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Alumni provides food for thought with worldwide career success

Portrait picture of graduate in his kitchen

An innovative University of Wolverhampton graduate is making waves with his global career success.

Chef Tolu “Eros” Erogbogbo, originally from Nigeria, earned a degree in International Business Management from the University’s Business School. He had travelled to the UK at age 17, marking his first solo trip overseas. Determined to become an entrepreneur, Tolu chose the University of Wolverhampton for its reputable Business School. During his studies, he found himself missing the flavours of home and began cooking and selling seasoned and marinated chicken, successfully launching a small business. Studying at the Telford Campus, his daily bus journeys became a time for dreaming of business expansion, inspired by his initial taste of success.

Tolu, who grew up in a large family where meals were a time for gathering, drew inspiration from these experiences. He said: “It was on my daily travels to Telford that I began to build my dream. The University's environment – its library, study spaces, and group study rooms – gave me the space to develop my dreams and focus on business.”

His time at the university, including serving as the Afro Caribbean Society President, was instrumental in honing his public speaking and leadership skills.

After graduating in 2008, Tolu opened his first restaurant in Nigeria, fuelled by his passion for cooking and his eagerness to apply his knowledge back home. His journey led him from starting a cookie-focused bakery to innovating in catering, eventually opening clubs and bars.

In 2016, he expanded his cultural culinary concepts to Los Angeles, becoming a host and entertainer and emphasising community. By 2023, he had opened ILÄ– Bistro in Culver City and his catering company had prestigious clients like the Coachella Valley Music Festival, earning him mentions on CNN and Forbes.

Now the owner of Cookie Jar bakery, Eros & Gourmet catering, and ILÉ Eros in Lagos, Tolu serves authentic Nigerian cuisine with a contemporary twist. His notable clientele includes President Emmanuel Macron of France and Nobel Prize-winning author Wole Soyinka, earning him the nickname 'Billionaire Chef.'

Reflecting on his journey, Tolu said: “By 2017, I focused on showcasing West African food. By 2018, I opened my second restaurant in Lagos, offering family recipes and starting to travel extensively. I always strived for uniqueness in everything, including food.”

His participation at Coachella and subsequent awards marked the realisation of his dreams, and his business is now truly international.

Additionally, Tolu has partnered with (RED) as the first African Chef in their (RED)UCATOR program, supporting the fight against HIV/AIDS and raising awareness through his platform.

He advises prospective University of Wolverhampton students to embrace their journey and learn from their peers. From his beginnings in Wolverhampton to his current life in Los Angeles, where his apartment is near the Netflix and CNN headquarters, Tolu’s story is a testament to his remarkable journey.

For enquiries regarding alumni events or to share news, please contact the alumni team at 

After graduation, graduates become members of the Alumni Association and are encouraged to keep in touch, to take advantage of a wide range of benefits and support on offer, including a discount for postgraduate study. 

Anyone interested in courses being offered in the University of Wolverhampton Business School should check out the website or register for one of our forthcoming Open Days.  


For more information please contact the Corporate Communications Team.

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