Copy of About

Hello!

My name is Lerato, a southern African name which means, ‘song of my soul’ or ‘passion’. My love for food has led to a career in print, television and in the kitchen, bringing my recipes and contemporary African cooking to the hearts and minds of people. I founded Lerato Cookery School & Kitchen to educate, and inspire others to celebrate African food. We also produce fine foods from gourmet chocolate treats made with fairtrade 70% cocoa content to small batch single origin spice blends from Africa and beyond.  

My Food Philosophy 

I am perpetually inspired by the sweet smokey aroma from firewood cooking cauldrons of jollof rice and stew. Memories of ripe mangoes waiting to be plucked, kids throwing stones at my mother's date palm, for hopes of bagging sweets for the day. The women fanning corn as it roasts on open flames with customers rustling for first dibs on the streets of Lagos. These first-hand experiences have shaped me into who I am today. A nostalgic, intuitive and foreword thinking chef, teacher and business woman. 

 

See my recipes for Tilda & Great British Chefs

  

 

My goal is not a forced fusion for the sake of it, but a happy marriage of cultures."

I am fortunate to have first-hand experience of being brought up, living and cooking in the different regions of West Africa, travelling across the continent exploring varying cuisines, and now living close to the beautiful South Downs on the southern coast of England, with lush farms and food producers from whom I source the best produce.

My recipes highlight the adaptability African food, of our wonderful spices, fruits and vegetables into a wholesome and healthy lifestyle.

 

Television & Writing

I may have caught the bug for the camera when my brother and I featured in a Coca Cola advert as children. But it wasn’t until after studying Economics at university in London, and moving to Abuja to set up my gourmet food company, that I was approached by a producer to appear in a syndicated food TV show on the major DSTV network which broadcasts across Africa.

The show aired in 2012, celebrating African food and a healthy lifestyle, with celebrity guests and members of the public. In 2014, I produced and presented The Bite, on Cool TV, another national station. On the show, I shared easy, creative, healthy and sumptuous recipes celebrating the oneness of food as I found creative ways to bridge the gap between African foods and those of other regions.

In my weekly column in the prestigious Nigerian national newspaper, The Guardian, I share recipes that celebrate African foods whilst using the best of what my environment has to offer especially British produce. In addition to writing, I regularly promote African cooking as a guest on several talks, demonstrations, radio and television programs such as the BBC.

What I have got cooking at the moment…

Gourmet brownie collection 

As we bought more and more chocolate to satisfy Thurston's insatiable appetite we increasingly got tired of the popular phrase, 'made with the finest Belgian Chocolate'. Every time I read that phrase, all I can think of is King Leopold and his atrocities!
      
There is hardly ever a mention of West Africa, where a vast amount of the world's cocoa supply comes from. And when it is mentioned, we are often told tales of chocolate bars helping the poor farmer to buy more goats to feed his family for a year! And so we made it our mission to source ethical chocolate producers who go beyond paying for the privilege to put 'fairtrade' stamps on their products, but those who actually respect African farmers and their produce. 
 
We are proud to say,
our brownies are made with the Finest African Cocoa & Chocolate! 
We don't stop at chocolate, we also source African produce, spices and more from indigenous producers, like the teff, moringa, and more. We pay more for products that help to share our African story with the world.

 

COOKERY SCHOOL & IMMERSIVE EXPERIENCES

Talks, Cookery Classes & demonstrations, Private Dining Experiences & Supper Clubs

Contemporary African recipes for Miele

I have found the perfect way to share food with as many people through my cookery classes, supper clubs and pop-ups from Lagos, to London. They have become popular for the vibrant and seasonal selection of African and British local produce, explosive flavours and food stories inspired by rich cuisine from Africa and beyond. 

At our cookery classes, you will be inspired to cook vibrant and sumptuous meals using home made spice blends, healthy feasts, sustainable fish as well as vegan and vegetarian feasts. We focus on fuelling your desire to cook, as well as developing your taste and confidence as a cook.

The menu appeals to a wide range of people especially those on plant-based diets because my love for cooking with greens, fruits, nuts, seeds and fresh herbs. You come in with friends, family or alone and leave with happy tummies and new friendships made at the table. I also host lots of cookery classes, talks, demonstrations and private dining experiences in collaboration with amazing brand partners.

Clients & collaborators include; Waitrose, Wefifo, The Soho Group, Groucho Club, GlaxoSmithKline, Aviva Plc, Shell, British Red Cross, Beacon Scholarship, The Queen's Commonwealth Trust, Visit Brighton and more, Robert Welch, Le Creuset and more. 

       

Supperclub with Waitrose & Wefifo

 

On stage cooking live at GTBank Food & Drink Festival in Lagos, Nigeria

 

In 2017 I was invited to host a masterclass at the GTBank Food & Drink Fair in Lagos, Nigeria. With over 50,000 people in attendance over two days. 

Cookery Classes

Our cookery classes take place in London and Sussex and I thoroughly enjoy sharing wonderful food with different people week after week. This is a great way to share new foods with people, to inspire and share healthy and modern recipes.

My greatest joy in cooking is in learning and sharing, especially celebrating the best of African food. I hope that through my passion, experiences, discoveries, and recipes, you too will find joy in learning and sharing glorious food.

If you will like to work with me or join in any of my events, don't hesitate to send a message as you may just snap up the last seat!

Let’s get cooking!

Lerato x 

 

Read about more about our events and supperclubs to be hosted in Waitrose stores