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From Tiara To Toque: Queen Celestine’s Love For Hospitality

By Chinelo Eze
07 August 2022   |   9:00 am
A double queen; Queen Celestine Osem is a one-time Most Beautiful Girl in Nigeria Universe 2014, and represented Nigeria at the Miss Universe- 2014 peagent. Queen ironically wears her crown topped with her culinary prowess. She talks to Guardian Life about her journey with pageantry, her passion for hospitality and the growth of the culinary industry…

Image credit:Queen Celestine

A double queen; Queen Celestine Osem is a one-time Most Beautiful Girl in Nigeria Universe 2014, and represented Nigeria at the Miss Universe- 2014 peagent. Queen ironically wears her crown topped with her culinary prowess.

She talks to Guardian Life about her journey with pageantry, her passion for hospitality and the growth of the culinary industry in Nigeria.  

It’s been 8 years since your win as Miss Universe 2014. Walking down memory lane, how was your experience during the pageant and is it something you will do again? 

My experiences during pageantry were phenomenal. When I was crowned Miss Universe 2014, it was simply amazing and every pageant girl’s dream. Although it wasn’t something I trained for long for, which I wish I did, I pushed myself with the help of family and friends to become Miss congeniality at the Miss Universe Pageant in Miami. That crowned my effort in a different, special way. If I woke up younger tomorrow, I will still contest for pageantry.

Food and pageantry are on different spectrums. As a beauty queen-turned-chef, tell us about that journey and your first love. 

To be honest, to stay in shape as a model, you need food, and you don’t need some food at the same time. The transition from a beauty Queen to a chef was birthed by Hobbies that I grew up with. I have always loved hosting and cooking for friends. So after pageantry, I wanted to do what I loved and won’t get tired of doing and I ended up where I wanted to be in- Hospitality.

In the universe of pageantry and modelling, being in shape is apt for the career. How do you stay in spar shape now that you are diving into culinary full time? 

I believe staying in shape has to be a lifestyle, especially when you chose a career like a pageantry and modelling. I have seasons where I go all out eating all I crave, but thanks to discipline and personal training; I am able to make exercise a lifestyle to keep me healthy and fit.

How do you intend to use your culinary skills to make an impact and give back? 

My biggest dream is to have chains of business in the hospitality Industry and other industries as I progress in Nigeria and abroad. Going to a culinary school is a privilege that I don’t take for granted. As we work towards opening our kitchen and restaurants, over time, we would have classes for those who cannot travel out to study and make sure they learn all that is required in a proper kitchen and also use my platform to show the world how amazing Nigerian cuisines are.

Queen Celestine Most Beautiful Girl in Nigeria Universe 2014

If not pageantry or culinary, what else would it have been? 

I think I was born for hospitality. If not pageants or culinary, it would be acting, which I do as well. I performed in Fela and the kalakuta queens, Queen Moremi and Ini the musical at Terra Kulture, VI, Lagos, Nigeria.  

What other activities are you engaged with and what next from a beauty queen turned chef? 

Apart from commercial modelling, influencing, Acting and being a chef, I make scented candles, customisation, event planning, hair products (Human hair and hair growth oil), skincare (Black soap and body oil). I like to hustle and keep busy. While all these are in the background, the focus at the moment is opening our restaurant and wines and spirit shop.

What can you say about Nigerian foods and their ability to stand out internationally?

If there is one thing I would say about Nigerian food, it is that we are unique, just as other cuisines are. I don’t believe we have to tweak our food. It has tasted the same from our forefathers down to us. Let’s cherish that and when we do, others across the world will love our food for what it is: Rich and simply delicious.

What can you say about the culinary industry in Nigeria? 

The Culinary industry in Nigeria has evolved so much, I see the effect chefs and cooks put in their dishes and it’s super impressive and food will always be eaten so I know we are heading to the top with our dishes.