Shola Olunloyo is a talented, passionate, and resourceful chef, and a distinguished member of the Philadelphia restaurant community. He’s carved out a creative niche and reputation for himself in an industry where its hard to get a foothold, let alone make an impact. Now known to the Philly food world as just Shola, Olunloyo was born in England and raised in both Europe and West Africa. Never one to follow a traditional path, Olunloyo embarked on a self-designed apprenticeship that included employment in several countries, from Italy and France to countries throughout Southeast Asia. Picking up techniques, flavor profiles, and traditions along the way, Olunloyo was also developing what would become a kind of culinary credo.
Back in Philadelphia, Olunloyo found an outlet in writing about food and working as a private chef and caterer. But his passion and curiosity weren’t quite satisfied, so the chef moved to New York City, where working as a private chef allowed him to save more for a future investment. In addition, selling all of his bicycles (Olunloyo had been an avid cyclist) earned him roughly $15,000 in seed money, which the chef invested in his small, experimental project Studiokitchen. From Studiokitchen, or “SK,” Olunloyo is develops and plays with culinary concepts, global foods, and cutting-edge technology in an approachable laboratory setting. There he see ideas to fruition, from concepts for restaurants to innovations for food service equipment manufacturers.