It was a tough cooking contest, but at the end, she emerged victorious.
Pretty Chef Scholastica Joseph beat six other finalists to become the first female winner of the Street Foodz Naija season 3. The grand finale of the cooking show, which held at Muri Okunola Park, Victoria Island, Lagos, saw Scholastica smile home with the grand prize worth N20 million, including training at Metropolitan School of Business Management, United Kingdom; all-expense paid trip to Dubai, and culinary scholarship at HBM.
The first runner-up, Abraham Nwanuah aka Chef Blue, got N5 million cash, while the second runner-up, Eze Lilian Nneka aka Chef Lily z, went away with N3 million cash.
Speaking shortly after the competition, Chef Scholastica said excitedly, “It’s so unreal. My friend told me about it and encouraged me to apply. I wasn’t serious at first, but when I applied and got selected, it was mind-blowing; it is the most educational show.”
On how she feel being the first female to win the competition, the Akwa Ibom State native enthused, “I’m so excited. I cannot express how I feel right now; I still feel like I’m dreaming. My creativity level, having participated in this show, is so high; I cannot even express it. Right now, I’m thinking about the training in Dubai. I’m going to get more knowledge so I can run my diner.”
Recalling how she got into cooking, Chef Scholastica said: “My mum and I were chased out of the house by my step father, so I had to rely on selling food to survive.
I used to sell food bowls; I started doing that when I was between 16 and 17. So, I had to obtain the UNILAG diploma form and that was how I was able to pay my fees. The days I didn’t have lectures, I will take more orders to pile up money.”
Femi Ogundoro, CEO of Maxima Media Group, owners of FoodBay TV, said the vision behind Street Foodz Naija is to put Nigerian street foods on the global map. “Street Foodz Naija is pretty much to celebrate superstars like the contestants that we had on this show this season. Trust me, Nigeria is blessed. The journey has been very interesting; they have also been able to justify why we are doing what we are doing here today. You also need to be an ambassador for African food; be proud of it anywhere.”
On the effort by FoodBay TV to reposition Nigerian dishes for the international market, he said, “We’re not asking for a seat at the table anymore; we’re constructing our own table. We’re not going to be looking at the foreign media to dictate what we do with our food anymore; we will tell them how to feel about food and how to see it. But it starts with you and I understanding who we are as a people. We are Nigerians. Let’s take pride in what we have, in who we are as a people. Let’s not be ashamed of our jollof rice.”
Hosted by Do2tun and Elozonam, the grand finale was spiced with musical performances by music artistes, including Eloswag of Big Brother Naija.