I cook with love and it’s an energy that gets reciprocated by many

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What do you see when you envision the future of the Belgian creative scene? For us, we see diverse, unique perspectives, representative of the world around us. That is exactly why we have been working on our 20-something issues since 2014. These editions feature 20 people in their (pre-)twenties who are a guide, an inspiration or an Earlybird for the young generation of today in Belgium. It is the greatest honour to step into the minds of some of the most innovative young people in Belgium; and learn about their dreams, fears, inspirations and even their celebrity crushes. This year’s list was co-curated with Kevin Kotahunyi, founder of Please Add Color.

Jana Uzoeghelu

she/her, 27, culinary creative and intuitive chef, Ghent

What do we & our readers need to remember about you?

Purpose is fluid, I will not solely be cooking for the rest of this lifetime. 

What is the idea behind ŌNŪ Supper Club?

I cook with love and it’s an energy that gets reciprocated by many, which is something very special and I am grateful for. So ŌNŪ Supper Club seats individuals from different walks of life at a common table to connect over the universal joy of eating and satiating conversations. The Supper Club hosts a space where the people who are seated at the table can open up in an unrestricted environment and break bread together. It’s all about sharing love, connecting outside of your bubble and expanding through the experience of sharing food communally.

What cuisines inspire your personal menus?

Nigerian cuisine will be the inspiration for everything that follows. 

What artists are you listening to?

My go-to artists are and will always be Sade, Erykah Badu, Lauryn Hill, Yussef Dayes, Yussef Lateef, Mansur Brown, Pharrell Williams, D’Angelo… I could keep going actually…

Which records are you playing most right now? 

I recently bumped into an album of BY.ALEXANDER called 000 Channel Black. Every song of that album somehow resonates. Each song is layered so beautifully. It’s quite an experimental take on jazz I'd say, it just gets me in my feels. ‘Where Are Your Branches’ by Oscar Jerome is also looping on a daily and as well as ‘It’s Only Us’ by Monophonics. 

What book are you currently reading?

I am reading three books at this point (not very efficient nor productive haha). Creative Quest by Quest Love, Notes from a young black Chef by Kwame Onuwachi and Something About Food by Quest Love.

Which film have you enjoyed lately?

I am a serial binge-watcher of TV Shows or reality dating series like Love Is Blind, for example. I love observing and analyzing human and social behaviour, patterns of social relationships and interactions in relation to certain aspects of culture associated with our everyday shenanigans. But it’s been a while since I bumped into something new tbh.

What makes your heart go faster these days?

Serendipitous moments give me sooo much life! Those accidental encounters that aren’t accidental. I’ve been having quite a lot of those lately and it gives me the feeling that life is flowing like a nice summer breeze.

What are you doing daily at 9 pm/9 am?

My life right now is quite boring, Am or pm on weekdays I’m either working on the job or working on optimising every next step. All of my energy right now is channelled towards being as productive as possible. Which I also fail at a lot, so it’s not all working out just yet ha!

All of my energy right now is channelled towards being as productive as possible

What’s your personal utopia?

A world without prejudice, racism and white supremacy, less egotistical men and the legalisation of conscious cannabis use!

What brings you satisfaction?

I recently started a pottery class and it is becoming quite an obsession. As being in a kitchen, doing catering gigs and trying to juggle a supper club in between every now and then… All of it together can feel quite draining and hectic. Pottery is my new thing to relax and release all of my built-up internal tension, gets me in a meditative state and it's instantly gratifying. Just amazing, and something I want to become better at.

How do you relax?

Pour myself some red wine, run a hot bath, light some candles and incense, take a spoon of my homemade infused THC oil and put on some jazz. It’s a whole vibe.

What’s one of your sources of inspiration that may surprise people?

I like to go on solo trips, I love new environments and long walks with no interference of bumping into people I know. Wandering in a different city, trying out new spots, taking myself out on dates. Ultimate me-time in solitude. These are moments where I can clear up brain space for anything I’d like to work on. Solo tripping is my gateway to creativity. Solitude is everything.

Solo tripping is my gateway to creativity. Solitude is everything

What would you like to be doing in 10 years’ time?

I would love to write a book!

What is the latest/future project you are working on?

ŌNŪ is and will be an ongoing project, I’d like to purify and dig deeper into + do more research on and display Nigerian Cuisine from my own creative perspective. There are a few constituents that’ll make up ŌNŪ as a manifested whole. That I will, for now, keep to myself :)

In the meantime, I would love to collaborate with more artists and work on projects where we can intertwine both our creative fields and create something more multi-sensory or mutually elevating.

What will the second part of 2022 bring you?

I feel like the second part of 2022 will be the beginning of me being able to combine work + travel! Which I’ve always wanted to do. A few things are coming along my path that indicates that this might be the next step. Nothing yet is officially set yet, but I’m putting it out here on paper as another intention to work towards and manifest.

Who is the person that most influenced you throughout your development in life?

It’s hard to say because I feel like this is just the beginning of my development as my authentic self. Many people play a part in that development. It’s actually the random conversations with strangers that stick by me the most. Short encounters and deeper conversations about self and life always get me reflective and give me new perspectives to work with and navigate life differently if needed.

It’s the random conversations with strangers that stick by me the most

There is no specific person who helped me develop in life, except my mother obviously. But her role in my development was more giving me and allowing me all of the space I needed to develop as authentic as possible, and I’m very grateful for that!

What is the most important thing you’ve learned lately?

Intuition is everything! Take time to scan your thoughts and your body in different situations. Once you become aware of how you feel internally, it’ll be easier to navigate certain opportunities and even calamities. 

Is there anyone in your scene who needs more attention? 

I think Issiah Johnson is a very interesting figure to keep an eye on!

Comfort food/speciality dish?

I once had Okinawan Taco Rice in House of Small Wonder in NYC and since then it has been my go-to dish.

Celebrity crush?

Zoë Kravitz, this woman is close to perfection.

Most irrational fear?/Most rational fear?

I’m afraid of snails and rejection. That’s about it. I live a pretty fearless life tbh. But scared shitless of snails.

What would be your uniform if you were a cartoon character in a show?

A dark green shimmering mermaid outfit. I have a great affinity with the ocean. I love to swim as far as possible in open waters, I love to dive and I love taking baths or long showers. Water on my bare skin feels very liberating and cleansing. So yes, I’d be a mermaid!

What were you like as a child?

A very independent one that barely ever listened, did everything her way, and never liked to conform or abide by set rules. I did not like the feeling of being monitored or told what to do, so whatever I had to do, I did it my way to still keep a sense of control and freedom over my own decisions.

If you could have any superpower, what would it be?

That would be teleporting myself around the whole world by just snapping my fingers.

What’s the one thing you can’t live without?

My home-brewed and well-calculated cannabis cooking oil. The oil has been my lifesaver, therapist and personal brain enhancer.

If there was a book about your life, what would the title be?

Living life while dancing on its edges.

Biggest red flag?

Big egos, unaccountability and possessiveness.

Biggest dream?

Early retirement by 40.

Favourite quote from a book/movie/show/song

‘The experience of intuition cannot be explained in terms of the five senses, because it is the voice of the nonphysical world’ Seat of The Soul by Gary Zukav

‘Why do we feel it’s necessary to yak about bullshit in order to be comfortable?’ from Pulp Fiction

‘We’ve been told to protect our outer man while our inner man is dying’ Lauryn Hill, MTV Unplugged album

@janauzoeghelu / @ onu_supperclub

Photo's by @dandyfuego and strumpfmacher


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