Our food culture and the way in which we talk about it has dramatically changed over a period of just a few years. The rise in social media and the ease in which we can carry conversations about food and broadcast shows online has of course been one of the biggest contributors to this. You don’t need a cooking show or a column in a magazine to showcase your work anymore.
The outcome – a greater number of home style chefs with massive online followings churning out more recipes than we will ever need in our lifetime. The competition means that Kenyan cuisine has become sexy – and it’s not merely about fusion. It’s about an increased focus on colour and presentation; locally sourced ingredients and creativity.
A BAKE award winner, Kaluhi’s Kitchen has grown from a simple blog into an online culinary giant. Kaluhi’s focus on traditional dishes with a contemporary twist fits right in with the times. Immaculate photography and regular updates makes this a blog to follow. Kaluhi has also had her work featured on international platforms such as CNN.
Check out her recipe for Meatball Tikka Masala
Susan Lucky Wong
Susan has over the past years set herself apart as one of the most recognizable food and lifestyle writers. And she’s amped things up a notch again this year, with her video blog that takes you on a journey to discover some of her favourite foods – from corner cafés in Nairobi’s CBD to South Africa. With a super bubbly personality and engaging delivery, she makes trying different things seem like a lot of fun.
Check out one of my fave episodes – #SusanEats kienyeji chicken
What started as a simple hash-tag has grown into a viable business for Miss Mandi. Her “throwdowns” are legendary on social media and she has invested the time and money to ensure her product is a direct representation of her. From her youtube videos to working with various restaurants and street food chains, Mandii has shown that it is possible to turn a passion into a lucrative venture with enough drive and ambition. She’s also been featured on the BBC’s Focus on Africa.
Check out her super tasty BBQ wing recipe
Chef Ali L’Artist
Chef Ali has really broadened his audience in just a few years and aside from a very popular youtube channel, has also appeared on our screens as a TV chef. With a strong culinary background, he managed to set himself apart at a relatively young age – and his Swahili inspired dishes are extremely popular online.
Check out his Swahili rice stir fry with chicken recipe
The list is by no means exhaustive. Numerous talented chefs across Kenya continue to use the internet to leverage their brands. The result: a more curious audience that expects more and that engages more with contemporary Kenyan cuisine.