Prince Owusu learned how to cook on YouTube and still knocks up his dishes in his mum’s kitchen.
But the unemployed chef from Camberwell is now fighting off offers to expand after he took part in the BBC’s new foodie series Million Pound Menu.
He founded Trap Kitchen little more than a year ago, but already has 43,000 followers on Instagram.
And he soon found people were prepared to pay up to £20 for his Ballers Combo – usually a combination of fried chicken, macaroni cheese and a sweet Belgian waffle.
He now makes £10,000 for just three days’ work, preparing up to 300 takeaway dishes a night.
Sometimes, the queue of cars outside his block is so long, residents call Southwark council to ask to have parking regulations enforced.
He said: “My mum wants me out.
“We definitely need to move on, to get a permanent restaurant – like Nandos. When I go to sleep and dream about Trap Kitchen, that’s how I see it. I taught myself to cook. We are living in the information age – I have seen people build robots from YouTube.
“Once I had the knowledge, I thought I had to crack on. Growing up I started hanging around with people who were very business-minded, but not in the right way.
“What I did was take the game – buy in for cheap, sell it for more. Market, advertise and try to get as many customers as you can.
“It was only right I use my talent, which was cooking – to infuse it was the business mind which I gathered when I was young.
“Since I started I have been grafting, non-stop, hard work.”
He started posting pictures of his food on Instagram a year ago and found people were willing to pay £20 a time to taste it.
He said: “The masses out there are tired and want something new and I feel like I’ve created a formula. I’ve got the sauce.
“But it’s all a bit new to me. Being on Million Pound Menu wasn’t really about getting investment – it was about learning. We’ll keep our heads down and it’s their loss, innit?
“My parents felt bringing me over to Europe would give me the opportunity to make something of myself. That’s where I get my drive from.”
Contestants are assessed on their food, brand and business plan after being installed in a temporary restaurant in Manchester, working with a designer to bring their vision to life.
But he was counted down on his briefing of his staff, which was not precise enough; and he was told to serve dishes in smaller doses.
Host Fred Sireix said: “This is like no menu I have ever seen before. It’s got lobster, prawns, chicken, macaroni cheese, mashed potato, sweet Belgian waffles on the same plate.
“It makes absolutely no sense to me – but what do I know? It’s haute cuisine for the Instagram generation.”
Prince said: “There was always going to be mistakes made. But it is about getting better.
“This is our first time. Our self-esteem is high and we have kept the pressure under control.”