IKE: We Want To Celebrate Family Values

Vivien-IkeVivien Ike is the producer of Blind Tasters, a cooking competition that is about to debut. In this interview with MARGARET MWANTOK, she speaks of event and its importance to the families.

VIVIEN Ike, one of Nigeria’s young talents, grew up in a family where family values lie in teaching the golden rule and practising it. To this charming child of God, to fulfill her purpose in life, she must first seek the kingdom of God. Though she is presently enrolled in an online Masters programme at University of Maryland, University College, United States, she does not see it as a barrier to achieving her purpose, of helping Nigerian families.

After spending five years in the USA, vivien decided to return home to fulfill her purpose, “I am an intuitive person who believes that nothing is sheer coincidence. I believe the main reason why I won a US visa lottery was for me to garner the experience that I needed to do what I am doing now. So at the appointed time, my spirit was restless; I knew I had to return and that’s exactly what I did.”

She said the loss of her father inspired her new television show, Blind Tasters. “I was bereaved and decided to spend the day alone in my room, just to cry my eyes out, but then while grieving the loss of my dad, I fell into a trance and dreamt of a cooking show. I immediately named it ‘taste of victory’ but along the line, it became Blind Tasters.”

Blind Tasters is a cooking competition that Ike described as “a healthy competition that celebrates family values, promotes the concept of love, friendship, and cooking.” She said the show employs blind tasting as a means of evaluating, promoting, strengthening and rekindling the bond between people.

Shedding more light on Blind Tasters, she revealed that this healthy competition involves seven chefs and seven blind tasters that could be family relations or friends of the chefs. “The chefs are assigned to cook while the blind tasters are to identify their chef’s dish. If they fail, they send their cook to the danger zone where each of them has to identify whatever is presented to them. They do this with their eyes closed and noses clamped. Any chef that fails the test goes into the elimination room to face a celebrity judge and two other judges. There, they are judged based on the presentation and taste of their food. The chef with worst food is eliminated and the one that has the best food wins.”

The overall winner of the competition leaves with a cash prize of two- million-Naira and a brand new car, she said.

Blind tasters seems to be first of its kind in a local cooking competition, no wonder Ike added, “the show already speaks for itself as its format has been reviewed by top production companies like Buck Productions, which is a leading content creation company honoured multiple times on Real Screen’s Global 100 list as one of the most influential, inspirational, and world leading production companies in the world, Eye Works Belgium- acquired by WarnerBro and is seemingly one of the leading independent TV and film production companies in Belgium.”

Additionally, the cooking competition is a show that celebrates family values; social, political, and religious and work values. “I believe all these strengthen the bond families have and help kids make good choices. I am confident that Blind Tasters will appeal to a broad demographic due to its varied content and entertainment value. For example, a mother can be the chef and her seven year old can be her blind taster.”

Ike said the show could be summed up in three words: Colourful, Fun and Rewarding, as it celebrates diversity, ethnicity, and individuality, allowing everyone to get a peek into other people’s family relationships and interactions. “Rewarding not just financially but things that money can’t buy like one’s relationship with God and family, and when we see families and friends bond, it encourages us to appreciate one another and count our blessings. We are able to forge relationships, bury anger, fix broken relationships, restore peace, trust and unity and also reconnect families and friends.”

The competition has been able to attract international sponsors like Skyrun international group and big name sponsors like Eleganza and Tarzan Cargo Services. “We also had part sponsorship from The Deck, and we are very grateful for their contributions as we look forwards to more sponsorship opportunities in the future.”

The show is currently working on partnering with a telecommunication company as it is already attracting calls from prospective participants and sponsors.

When asked whether she was a great cook, Ike laughed and said, “I wonder why I get asked this question, maybe I need to weave my hair with vegetables and use tomatoes as earrings to convince people that I can cook. Hey, I might never compete with certified chefs for the best tasting meal; which is more of the reason why I love blind tasters cooking competition, because you do not have to be a great cook. I am proud to say I am a good cook.

According to Ike, the show would also contribute immensely to the country’s economy. “Creativity is important to an economy’s growth and development. Due to this, my focus has always been to create wealth and in doing so, promote a creative economy. Everything in this world began with a simple idea and this has created job opportunities and generated income, thereby contributing to the development of countries. Blind Tasters is no different in the sense that it is a brilliant idea that has the potential of doing the same thing.”

On her projection for the show, Ike is optimistic, “I have heard talks here and there about the economy but I keep saying to my faith team that the economy doesn’t define us; we define the economy! Now here is your answer: I see Blind Tasters being the best new idea out of Africa in little time. Vivienike productions have produced Blind Tasters and by the grace of God, will go on to produce other shows, documentaries, movies and so on. My team and I totally believe that greatness lives here and we are determined to prove.”

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