Cover Story

A Culinary Escape

Meet Izu Ani who turned his passion into the ultimate escape.

Thinking about a gastronomical escape? Chef Izu has the answer. With some Michelin stars in his portfolio, and some grand restaurants sparkling up his resume, no wonder this food connoisseur is on a fast train to ultimate success. Born in Nigeria, brought up in London, learned contemporary cooking in Spain, and soaked up on conventional cuisine in France, Chef Izu brings global expertise to the Middle-East. He collaborated with Tryano on the ‘Escape’ campaign, and emphasized the most important escape... Read on and prepare to tantalize your senses as you find out about what drives him to cook the most exquisite food, and to also encounter valuable lessons that you can learn by simply being alone on a soul-searching expedition.
Tryano: Who and what inspired you to become a Chef?
Chef Izu: I never dreamt of becoming a chef. I joined a home economics class that only had women, and that inspired me to be the first man in that class. I discovered that I actually liked cooking. My initial thought was that I might have an opportunity with these beautiful young ladies.
T: How do you give each concept its own time?
CI: I give each concept its own time by regularly being available, visiting them and tasting the food. I tend to visit all the outlets at least once a week or more. For instance, if I am changing menus in Carine or Lighthouse; I will dedicate more time until we get to where we need to be. As Gaia has just opened, I am giving it more time at the moment.
T: How do you manage between work and your personal life?
CI: I try to juggle between the two. I aim to wake up at 4 am in the morning and cycle. That is my ‘me’ time. I take my boys to school, catch up on their previous day and give them some inspiration for their upcoming one. I also try and combine having meals with my family over the weekends at one of the restaurants, so that I can have quality time with them while working. If I can't be at home, I bring my family to work.
T: Why did you decide to collaborate with Tryano?
CI: Whoever I am collaborating with, I always make sure that they are an external projection of who I am. Tryano is a good brand to be associated with and down to the essentials, and I like that. This is how I cook; it is all about the ingredients, the flavors and the combinations that come with it, you can't just put things together and hope it will work, you have to understand it.
T: How do you disconnect and escape?
CI: I try to have my ‘me’ time in the morning, when I reconnect with myself and try to understand who I am. It’s when I have deep conversations with myself that often have very positive outcomes.
T: When is your next escape?
CI: When I will wake up early for cycling. It's my therapeutic time. This helps you in finding ways to express yourself better.

We must all make time to connect with who we are. I work hard and I reap the fruits of my own success. We invite you to try escaping to one of Chef Izu’s restaurants to savor the most satisfying flavors that exemplify who he is. Tryano promises you an unmatched experience, and an unforgettable culinary escape.

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