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Chef Raphael: Revealing the mysteries of cooking

Chef Raphael: Revealing the mysteries of cooking
Chef Raphael strikes me as a man who straddles two passions. One as a bonafide Chef and the other as an expert with a calling to reveal the mysteries of cooking to eager learners. He is an absolute treasure to Kenya and to his hordes of fans on his lively social media platforms – FB and YouTube. He is prove that, as the Kenyan proverb goes, where there are experts there will be no lack of learning.

We caught up with Chef Raphael to get to know a bit more about him and his work. Our first question to him was to delve into what inspired him to become a chef. Chef Raphael stated that “I was inspired to be a chef due to the love of cooking and good food. As a young lad I was exposed to restaurants and eating out and was curious about cooking. After school I got a chance to work at our family restaurant and got further exposure to restaurant operations working as a waiter, in the bar as well as in the kitchen. Later I got to go to college and formally trained as a waiter and subsequently persued a food production course at Kenya Utalii College. Right now the Chef Raphael brand is built on using social media to share my experience and skills with my followers to make them appreciate their own cooking by giving easy to follow recipes and guides. I am glad to say that the response has been very positive from followers across Africa and Kenyans across the world.”

Asked what ingredient he couldn’t cook without, he mentioned the onion. Yes onions! They make me cry too! He said “its one of those ingredients that has many ways to cook and gives you different flavours all the time.”

Like the skin of an onion Chef Raphael, it seems, has as many veils, one of which is his sojourns out of Kenya. His prowess in cooking has taken him to far flung places like the UK and USA. He told us that the perception of chefs in those places is different from Kenya. In the West he said “Chefs are highly regarded individuals and they have played a major role in publicising how food is prepared and presented thus creating a love and appreciation for it.”

Chef Raphael added that

I would like to see an appreciation of local foods by encouraging and equipping people to love cooking. When I share recipes and cooking tips on my FB page and YouTube channel, the whole idea is to demystify the cooking process

He added “and so far I believe this approach is working based on the feedback I get from fans all over the world who follow me, especially in Africa.”

Chef Raphael to all intents and purposes is more than a culinary icon in Kenya. His media friendly manner has made him an ambassador for his native Kenya as far as food is concerned. As usual we had to tap into that wealth of knowledge to bring YOU a list of recommended street eats in Kenya. Chef told us that “One of the newest and most popular street food is smoked sausage (smokey) and boiled eggs, a favourite that has gained popularity especially in Nairobi. It is served with kachumabri (tomato, onion salsa). Other popular and trendy street eats include mutura which is charcoal grilled (African Sausage) or nyama choma (grilled meat). It is important to note, however, that different regions would have different foods that would be popular in their localities.”

Chef Raphael: Revealing the mysteries of cooking

The Kenyan/African sausage (Mutura). Goat intestine wrappers stuffed with ground meat

Chef Raphael: Revealing the mysteries of cooking

Nyama Choma (Grilled Meat)

Chef was also kind enough to share tips for aspiring chefs. He stated that “if you are passionate about food and cooking you will succeed in this career and you will overcome the challenges that working in the hospitality industry brings. You also need to, even when armed with relevant qualifications, give yourself time to gain experience from working in hotels and restaurants. The trick is to absorb as much of that experience as possible from various cooks and chefs you are privileged to work for or with. Lastly it is important not to make money your priority. Do it for the love of food and cooking and if and when you become good at it, the money will follow.”

Photo source: Yummy.co.ke



There are 12 comments

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  1. Kofi Asante

    Hi chef, i recently started following ur Facebook page, i am here In Accra Ghana and i am very impressed with ur patience to teach others how to cook. Your heart is pure and for people like us who also have passion for cooking and have been cooking for 19 years, we would like to really thank you.

  2. Fatma Nyundo

    Morning Chef. Ive started following your FB page thanks to to easy to follow tutorials which are easy to follow with all readily available ingredients. I checked your recipe on red velvet cupcakes id like to bake though the picture of ingredients isnt clear. Kindly do the needful so that I get the quantities correct.

  3. boniface mwavengi( mfereji)

    That’s my chef.I remember him teaching me how to hold a knife and make great cuts while in artcafe. Thank you Chef Raphael.

  4. Silakwa Janet

    I must confess I spend most of my time in the kitchen nowadays because of the confidence I have in cooking. I owe this to u Chef. I have never gone wrong following your reciepe. Thank u so much

  5. peter

    I must admit chef Raphael is one in a million.he impacts free knowledge to his followers on social media,I now believe what he said that “it should be out of love and not money”,God bless you chef

  6. Tito Kiara

    You are my mentor Chef Raphael..and am currently pursuing a 2 year Diploma in Culinary Arts and hoping one day I might compete with you one on. after graduating that is.I love your Art Chef.Keep it Up

  7. James m. Muigai

    Deep are the cisterns,
    The swells which wells our ponds,
    Oh, for the sweaty, soft, little wraths,
    When the crockery churns out the onions,
    Spicy,pickled,garnished, flirtatious, satiating
    Potent pieces patented by Chef Raphael!


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