PARTY TIME Vol 3.12 | December 2017
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EDITOR’S YUMMY NOTE
CHEERS TO THAT! ’Tis the season to be jolly and Katy Fentress, who very much has cocktails on her mind, uses the theme of this month’s issue to reminisce on a film that made a very strong mark on her in her pre-adolescent years. Mixology is a performance art. I like to think it’s a bit like DJing: complicated hand gestures aimed at making customers feel like they are getting what they paid for. Whether all the twirling and acrobatics are actually necessary is beside the point, nobody ever claimed their bartender “overacted” when making a cocktail. It’s easy to forget that if it weren’t for the iconic 1980s movie “Cocktail”, all these fancy moves might never have even existed. I was perusing the internet, watching clips of an extremely fresh-faced Tom Cruise flipping bottles like he was born doing it and trying to imagine what the drinking culture would be like today, were it not for this movie. Turns out it wasn’t even supposed to be that way. In an interview earlier this year, Cruise’s Cocktail co-star Bryan Brown confessed that “it was never written in the script that we threw bottles” and goes on to explain that Cruise came up with the idea after seeing “a bloke doing it”. If Cruise hadn’t gone all out, would someone else have? Probably. But the fact remains that whatever your opinions about everyone’s favourite Scientologist, we have him to thank for making our
evenings at the Cocktail Bar just that little bit more entertaining. On that note, it might be worth mentioning that what Tom Cruise did for bartending (or is it mixology, when did one become the other?), Instagram has done for cocktails. Before sharing pictures of the food and drink we consume was a thing, nobody thought to add obelisks, Ferris wheels, Eiffel towers and whatever other preposterous accoutrements they could invent onto their cocktails. I do worry that while once cocktails were about flavour, they are increasingly meant to be drunk with our eyes instead of with our mouths. Which is great, don’t get me wrong, any form of social media one-upmanship that keeps the youth busy and off drugs is absolutely fine by me but when I see those pictures of Bloody Marys adorned with elaborate kebabs or towers of jumbo prawns, I am not entirely convinced the actual cocktail will live up to its looks. On the topic of Bloody Marys, shout-out to Patrick Mutua Kioko, the lovely Balcony Bar mixologist that knocked up an amazing one for my article a few weeks back. The
results were delicious and subtly instagrammable and you can check them out on page 52 . Elsewhere in the booze section, Diageo Senior Brand Representative Dougie Duncanson gives us insight into his role of Chieftain of the Scottish Caledonian Society [p55], the Israeli entrepreneur Noam Orr tells us about his new TV show “The Cellar” [p56] and tries his hand at writing a “Confessions of a Bartender piece” [p48], mixologist Yvonne Wairimu describes how she is taking on the cocktail industry [p52] and David Mutunga is finding his feet in his role as the new Jack Daniels brand ambassador. [p59] While on the topic of booze, Yummy enters the fray with our “How to Host a Cocktail Party” piece [p44], we draw up a guide of places to party in Mombasa [XX] and Josiah Kahiu keeps it sophisticated with his article on why it is worth investing in proper Champagne once in awhile [p41]. Elsewhere, our columnists do what they do best, with Susan Wong embarking on a road trip to Naivasha [p30], Patricia Kihoro taking some time to reflect over a bottle of champers [p60] and
Jackson Biko loving the adult feel of a recent Glenmorangie roundtable he attended [p63]. The back end of the magazine is quickly becoming my favourite as it is here that we get to host all off topic and interesting content; check it out, hopefully, you’ll like it as much as me! Last but not least, I am super happy to introduce you to our new section “Bloggers we Love” [p25] which launches with a Surf and Turf piece by Instagram phenomenon Mulunda Kombo, it is tied to a new section we have introduced on our website and aims to send love in the direction of all the cool food bloggers that are popping up around Nairobi today. Happy Holidays from the Yummy Team, we hope your enjoy the Party!
Katy Fentress Editor In Chief
CONTENTS 52 BLOODY GOOD Can the Bloody Mary at Kempinky’s Balcony Bar live up to Katy Fentress’s exacting standards?
