Interview: Picking up and Excelling in the Culinary Space

My relationship with food started on the receiving end of a serving spoon, I remain a dedicated lover of food. It is from this passion for consumption that my journey began.

NAIROBI, Kenya, August 05, 2020/-- As cooking becomes more of an absorbing hobby rather than just a job, there is an emergent need for us to hone our skills. Our guest today, an up-and-coming entrepreneur with an authentic touch to culinary experiences shares with us his views on actualizing a great time with great food.

Let Kikao begin...

[Question 1] Welcome to Kikao Kagochi. Introduce yourself.

My name is Kagochi, a budding entrepreneur and founder of KagochizSpecialz, a premier catering outfit dedicated to bringing you exceptional culinary experiences direct to your home. In my spare time, I dabble in writing, poetry mostly and short stories.

[Question 2] Take us through your cooking learning curve and give us pointers on improving our own culinary prowess?

My relationship with food started on the receiving end of a serving spoon, I remain a dedicated lover of food. It is from this passion for consumption that my journey began.

I started actively cooking early last year, prior to this I was a regular Joe with basic cooking skills under my belt. The dish that for me would be the catalyst was pigs in a blanket, it is chipolatas (short sausages) wrapped up in pancakes, Get it? The idea was implanted a day prior as I aimlessly scrolled through my Instagram and stumbled upon a video of This is Ess and Miss Mandi preparing the same.

I had so much fun making it that I took pictures and posted on my socials, drawing a number of likes. Spurred on by this euphoria, I began experimenting with other basic dishes, which all turned out great emboldening me to try out even more exotic dishes. I was hooked, I would come home after a long day and the moment I started cooking, all the exhaustion fell away. I started looking for material, websites, wherever I could get a recipe, I would try it tweaking it based on what I had and delighting in making superior dishes.

My advice to anyone wanting to start out or improve his or her culinary skills would be to just try, let go of the fear of failure, use what you have, a recipe is a guide that you can always tweak to suit you. Also, explore, there is a lot of material out there, websites, apps, cookbooks that you can read. I have made meals from different continents, with recipes I found online.

[Question 3] Celebrity chefs and food influencers are shaping our attitudes and behaviour towards what we eat in a big way. What is your take on this?

The age of social media has brought with it a greater appreciation of the culinary arts. People are now able to see the work that goes into creating each dish and this participation brings with it a sense of ownership when one tries to replicate it on their own.

[Question 4] As human beings, we have a close relationship with what we eat. To what extent does food define our culture?

Food is an essential part of culture leave alone the fact that it is a basic need. We connect with our communities and ethnic groups with our food patterns.

Food gives us a sense of identity and belonging. As a nation, we usually define ourselves by our love of Nyama Choma and Ugali. This connects us even we move abroad, where you find small communities developing where people come together to get a taste of home and interact with their fellow countrymen. As people immigrate, food practices and preferences are imported as people seek to maintain a connection with their homeland.

In a country with 42 tribes, we have different foods associated with specific communities. The ingredients, methods of preparation and types of food eaten at different occasions vary with each community and thus food is a key ingredient in defining our culture.

[Question 5] Most cultures have well-guarded recipes mostly passed within family. Do you have one?

Ha-ha, we do not have a family recipe, or maybe they are also guarding it from me. I however have come up with several of my own, which I will pass on.

[Question 6] Could you give us a sneak peek on your upcoming book?

There is no book…Yet. Let me work on my recipe collection first and then I will let you know.

[Question 7] What would be the perfect ambiance for a fine outdoor dining experience?

I will only speak for myself here; the ideal ambiance for me would be at a gazebo close to a large water mass, preferably at the coast underneath the red hue of the setting sun with a cool breeze blowing in with the evening tide. Some easy soca music playing in the background with a cocktail in hand and some elegant company to enjoy some witty repertoire.

The written interview was compiled by Phineahs Munene – Co-founder of Wazo Moja for John Kagochi – of KagochizSpecialz

Distributed by Wazo Moja on behalf of KagochizSpecialz