurant, nightlife and bar; Hotel and Lounge. This is unprecedented in the Nigerian environment because the business is in a class of its own.
The restaurant rated 4 of 5 on the TripAdvisor offers quality meals and various Nigerian delicacies which include Asun, Grilled Chicken, and an array of variety of rice & yam meals amongst many other food items. It is interesting to know that by the evening the ambience is getting ready for an A-list artiste to serenade people into the morning. This is a very creative way of maximizing a space thus bringing life to the night.
The restaurant which has outlets in Lekki, Victoria Island, Ikoyi, GRA Ikeja, Surulere, Alausa, Maryland, and Circle Mall. Others are Akowonjo, Festac, Ogba, Satellite town, Oniru and Ikorodu. This chain of restaurant has contributed to the Gross Domestic Product of the country as a whole and it has equally been a source of employing directly and indirectly, thousands of Nigerians
The value addition of The Place to the food services and hospitality business has changed the business perception of Nigerians and it has equally shown that a man can be a good cook either directly or indirectly. There are millions of opportunities cooking around us that can be mined for the good of the country, at large.