BOOZY SECTION 41 Guide: Know Your Bubbles 44 How to Host a Cocktail Party 48 Confessions of a Barman 52 On the Up: Yvonne Wairimu 55 Profile: Society Man 56 Q&A The Making of a Cocktail Show 59 Brand Ambassador: Tennessee Whisky REGULARS 20 In Conversation: Starry Lunch 25 Bloggers We Love: Mulunda Kombo 30 Susan Eats: Ranch House Bistro 43 Ask a Wino: Sulfates 60 Social Butterfly: Champagne Blues 63 Man About Town: Round Table IMBIBE 42 Wine Picks: Frozen in Ice 46 Cocktails: The Jameson Spread
32 36 SWEET TOOTH If you fancy a little something sweet, this month’s recipe shoot is definitely for you!
NUGGETS 18 EatOut Picks: Mombasa Raha 26 Kahawa Diaries: Nick Ndeda 66 Spotlight: Miraa Shots 65 Kampalan Missive: December’s Names 68 Histories: Spice Route 70 Culinary Escape: Plate Crawler
YUMMY Vol. 3.12 · December 2017 · PUBLISHED BY EATOUT, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. MANAGING DIRECTOR Mikul Shah GM Michelle Slater EDITOR IN CHIEF: Katy Fentress STAFF WRITERS Winnie Wangui, Leroy Buliro, Sheila Rabala CONTRIBUTORS Malcolm Bigyemano, Jackson Biko, Nduati Githae, Josiah Kahiu, Patricia Kihoro, Iloti Mutoka, Noam Orr, Anyiko Owoko, Stephen Vick DESIGN Brian Siambi, Alexander Ngaira SALES, MARKETING & OPERATIONS Daniel Muthiani, Devna Vadgama, Gilbert Chege, Jane Naitore, Joy Wairimu, Ruth Wairimu, Seina Naimasiah PHOTOGRAPHY Peter Ndung’u, Brian Siambi IT Douglas Akula, Erick Kiiya, Asim Mughal SALES INQUIRIES Call Yummy, 0711 22 22 22 EMAIL firstname.lastname@example.org
SUNDAY 24th DEC Usher in the holiday spirit with a glass of bubbly as you indulge in our lavish 4-course dinner featuring an amuse-bouche, marine garden delicacies for starters, traditional duck breast with chestnut sauce and the decadent ‘buche de noel’ for dessert.
Prix Fixe Dinner KSH 6500 pp Time: 6.30 p.m.
MONDAY 25th DEC Enjoy the holiday with family and friends sharing a sumptuous brunch with live cooking stations, bbq delicacies and Christmas classics complimented by the vibrant Platinum Band. Santa will be there to entertain the kids at the dedicated children’s corner where the little ones will enjoy decorating a gingerbread house, craft making, magic shows and plenty of fun games.
Brunch KSH 5500 pp Time: 12.00 – 5.00 p.m. RESTAURANT BOOKINGS +254 709 810 000 L ARD ER email@example.com CHOPHOUSE firstname.lastname@example.org FESTIVE OFFERS If you’d like to bring a taste of these festive flavours to friends and family, starting Dec 10th we are offering gourmet gifts and take-away meals such as Christmas Turkey, Glazed Ham, Traditional Stollen and Radisson Blu Cookies. Advance notice is required. SPECIAL ACCOMMODATION OFFER Why not extend your celebrations with an overnight stay from $150 per room, per night. Incl. breakfast and taxes. Valid Dec 15th to Jan 12th. Terms & Conditions apply. Reservations: +254 709 810 000 email@example.com
Celebrations kick off with a glass of Moet & Chandon, marking the season’s festivities with style! Embark on a culinary journey around the world to discover a rich profusion of flavours, ranging from Mediterranean cuisine, luscious seafood, Arabian & Indian exotics to the French patisserie and a Butcher’s Block for meat lovers. Enjoy a complimentary bottle of wine per table. Countdown to 2018 is a glitzy affair with a fireworks display and music by renowned Dj Pierra and the popular Gogosimo Band!
KSH 10,000 pp Reservations +254 709 810 000 firstname.lastname@example.org | Open from 8.00 p.m.
