Meet the Kenyan home-cook living her passion and innovating beyond the boundaries of Kenyan traditional cuisine
I am a visual story teller, enthusiast and wild, big heart. I am about God and the beauty in and out of people. I am about their essence, their image and the remarkable behind their seemingly simple front. I am an All- Or-Nothing. When I was a teeny, bare-foot, mud-stained, bright-eyed little thing, I realized the fascination in grabbing a mwiko (Swahili for cooking spoon) and singing my heart out before the only audience that always cheered me on when I made my appearance. She was my great grandmother, who was baby- sitting me at the time. From what I hear, she thoroughly enjoyed my performances. With time, The Lord caused my passions to mushroom. It turned out some were still little shoots looking for some light hoping to fly but I see them now blooming. My heart dances at the thought they did not die. My story telling has advanced into a quiet love of showing people the beauty in the simple, and a loud thrill in capturing stories and honesty and joy.
Indecision can only be seen when I am book/jewellery/thrift shopping with a thousand options, or trying to decide what to Instagram. However, when it comes to my true passion however, I know Christ is the source and centre of me, of my joyful interactions with others, of my creations. Yes, I am a jean-jacket wearing optimistic and I love gold-evenings around tables made out of laughter and family. And I am not sorry. I am a big laughter, a raw feeler and loving the niche that Jesus placed me.
But enough of me, let’s talk about my recent conversation with a lady who has perfected passion and art. Kaluhi Adagala is her name better known in social media circles as Kaluhi’s Kitchen. She is a young woman whose social media influence boasts of over 62,000. She is a woman of substance with a positive influence who freely shares her delectable savoury and sweet creations with the world. On her carefully curated feed, you can tell of a young woman who bears her heart and soul in all she does. Be it recipe testing or reviewing restaurants; It is clear that Kaluhi has found her voice and standing in society. She has found her dream and is passionately pursuing it. If I could sum Kaluhi up into a quote, I’d say she fits Vincent Van Gough who said, “I feel such a creative force in me. I am convinced there will be a time when let us say, I will make something good everyday, on a regular basis. I am doing my best to make every effort because I am longing so much to make beautiful things. But beautiful things means painstaking work, disappointment and perseverance.”
For more of her mouth-watering delights, catch her on Instagram- @Kaluhiskitchen, Facebook – Kaluhi’s Kitchen and her blog kaluhiskitchen.com. But for now, peep into our conversation and hopefully you will be inspired to pursue your passion if not rekindle it. See you in the next one. Oh! And in case you missed my last interview, read it here 🙂
- So, Kaluhi was it always your desire/aspiration to be a chef? Or did it develop overtime.
I’m actually not a chef. 🙂 A chef is someone who has formally trained and has the certification. I am a self-taught home cook, who is excellent at what she does. However I have to mention my interest in cooking has always been there since I was a child. But I only realized it was my passion after I completed my university degree, in 2014. I pursued a fulltime job in finance after graduation and a year in, I decided to focus on my food blog and monetize it.
Tell of the fire that has birthed Kaluhi’s Kitchen and the lessons learnt overtime.
Every creative goes through failures. I however do not view as setbacks, but as stepping stones and as a highlight on areas I have to improve. Be it my failed recipes, my unsuccessful campaigns, dealing with difficult clients, or dealing with online trolls, i view it all as a chance to become better and even more glorious in my craft. Despite the challenges, I am greatful for the successes that have served as a reminder that it is all worth it in the end.
- Being shortlisted among top 30 foodbloggers in the world by Prestel USA in the book Beyond The Plate.
- Winning best Kenyan foodblog in the BAKE for both 2016 and 2017.
- Meeting Siba Mtongana – twice both in Nairobi and Johannesburg and getting to feature in her internationally acclaimmed show on food network ‘Siba’s Table’.
- Being the star guest in CNN’s Inside Africa with Zoe Adjonyoh showing her around Nairobi and how we as everyday Kenyans eat and source for our food.
- Meeting Siba Mtongana, how was that like?
It was a dream come true. Meeting the person I look up to twice and have her guide me through my journey has been a priceless experience.
- What would be your number one kitchen rule?
Anything and everything can be delicious plus preparing delicious and beautiful food with simple recipes is possible.
5. Is it troubling to find a balance between your success and maintaining your relationships?
In my understanding, success does not in any way interfere with relationships as is wrongly believed. Why would it? Success at what you do is just that, success. And everyone wants to be good at what they do. Being good at your job and being celebrated for excellence does not have an adverse effect on relationships. Does being a good doctor make one have bad relationships? No. Does being a successful marketer affect ones relationships? No. You owe it to yourself to be unapologetically good and successful at your job.
6. Any mishaps in the kitchen?
Plenty! No one becomes good at what they are without making mistakes. Mistakes, however, serve as learning points. I even detailed it in a blog post, here’s the link:
7. Are people intimidated to invite you over for dinner?
Sometimes. I however visit my friends and family not how to judge how they cook but to enjoy their company. And whatever is offered, as long as it’s cooked with love. I’m ok with it
8. Last words
Anything done with love, will only show in the end result!