Ahead of our first pop-up in 2016, our co-founder Emeka, shares his experience of his Chuku's journey to date:
It was 1am and the guests had finally gone. I peeled myself off the sofa and traipsed into the kitchen. Damn! The plates were stacked high and the pots lined the floor. I bemoaned the house’s lack of a dishwasher. As I slipped on the marigolds, thankfully, Mum came in to give me a hand. A couple of hours later and the place was spotless. As I collapsed on the bed, knackered, I smiled to myself. Jubilantly, I punched the air, “Yes, Emeka! We’ve started!”
This was February 2015 and I had just served my unwitting friends the first Nigerian-inspired tapas menu, introducing them to plantain, jollof and chin. They loved it!
As I jotted down the night’s learnings, I circled the penultimate sentence “I need help for this”. And I knew who I wanted. We had spoken about it back in 2011, just before I travelled to Spain and whilst she was still at university. It was now her turn to be out of the country, enjoying life in the French Caribbean. I Whatsapped her a few snaps, “Look what I made tonight!” The emojis came flooding back, “I’m back in May. But let’s speak next week,” read the reply.
Double fist pump. There was only one person I ever wanted to work with on Chuku’s - my best friend and little sister, Ifeyinwa. From acting out scenes from Cool Runnings to tidying up the house to surprise our mum, we’d proven to be a formidable team from a young age.
Now, three name changes, two sell-out events and one website later, together we’re about to embark on our first full year with the Chuku’s brand. And I’m excited again.
We took a break from the end of last year, partly imposed upon me by my need to have surgery. But with me recovered and Ifeyinwa back from her holiday in Nigeria, we are well rested and raring to go.
Our new year’s resolution: ‘chop, chat, chill’ more. Chuku’s will be popping up at least once a month, so keep your eyes peeled. Even you guys overseas are not safe :)
We are expecting 2016 to be a busy and exciting year. And look forward to sharing the journey with you right here as we go.
It all begins this Sunday (24th January 2016). We’re kicking off the new year, with a new menu and at a new venue. Find us at Grow, Hackney from 12.30pm to 6pm, serving up our new tapas dishes and chilled out African beats. What better way to round off your weekend?
Can’t wait to see you!