Chef Obehi of The ONA Lagos

March 15, 2024

A Culinary Journey Rooted in Passion, Tradition, and Innovation

In the bustling culinary landscape of Lagos, Nigeria, one chef stands out for her innovative approach to African flavors and her unwavering commitment to elevating the dining experience. Meet Chef Obehi. She’s the executive chef of ONA restaurant, where she brings a fresh perspective to traditional African cuisine.

View our interview with Chef Obehi here.

With a passion for food that runs deep in her veins, Chef Obehi embarked on her journey at a young age. She honed her skills in kitchens around the world, from South Africa to the United States. She immersed herself in diverse culinary traditions, drawing inspiration from each experience to create her unique style.


ONA is more than just a restaurant. It’s a labor of love, a tribute to heritage, and a testament to the enduring bond between a father and daughter. For Chef Obehi, ONA is a passion project inspired by her father, a man whose wisdom and love for the land continue to shape her culinary journey.

As Chef Obehi reflects on the genesis of ONA, she recalls conversations with her father about the importance of connection to one’s roots. Her father instilled in her the belief that when you love the soil and the land you are from, they will love you right back. These words of wisdom planted the seeds for ONA, a venture rooted in a deep appreciation for Nigerian culture and heritage.

When Chef Obehi shared her vision for ONA with her father, he knew that it would be named after him. But for Chef Obehi, ONA is more than just a name. It’s a symbol of gratitude, respect, and admiration for her father’s teachings and the values he imparted. Through ONA, Chef Obehi pays homage to her father’s legacy and the lessons he taught her about the importance of staying true to one’s roots.



At The ONA, Chef Obehi’s vision comes to life in every dish. She seamlessly blends traditional African ingredients with modern techniques and global influences. She celebrates modern interpretations of indigenous cuisine through the layering of flavors using traditional African techniques like fermentation, drying, salting, and smoking of local ingredients. The bar at The Ona is meticulously curated using locally distilled African spirits like Ogogoro and Palm Wine. 

But her culinary prowess extends beyond the kitchen! She is also a visionary storyteller who uses food as a medium to explore themes of culture, identity, and belonging. With her inventive menus and immersive seven-course dining experiences, she invites guests to embark on an adventure of exploration.

In addition to her culinary talents, Chef Obehi is a trailblazer in the field of sustainability. she sources her ingredients from local farmers and producers and champions eco-friendly practices in her kitchen. 

Her craftsmanship and creativity shine through in every detail at The ONA. This ranges from handcrafted clay plates from Atamora, Osun State, to glassware that is sourced from local glassblowers in Ilupeju, Lagos. These artisanal vessels enhance the dining experience, adding authenticity to every dish. The space is also adorned with minimalist décor featuring stone flooring, raffia pendant lighting, terracotta clay amphoras, and Kano leather cushions. The decor selection creates an atmosphere of elegance and warmth. The music selection ranges from soft world jazz to Afrobeat and Amapiano, complementing the dining experience.

P.S. The ONA boasts one of the cleanest restaurant kitchens we’ve ever encountered!



Obehi’s culinary expertise and passion for food have earned her recognition on both the local and global stages. As a panel judge in esteemed competitions such as The Kitchen Nigeria and The World’s 50 Best Restaurants, she brings a discerning palate and a wealth of experience to the table, shaping the future of Nigerian cuisine.

Her contributions to the culinary world have not gone unnoticed, as evidenced by her feature in this year’s BBC African Renaissance Series by Afua Hirsh. Through this platform, Obehi shares her insights, experiences, and unique perspective on African cuisine, inspiring audiences worldwide with her culinary journey.

As Chef Obehi continues to push the boundaries of African cuisine and redefine the concept of fine dining in Lagos, her impact on the culinary world is undeniable. Through her passion, creativity, and dedication to excellence, she is not only shaping the future of food in Nigeria. She’s also inspiring a new generation of chefs to follow in her footsteps.

For those seeking an unforgettable dining experience that celebrates the rich tapestry of African flavors, look no further than The ONA and Chef Obehi’s culinary masterpiece.