For the first installment of a new section dedicated to celebrating all the amazing foodies the Nairobi scene has to offer, we are introducing a new player on the scene: Mulunda Kombo who, alongside his two partners from the JUMUZA supper club, is changing the way Nairobians feast on food.
I’m a 31 year old food entrepreneur and a co-founder of the recently formed JUMUZA Supper Club. I got into food and food photography because I love to eat; a number of my family are former hoteliers, so growing up, I would spend a lot of school holidays running around hotels.
In 2014, I went on a trip to Italy and was totally blown away by the simple elegance of the cuisine. Food was always first; photography came later and I was pleasantly surprised by the amazing feedback I would get. I’m lucky to be working with Shifteye Photography, so I’ve been picking up tips here and there. I used to cook before my trip to Italy but it’s safe to say that it was less than inspired. I go where the food takes me and I want the JUMUZA brand to be synonymous with good food experiences. Alongside my JUMUZA partners Juliet Kennedy and Zack Saitoti, we are keen to keep all the Nairobi food lovers guessing on what we have in store to fuel Kenya’s growing epicurean culture.
Surf ‘n’ Turf is a dish that contains seafood (surf) and meat (turf). The most common, and also the most decadent, combination is lobster and filet mignon. I mostly source my meat from Morendat and The Well Hung Butcher (WHB) who both do great cuts of meat to order. On a day to day basis, Gilani’s at ABC Place or Gourmet Meat at Yaya Centre also have quality produce. For seafood, my favourite place to go is Aloha at Lavington Green. As for vegetables, it’s either the market or Zucchini.
I keep my steaks moist by always cooking them at room temperature. A common mistake is to take meat straight from the fridge to the flame. The second way is to leave them to rest after cooking. I like my steaks medium, so I will cook them on either side for 3 minutes and let them rest for the same amount of time. This applies to any doneness. As for seafood, some may disagree with me, but I believe the best way is to baste the prawns with melted butter as they cook. In actuality, I baste steaks with a melted butter, herb (thyme or rosemary) and garlic mix as they cook. It adds an amazing amount of flavour. I love cooking on an open fire, it adds a whole new element to food. If I could, I’d use an open fire everyday. It’s easy to assume that open fire immediately means Nyama Choma but you’d be surprised by the fine dining type meals one can whip up. Since I can’t use an open fire everyday, I turn to my various cast iron pans and grills. They simulate cooking on an outdoor grill the best and they get a lot hotter than conventional pans. Finally, just to stay true to my love of cooking with fire, I flambé.
My favourite sauce when making Surf n Turf is the South American sauce, Chimichurri. It’s quite easy to make; all you need is a pestle and mortar and the ingredients.
You Will Need
3 cloves of garlic
A pinch of salt
A pinch of pepper
1/2 tsp of chili flakes
1/4 tsp paprika
A handful of fresh coriander
A handful of fresh parsley
The zest and juice of half a lemon 1/4 cup of olive oil
In your mortar, add the garlic, salt, pepper, chili and paprika. Pound until they form a dark red paste. Add the fresh herbs to the garlic paste and pound again until the herbs have roughly incorporated into the paste. Add the lemon zest and juice, olive oil and stir with the pestle. Spoon this mixture onto your now rested steak.