A STORY ABOUT ME
I’m Babatunde Tejumola, also known as Tunde or TJ to my friends.
I am the CEO and founder of Suyaman, and I’m also a pharmacist outside of the kitchen.
My food journey started at a young age at my mum’s kitchen in Nigeria. Whilst at primary school, we were lucky enough to have a chef that worked for us, and who I was fascinated by. My childhood food experience was always shared with my younger brother, Yomi, and I remember sitting at the dining table, sometimes waiting up to an hour eagerly waiting to see what the chef was going to serve. He would always blow us away with dishes that were novel to us at the time, like beef stroganoff, spaghetti bolognese with cheese and even homemade ketchup.
At this point, I was inspired to cook too. So I would always spend time in the kitchen, watching my mum and the chef as they did their magic.
I eventually was trusted to use my mum’s kitchen at around 12 years old after I attended some cooking classes in school.
I loved cooking and loved to recreate western dishes with whatever we had in the kitchen. I remember I made pizza with sliced bread. And my late grandmother was one of the biggest fans of my prawn stir fry. She used to call it ‘onje Tunde’, which translates to Tunde’s food.
I continued my passion for cooking while I was at university in the UK, and wanted to bring Nigerian food to my friends. I would host Nigerian-themed dinner parties, and get everyone to wear traditional Nigerian clothes and play Fela Kuti. I loved seeing my friends’ reactions to discovering the cuisine and enjoying the night.
Although I am a pharmacist by trade, I wanted to take my passion for food to the next level. I wanted to extend the incredible Nigerian experience of food culture and music to more people.
This gave birth to Suyaman in March 2019.
The dishes at Suyaman use some pharmacy techniques and food experience from my travels around Europe. My cooking style fuses indigenous ingredients and European cooking methods, and dishes are served up authentically.
Looking into the future, I aim to discover more exotic cuisines and cultures, and bring them back to Suyaman, to share it with people who are passionate about food. My next big plan is to spend some time in Bahia, Brazil, to explore the heritage of Nigerian food there. You can expect to see regular food review videos, where I document some of the most inspiring and mind-blowing dishes and cuisines I’ve discovered. Check out my reviews of some incredible foods to eat in Camden Town, London.