When Joy FM said it was bringing its staff, including top journalists, to prove to the world that they were not only good in the newsroom or in the studio, but also good in the kitchen, it was no joke.
As in previous years, The Multimedia Group brought together its staff from the various divisions to take part in the Joy FM Easter Soup Kitchen. The event took place at the company parking lot at Kokomlemle in Accra.
The event brought together seasoned journalists to showcase their cooking prowess. The tastes of JoyNews editors Araba Koomson and Fiifi Koomson, host of Daybreak Hitz on Hitz FmAndy Dosty, hosts of driving time, Lexis Bill and other presenters including Kofi Hayford, Doreen Avio, Sammy Forson, Mamavi Owusu Aboagye were all at their culinary best.
The occasion also saw professional chefs who oversaw the kitchen and ensured everything was in place. Who are these cooks?
One of them is Eugene Keku Aryee, a professional caterer with over 15 years of practice.
His catering profession started in high school when he decided to study home economics, but unfortunately he did not have the support of his family to pursue his career.
“Cooking is actually a gift. I had the talent, and by the grace of God, I had an “A” grade in nutrition when I took my final exam. Just that my family didn’t realize the talent to support me,” he said.
Eugene did not stop there but improved at the National Institute of Vocational Training.
His first big job was at the airport, where he was one of the chefs who supplied food to the airlines at Kotoka International Airport (KIA) and worked in cities like Kumasi, Accra, Takoradi, etc.
“After that, I moved to Kumasi, where I worked under contract with Golden Tulip for about six months. In Takoradi, I worked in different hotels. Then in 2017 I moved to the Volta region to work,” he said.
He not only practiced in Ghana, but also took his cuisine to the shores of the country when he worked as a chef in a Nigerian pilot’s house.
Speaking to Myjoyonline.com, he revealed that his passion for helping the community made him part of the Easter soup kitchen. Even a stressful trip from the Volta region to Accra could not deter him from participating in the event.
“I’ve been listening to Joy FM for almost 23 years now, and when I heard about the show, I decided to participate. So I’m going here before 6 a.m. to set things up,” he said.
He currently supplies pastries to the Catholic hospital in Bator in the Volta region, where he resides.
The second leader is Gloria, also known as the royal leader. It operates the Royal Food Palace at Ablekuma Agape High Street in Accra.
Gloria describes cooking “like a gift”.
“He’s one of God’s gifts, but I started working with him professionally about 10 to 15 years ago, and I’ve worked with celebrities and a few churches for their event.”
Hearing about the Easter soup kitchen from a friend, she decided to participate in the event.
“When I learned that it was about giving back to the community, I was so excited to get on board because I love giving back to society,” she pointed out.
Eugene Sholar Mawuena is the other professional Sunday cook. Her interest in cooking grew in college and she decided to improve her skills and make cooking a profession.
“I went to Tesano JHS where I did home economics. From there, I went to Mawuko Girls Senior High, where I also studied home economics. From there I went to the Technical University of Accra, where I did hotel catering and institutional management.
However, she took a break from catering when she continued her national service in the Ghana Navy, where she served as the personal assistant to the Commander of the Navy.
From there, she returned to the field and specialized in cake decorating and sugarcraft at Cake Tekniks.
“There I graduated as the best student of the 2019 batch. I currently run my own business where we offer catering and training services,” she said.