In her home country of Nigeria, Adebola Esan got two degrees in education before she and her family came to Canada in 2006. Despite her qualifications, she found it hard to find a teaching job.
“At that time, whenever you want to do something, they always say, ‘come back with experience, you don’t have Canadian experience.’ Come on, tell me, how do I get Canadian experience if nobody hires me, right?”
This is where Esan decided to follow her passion for cooking. After getting her certification, she started doing catering, and finally in 2013 Flavours Restaurant was born.
Since it’s opening, the restaurant has garnered a reputation as one of the premier African restaurants in the city, winning last year and being named as runners-up this year in Avenue Magazine’s list of the best African restaurants in Calgary, and also landing a spot in DoorDash’s #BlackFoodEnergy campaign.
“Last year we won the best African restaurant in Calgary…I told my team already next year, we’re not going third, we’re getting back to the first position. So there’s still a lot of potential. A lot of people are yet to know or to even try African restaurants. So we have come this far and I see the sky’s the limit,” said Esan.