Fork in Nigeria: A truly unique Detroit food truck experience
Chef Prej Iroegbu earned his keep the hard way
“I grew up the youngest of seven on a farm in Nigeria. Everyone worked on the farm.”
But Chef Prej Iroegbu, as a young man with little experience - wasn’t about farming all that much.
“I needed something else to do and I liked cooking,” he says.
So in his early teens, Prej parked himself in the kitchen, with the goal of preparing meals good enough to earn the privilege of cooking for everyone.
“I had to cook real good. It’s hard work and everyone is hungry. But you see I WANTED to. Preparing good warm meals for my family was the true motivation.”
He earned his keep. He butchered, seasoned, learning his way with herbs and pairing meals with refreshing drinks. His meals were slappin’ every time. So much so that, by 16 - he got to go on the adventure of a lifetime.
In Port Harcourt, Nigeria - off the Atlantic coast, sits an oil well that gets mined by companies from all over the world. Hungry workers docked for weeks went seeking more than the typical boxed lunch. Eventually word reached them of a teenage chef from a local farm.
“I moved up to the deck, and I’d sit up there the entire day and just create meals,” he tells us. “I began hearing things like, ‘..this little kid from the farm- he cooks pretty good!’ It was really amazing, a great experience. I learned how to use commercial equipment. I learned how to present food differently. And I learned how people relate to different spices.”
Prej went on an even further adventure a few years later, taking advantage of scholarship to attend Wayne State.
He felt at home in Detroit, except one thing was missing.
So he gave us a food truck like unlike any other in Detroit - @forkinnigeria. And it’s a family affair all around. Nephew Desmond and others help Prej every day.
Word spread fast. The demand expanded - and now with the help of a @MotorCityMatch grant - Fork in Nigeria is expanding into a brick and mortar on Woodward Ave in Midtown!
Stay tuned for the grand opening! And order 7 days a week from the food truck on Livernois Ave of Fashion.
Also be on the lookout for them in Spirit Plaza by checking the schedule at @detroitparksrec