Chinwe Akuonu discusses how her Nigerian origin and Italian upbringing shaped her love for food.
Please introduce yourself
My name is Chinwe Akuonu, I’m a dental hygienist and a final year dental student at King’s College London.
What do you get up to in your spare time away from dentistry?
I’m a very simple girl and in my spare time away from dentistry, I enjoy cooking. I think it’s an amazing hobby; it’s art and pleasure at the same time.
Are you a foodie? Why and what particular food do you go for?
I would define myself as an absolute faithful foodie, and probably because of my Nigerian origin and Italian upbringing, I obviously appear biased in saying that my favourite cuisines are of course Nigerian, Italian and Thai. I include everything in my diet; meat, fish, vegetables, carbs, desserts, you name it. Also, as I am anaemic, I always prioritise foods rich in iron.
Just to mention, a few of my favourite dishes are fresh pasta with creamy mushroom sauce, jollof rice, efo riro soup, and in the summer, I could eat pistachio gelato all day long.
Are you into any sport? If so, what sport?
I’m not particularly into sports except for daily 15 minutes aerobic workout sessions to keep fit, maintain a good posture and help relax my tense muscles after a day full of extractions. At the moment, I’m also signing up for a proper swimming course, because, sadly, I’m not a great swimmer and I would really love to master this life skill.
What type of television/movies do you like – any guilty pleasures?
I keep an open mind when it comes to movies as I watch all genres, but my guilty pleasure is watching Tom & Jerry or Looney Tunes cartoons.
Do you like to travel?
Having lived almost three decades of my life in three different countries with different cultures, it’s obvious that I love travelling, although I’ve not really had enough time to do that as a result of combining work and studies over the past 5 years.
My most recent trip actually just happened a few weeks ago; I visited the Greek island of Zakynthos and it was an unbelievable experience exploring natural caves, swimming with turtles, jet skiing and enjoying excellent food. After graduation, and COVID-19 allowing, I look forward to travelling more and ticking places off my bucket list.
Why is it important to have hobbies away from your profession?
I think it is important to have hobbies away from the profession because it contributes to a good work life balance. Everyone knows that all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.
Dentistry is beautiful, but at the same time it is wonderful to bond over different experiences with people in and out of the field. Life has so much to offer so why not make the most of it by doing what you love and experiencing different things from the usual normal?
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