Nky Iweka a.k.a. ‘The Executive Mama Put’ has spent almost a decade redefining Nigerian food and challenging the way in which Nigerian food is cooked and presented.
She opened her first restaurant, Pitanga, two years ago. Situated in West Kensington in London, U.K., it bills itself as offering “Nigerian Food With a Twist”. Serving traditional fare such as Egusi and Okro as well as inventions of hers using Nigerian ingredients in new ways such as her signature Jollof Balls and Prawn Akara. Pitanga boasts an eclectic client base and is fast becoming a destination restaurant for Nigerians and non-Nigerians alike.
“One of my biggest joys is looking around the restaurant and seeing people of various ethnicities eating Nigerian food. I show them how to eat with their hands. It’s part of the Pitanga Experience. Our open-plan kitchen means we can quickly respond to customer needs. My teenage dream is eventually coming true! The next step is to spread the Pitanga Experience.”
A mother of two, she started off her professional career as a management consultant at Unisys and PricewaterhouseCoopers, where she was lucky enough to eat her way round the world (in addition to working in Finance Transformation for Blue-chip Companies, mostly in the Telecoms Sector).
“Worldwide, chefs are constantly reinventing their national dishes and creating truly beautiful masterpieces, worthy of any artist. I wanted the same for our food”.
Her first book, ‘Quintessentially Efik Recipes’ which showcases the dishes and culture of the Efik people of Southern Nigeria was published in 2014. Other books on Nigerian cuisine and her culinary adventures are in the pipeline.
Key Media & Appearances
● ‘Where’s My African Takeaway?’ BBC Food Chain (Nov 2017)
● Guest Chef, Sharjah Children’s Reading Festival, UAE (Apr 2016)
● Annual Igbo Conference: Panel Speaker (Ap 2014 & Featured Speaker Apr 2016)
● ‘Nigerian Food Pops up in London’, BBC (Dec 2015)
● CRBC, Nigeria (Sept 2015)