As Anthony Bourdain said, “Good food is very often, even most often, simple food.” From working as a sous chef to running a successful catering business, Chef Hassan’s Kitchen is a well-known catering and meal delivery business located at Bathurst and Steeles. Onside Media spoke to Hassan Adenola about his food journey and his favorite recipes.
Hassan Adenola loves to cook. From the age of 16, he began working as a Sous Chef at a private golf course located in Toronto. While working, he attended York University and went on to pursue Kinesiology at the University of Toronto.
For six years, Chef Loso mentored Hassan, which laid the foundation of his catering business in 2018. Being a former basketball player, he was well versed in the eating habits of an athlete. He began catering to the University team and gained popularity. Hasan then expanded to catering for private events, youth festivals, Caribana (Toronto Caribbean Carnival), which catered to over 500 guests at a time. Due to Chef Losos’ mentorship, Hassan was able to learn tricks of his trade in real-time.
Hassan grew his business by way of referrals. However, when the Covid–19 lockdowns began in 2020, the event industry was hit hard, and so was his catering business.
Hassan added, “No matter what you do, everything is hard at first, be it school, sports or even starting a business. I believe in the saying; Tough times don’t last, tough people, do. You always need to question why you do what you are doing and motivate yourself from time and again. This is what keeps me motivated.”
During the lockdown, Hasan started improving his backend operations, including new quick popular menus as everyone had started curbside pick-ups and deliveries. Before the second lockdown, he began catering to private events such as graduations and birthdays that included not more than ten people—making customized menus by bringing a professional chef to intimate, socially distant gatherings.
Entrepreneurs do everything independently, from maintaining the day-to-day business operations to taking care of social media and websites. How do you get a digital team on board when the capital is limited?
“To take my business forward and make it pandemic proof, I require an affordable, competent digital execution team to better my online presence, reach larger target audiences, and which eventually would lead to more sales.”
On a lighter note, we asked Hassan what his favorite dishes were, and he happily told us about Nigerian Jollof Rice, Shrimp and beef steak with potatoes and salad, and White Chocolate Brownies cheesecake.
Hassan believes that a positive attitude coupled with hard work can help you achieve whatever you aspire. Apart from his catering business, he founded a not-for-profit organization GAINS- Great Achievement Involves numerous sacrifices. Through the foundation, he mentors children on life skills ranging from cooking to managing daily struggles. Undoubtedly Hassan is rising by lifting others.
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Author: Yugbodh, Onside Media, Toronto, Canada. If you have stories to share kindly email: – [email protected]