If you’ve ever struggled to whip up a convincing meal, chances are, you may have turned to @kaluhiskitchen for some culinary inspiration. Fresh from winning the Bloggers Awards of Kenya (BAKE) for the third year running, Kaluhi Adagala talks to Fred Mwithiga about her journey to kitchen fame.
When it comes to the food blogging community, Kaluhi Adagala is, for lack of a better word, an icon among her peers and her audience. The 26 year old finance major, is on a mission to redefine Kenyan cooking and introduce the world to our culture through her interpretations of our national flavours. It is not wrong to say that she is well on the path to etching her name as one of our continent’s most revered food bloggers.
For 5 years now, Kaluhi has been constantly improving her culinary & photography skills – from kitchen to plate to your Instagram feed. In case you were wondering, her recipes are all original. “I would not have been as successful as I am both locally and globally if what I presented was a reinvention of the wheel,” she tells me. I chuckle to myself as I imagine how many recipes there are out there that I can call my own. “The main idea behind starting Kaluhi’s Kitchen was to show that cooking need not be tedious and that food, Kenyan food, in particular, need not be boring.” Kaluhi explains. “I sought to show that cooking can be fun and is really easy. I always outline my recipes as such. I also show how to make everyday recipes, with appetising yet simple twists that transform an otherwise ordinary meal into a spectacular feast.” To this extent, she’s published a glorious ebook – In My Kitchen, which features 50 unique recipes that you wouldn’t find on her already delicious blog. A must-have for anyone who cares about what they put on their plate.
In a short amount of time, Kaluhi has thoroughly excelled in her field, both locally and internationally. At home, her blog has won her the title of Best Food Blogger three times in a row, from 2016 to today, an accolade that thoroughly validates her hard work. Internationally, she has been listed among the top 30 bloggers in the world by Prestel USA in their ‘Beyond The Plate’ book. From print to global TV, Kaluhi has had the pleasure of meeting her idol, Siba Mtongana, twice, both in Nairobi and Johannesburg and featured in her internationally acclaimed show on food network ‘Siba’s Table’. She has also been a star guest on CNN’s Inside Africa with Zoe Adjonyoh, showing her around Nairobi’s everyday food scene. Her journey has not been without challenges though: “The most persistent challenge, and I think one all creatives experience, is delivering punctually and excellently on a project only for the client to delay remuneration for months.” A clear wake-up call to the various organisations that engage with creatives.
Does she eat out often? Not really. Kaluhi is a huge lover of home-cooked meals. However, when she’s craving a juicy burger, no other restaurant comes close to Sierra Brasserie’s mouth-watering patties. If you are like her and find yourself wondering what to stuff your face with on a lazy night in, here is a sandwich Kaluhi highly recommends: “Get some leftover chicken, shred it and sautée it in some garlic, a splash of whiskey, cheese and orange zest. Then layer that with fresh lettuce, pickled onions and more cheese, between two slices of lightly toasted bread.”