I have no idea when I first liked cooking. I feel that it was always within me. As a child I like watching food being prepared and cooked. Tasting food fitting my taste buds was and still is my ultimate gratification.
I read hundreds and hundreds of cooking books. Magazines about fine dining, produces, utensils, cooking technic, food fads, the list is endless but and it is always about food. Also, I have watched culinary television programs from the precursors such as Jacques Pépin, Pierre Franey and Julia Child to the new ones which come and go according to the personality rating of the host.
I admired only one critic, only one, and it’s the late Craig Claiborne. Probably the best food writer and critics of modern time. The star which everyone wants to copy and emulate. He is the reason I have no patience for critics always having something nice to say about all the place they eat.
My pet peeve is when a critic test a chef by requesting a plate outside the menu and usually for a vegetarian. I enjoy vegetarian food but, understandably, I have never been to a vegetarian restaurant cooking a steak to a requesting customer.
I lived and ate in many parts of the world. I ate from the worse to the best. I never went back to the worse for obvious reasons but nor very often to the best since I could not always afford them.
I now live in Kenya, Africa.
Oh yes, AaaaaFriiiiiiCaaaaa …….. people say. Hold on, Africa has probably fresher and better tasting fruits and vegetables than most places. Now if you like your ingredients filled with molasses, loaded to the limit with fertilizer, onions as big as a basketball, preservative that can mummify your body then we are not on the same wavelength.
In most of East Africa animals usually roam freely and they are void of steroids unlike many body builders. Many species of fish from Lake Victoria and the Indian Ocean are available fresh in markets. Many foodstuff of high quality are made locally such as cheeses, yogurt, fresh butter, cold cuts, luncheon meat, jams, breads and spices. Africa has all sort of cooking oils, chilies of all colors, flours of all type. Vegetable from the artichoke, Brussels sprouts, fresh beets, oranges, ginger, capsicum, all type of fresh herbs. The list is endless and they are all local.
I birthed, yes from birth, two restaurants in Kenya. Then, a sudden life change made me formalized my cooking in a French culinary school. Gruesome and tiring but well worth the experience. I do admit that knowledgeable local cooks and chefs in Kenya are in short supply. Their dishes are at the most good but rarely fantastic. They brag louder that their performance is in a professional kitchen. Yes, I can say that after being on all sides of the restaurant and hospitality business on three continents.
I will share my techniques and recipes with produces and foodstuff readily available in Kenya or, due to globalization, East Africa. I cook from scratch, I rarely, use ready-made condiments, spice mix or whatever industrially prepared in my cooking. My specialties, which I loooove to cook, are French, Latin cuisine and dishes with an international flair.
Oh yes, sometimes I will show you how to make some of my drinks. Ehhh, why not, life is not always meant to be lived on a straight line.
Cooking relaxes. It is a conduit for creativity. It is fun and provides instant gratification.
My blog is to showcase the products found in East Africa and the great dishes which can be created with them.