Hi, my name is Dunni Obata, and I am what you would call the poster child for redefining Nigerian food.
Wondering where the ‘Dooney’ came from? Don’t worry, I wasn’t trying to anglicise my name. To close friends, I am known as Dooneyrooney, a nickname conferred on me in medical school a lifetime ago, which has stuck. I tried calling it Dooneyrooney’s Kitchen but it was a mouthful, so I took out the Rooney, to name this blog, but if you know any single men with last name Rooney, send them my way. It will be the ultimate coup to be Mrs Dunni Rooney, much to my mother’s chagrin, plus a few people I know (insert wink smiley).
Anyways, welcome to Dooney’s Kitchen. You are at the home of great Nigerian centric food, detailed recipes and sharing personal real life stories. You will get to know me, my friends, my family, especially my Mum and namesake fondly called, Big Oladunni, who is pivotal to many recipes here. You will also get to read about the tutelage I have received in the kitchen over the years, courtesy of my cooking heroines, mainly Iye Gbuyi (maternal grandma) and Iyenekere (paternal grandma), Aunties, Cousins and Friends who have passed on great knowledge about food and life in general. Once in a while, I will chip in about the men too. Daddy Dunni, will feature a couple of times and my annoyingly adorable baby brother Yomi. Want to know about the exciting features of the blog, click HERE
This blog is my diary. The online record of the footprints of my life. Welcome on my journey not just through food, but the baby and giant steps as I maneuver through life. Most of all I wanted this blog to be relatable, and that is what you are going to get. You will read my joys, my triumphs, my challenges, the sad bits, the funny bits, my travels and so much more. I am this 80’s baby, (generation Y, as they call us) who has come into her own. I have finally discovered what I was born to do, which is cook and bring joy to the world through food. I think I love to feed people more than I love to cook, so guests beware!!!!.
Le Kitchen – where the magic happens and the showcase of my addiction to kitchen gadgets. It is tiny, but you know what they say, big things sometimes come in small packages.
From the kitchen to the table – where friends and family find it difficult to get up from the chairs. Yes, I confess, I am the ultimate feeder!!!!
I am the proverbial hostess with the mostess. I consider entertaining an art, and when I have guests over, I aim to impress. Sample meals when I entertain. Only the finest and the best, when I have people over.
Because I love to entertain, empty plates are one of my favourite things, I don’t like doing the dishes though.
I write a lot, I do get on sometimes, but the words just pour out of me, as my fingers hit the keyboard. So, if you like to read, be prepared to, because there is a lot here. I love weaving in stories with my recipes. You will laugh with me, cry with me, celebrate with me, discover new and/or re-invent Nigerian cooking with me. Together we will create lasting food memories. When I am 50, and looking back at my life, these are words, I will read again. This is how memoirs are written. I am writing my auto-foodiebiography.
Nigerian food, another of my favourite things. I can talk about it all day, extol its virtues till the cows come home. Nigerian food is colourful, it is explosive, it definitely has a personality, and it can be mean or kind to you depending on how you treat it. Nigerian food deserves its place on the global food map as a recognised and respected cuisine. There is so much to it, 160 million people surely can’t be wrong. Which is where I come in. I am the noisemaker, the lover, the champion, the writer, the town crier with the virtual mega phone, using this blog as a medium to introduce the world to Nigerian food. I will courageously stand in the face of our food traditions and culture, pulling them along into the 21st century. I am aiming to lead the revolution which will result in the birth of Modern Nigerian cooks and global acceptance of Nigerian food.
Two facial expressions you will notice with me in the kitchen – intense concentration
and big smiles when it all goes my way. You don’t want to see my face when Murphy’s Law decides to come alive in my kitchen. Oh yes, it happens sometimes. Ignore the mess. hahahaha
I am the budding food photographer with a Canon camera and a growing acquisition of lenses, still learning and absorbing with each day Mother Nature blesses England with good sunlight. I want to be my best photographer self now, but I am coming to realise that it is a journey, even though my harsh alter ego critic, looks at other food pictures and screams whyyyyyyyyy, can’t mine look like that. My latest baby is the f.14 50mm. Watch out for the beautiful images that will come out from that lens and I getting to know each other very well.
Heston Blumenthal is one of my cooking heroes, and it is from him, what will be Dooney’s Kitchen signature phrase, ‘The New Nigerian Cookery‘ was invented. This phrase truly embodies the blog. I will play around with food fusions and plating techniques, I will question your opinions about Nigerian food and you will wonder why we haven’t been doing it that way before. On this blog, you will see Nigerian food differently. It will test all you know about it, but if you are willing to open up to new and exciting possibilities with Nigerian food, you will have a fabulous time with this blog.
Come one, come all, join the Nigerian Food Revolution and celebrate Nigerian food with me. Our food has arrived and in true “9ja” style, we are going to make the world notice us, whether they like it or not. Again, welcome to Dooney’s Kitchen, I look forward to interacting with you and creating lasting food memories.