Rabala’s Delights: Kenyan Blog Feeding your Belly and your Soul

A career in Food is no mean feat. Yes, cooking is something the majority of us do (or contemplate doing) on a daily basis, but to successfully write, cook, live and breathe food demands a lot of time, energy and heart.

Food blogging is the constant search for ideas and dialogue that resonate with an audience. It’s about baring your soul on a plate. Over and over and over. It’s about creativity. And like most other things in life, success comes with drive, determination and vision.

Rabala’s Delights is one of my favourites. The brainchild of Sheila Rabala (also an experienced radio host), it fuses the contemporary with the traditional with the classics. And it’s not surprising, considering that’s probably indicative of who she is as a person and a chef: “I was raised in the most eclectic family and grew up with the nickname kuku because of my love for chicken! My step dad was a Welsh Guard but also had a background as a pastry chef, he and my mum from a very young age introduced us to different cuisines… “

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Rabala’s Delights allows her to share this love of food with everyone and anyone who cares to listen: “The things that bring me joy center on food… I like you to take your simple home recipe, add a few locally available ingredients and elevate your dish to something that makes your soul sing… “

And although the industry might seem inundated with food writers and chefs, it’s more a challenge than a hindrance. The social aspect of our day to day lives means that sharing and connecting is easier than it has ever been: “At the end of the day when it comes to writing on food the proof is in the pudding! If your recipes pan out, your readership will grow. When you look at it from a commercial point of view, as is the difficulty with putting a price on creativity and skills, it has been tough. However, corporates and eating establishments are progressively embracing bloggers and influencers. 2017 will definitely be a big year… “

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Variety is the spice of life – at every single level. To that end, Sheila immerses herself in what is a burgeoning scene locally and allows that to speak to her: “I always try and incorporate something new when I’m planning a menu or eating out, a new ingredient, cooking style or seasoning. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t; that’s the beauty of cooking!.. ” The beauty of cooking that resonated with her at a super early age, with some of her most significant memories revolving around her favourite meals.

Sheila Rabala’s Seven

Fave local delicacy?
Ugali, beef and cabbage……I can eat that every day

Fave restaurant in Nairobi?
Hardest question ever…changes almost every time I visit a new one. At the moment I would definitely say Talisman is at the top

Fave professional chefs?

Celebrity chef – Gordon Ramsey because of the superstar element he brings to cooking. He has so many different faces but his skill is unquestionable.

Local chef: Chef Roy Kinyua of Nairobi Serena his passion for food is contagious.

Sexy night in?
Most people would tend to run for a creamy, chocolate dessert type dish but for me, a well-seasoned ribeye steak and a creamy mushroom sauce would definitely be a good way to get the night started.

One meal, three ingredients:
It has to be steak! Black pepper, steak and a little oil. Season the steak with pepper, heat a little oil in a pan sear it and throw it in the oven depending on how you like the steak, I like mine medium – rare.

Fave music while cooking:
I listen to Billboard’s Top 100 if I want a mix of different sounds, but Kendrick Lamar gets the inner gangster chef in me to come out!

One recipe you just can’t master?
I am yet to come across one….like I said for me it’s a journey of experiencing new things and I will always experiment. But I stay away from baking if I can!

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Check out the BLOG for tips, tricks and recipes

I love music and food! Radio presenter and lifestyle editor at Homeboyz Radio. Esoteric. Raw Like Sushi