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#163: The Office Hours Interview: Folu Akinkuotu

#163: The Office Hours Interview: Folu Akinkuotu
By Ernest Wilkins • Issue #174 • View online

Folu Akinkuotu
Folu Akinkuotu
Folu Akinkuotuis a home cook, prolific baker and rare snack aficionado. Her newsletter Unsnackable features rare snacks, drinks and fast food from around the world and has been in The New Yorker, SBS Australia and The Face Magazine.
Folu is one of those world-class talents that manages to hide in plain sight. With one tweet almost a year ago, she’s influenced some of the biggest names in the cultural industry of food and drink media, despite you likely never hearing her name until now.
oh no :(
i’m going :(
to be :(
forced into :(
socially distancing :(
myself into :(
writing a cookbook :(
Even if you aren’t on Twitter, the above thread is worth digging into. Her take on food prep and how she employs regular ingredients in with luxurious items was early for the pandemic home chef influencer, as she’s been doing the #humblebragdiet for years now. Look at some of this stuff!
I probably should’ve added more cheese on top but you can still literally hear this take my breath away lmaooo #humblebragdiet
I was going to order dominos but instead I spent two days making detroit style pizza with spicy calabrese, provolone, mozz and san marzanos on top. #humblebragdiet
i’ve been shocked & saddened by the growing anti-cake sentiment on here so that’s prob why I decided to make myself a half birthday cake (also cuz I didn’t have cake on my actual bday!)

-shiso vanilla cake
-blackberry ginger filling
-citron passion fruit frosting #humblebragdiet
Turns out, her followers weren’t the only ones paying attention to her work.
sorry but the media entity that just blew up one of its most profitable divisions by mistreating and underpaying non-white employees sliding into my insta dms to recruit is...
This tweet is one that garnered a lot of attention in her section of the cultural industry of food and drink media. You see, the media entity in question had a bit of a rough summer. The fact that they didn’t think to reach out to her until they were desperate for diverse faces in their content to limit blowback was yet another example of creators leverage over most media brands, as well as why legacy media is not structurally built for non-white people to succeed within.
The three biggest takeaways from this interview:
  1. By the end of this episode, you will not only believe that Folu deserves a show or bigger platform, you will want her to run for some sort of public office.
  2. You will never look at baking the same way again.
  3. Creators who speak the language of business in cultural industries can sell to their audiences. When it comes to who gets the better deal from a media partnership both now and in the years to come, the Folu’s of the world don’t need these platforms and brands. That independence gives them leverage to pick and choose what deals make the best sense for themselves and their audiences. It might be hard to hear, but platforms and brands need creators and thinkers like Folu more than those creators and thinkers need these platforms and brands.
Catch up with season 2 of the Office Hours w/me podcast. Suppose you’re one of those aesthetic types. In that case, I want the vibe of this thing to be like a Millennial take on the Charlie Rose show…you know, minus the problematic behavior. So far, season 2 has featured interviews with some big thinkers across cultural industries.
Did you know, that for less than the cost of a bucket of beers, you can support a Black-owned independent media startup? Become a paid supporter of Office Hours with Ernest Wilkins on an ongoing basis today. $7 a month or $75 a year.
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I will be announcing the Office Hours Brands to Watch 2021 in Tuesday’s newsletter. If you missed 2019’s list and this is your first Brands to Watch, I’ll be sharing shorter brand profiles about brands in cultural industries that are on the cusp of making it big.
The process used to choose these brands is equal parts qualitative and quantitative. Some personal observations about their potential impact and additional resources for anyone interested in doing more in-depth research later. Then, I’ll be doing podcast interviews with some of the folks behind these brands over the next few weeks. It should be a lot of fun.
Office Hours with Ernest Wilkins is written and curated by Ernest Wilkins in Chicago, Illinois. He is REALLY happy that his mom got the COVID-19 vaccine this week!!!
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Office Hours Mag is Ernest Wilkins' take on the culture and the business of the cultural industries.

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