HOTE L, NAIROB I UPPER HILL
Elgon Road, Upper Hill +254 709 810 000 | radissonblu.com/hotel-nairobi | @radissonblunbo
Perfectly-roasted Christmas Turkey Delve into the spirit of the Festive Season with family and friends by tucking into our mouth-watering turkey complete with traditional mashed potatoes and delectable cranberry sauce. Ksh 9,500
for 4-5kg whole turkey plus trimmings. Serves 4-8 people. Add Ksh 1,800 for extras
This offer is valid till 25th December, 2017
To place your order: call +254 703 049 000 or email email@example.com
If you could only eat one thing for the rest of your life what would it be? I’d love to be traditional and say millet bread and firinda (a Uganda soup). I would happily eat pizza every day for the rest of my life.
If you could only eat one type of cuisine for the rest of your life which would it be? I am a simple man so without a doubt it would have to be Pizza.
What, in your opinion, is the true purpose of oysters? Oysters are karma’s baseline, because reincarnating as one would really suck (get it? I’ll show myself out now).
What is breakfast to you? Breakfast is great but lunch and dinner are so much better.
On page 35 of last month’s Wine Issue we put an incorrect bottle. The bottle on the page is a Trumpeter rose’ while the correct bottle should have been a Trumpeter Malbec red.
How do you break the fast after a night of heavy drinking? With gallons of water, and mountains of steaming greasy chinese food.
If you were a spice, what spice would you be and why? Paprika, I find it’s vagueness and pretend perkiness mirrors my opinion on many things.
JAMESON CONNECTS WINNER
Win a Baileys Christmas Hamper worth Ksh.10000
Derick Mwendwa, a 23 year old arts and design student at University of Nairobi, was the happy winner of last month giveaway. When he came to pick up his ticket the day before the Ty Dolla $ign concert he told us he was super excited about the win and that he planned on bringing his girlfriend Angela along for the evening.
All you have to do is answer the question: What year and month did we feature a Bailey’s Irish Cream Hot Chocolate recipe on the Yummy website? Simply email your answer To to firstname.lastname@example.org by the 22nd of December 2017. The winner will be randomly selected from the list of correct answers.
On page 6 of last month’s Wine Issue we incorrectly stated that the artist Drake is from the United States. This is incorrect as Drake is in fact Canadian
CLASSIC REVISITED Tamarind Tree Hotel Opens
Located within Carnivore grounds, conveniently between two Nairobi airports and only 4 kms from the city centre, the recently opened Tamarind Tree Hotel is upmarket, sophisticated and features a variety of dining options. Tamambo, the a la carte restaurant, is now offering continental cuisine while their Duka coffee shop serves up light and delicious snacks 24 hours a day. Perfect for conferences, al-fresco meetings or company team building activities.
Get competitive over a board game at Bao Box If you are a board game fan put your game face on at the recently opened Bao Box restaurant at 8th Floor, Pramukh Towers, Westlands Road. Treat your friends or family to game night. Choose from their over 100 board games and enjoy fun times. Other fun activities include cooking classes for the little ones and movie nights to wile your evening away. eatout.co.ke/bao-box
Debonairs Pizza opens on Kiambu rd Thin crust, oozing cheese and loads of toppings. If this is how you like your pizza weâ€™ve got fantastic news for you! Debonairs Pizza have just opened their newest branch at Quickmart Kiambu Rd. You donâ€™t need a reason to enjoy pizza so indulge in your meaty, tikka chicken or vegetarian pizza from this outlet everyday or have it delivered to you for free! eatout.co.ke/debonairs
NEWS & EVENTS
A workshop for people who want to do more than just eat the cheese they love On January 13th the Permaculture Research Institute of Kenya will be hosting a Cheese Making and Fermentation Workshop at the Boho Eatery on Langata Road. If you are a hands-on kind of cook this is the place to be. Hosted by the accredited Australian permaculture teacher Elisabeth Fekonia the event will cost Ksh. 8,000 per person. For more info or to register check out http://pri-kenya.org
ADDED FLAVOUR Kenya Cane Citrus is Changing the Game
For the past forty years a closely guarded secret amongst Kenyan bartenders is that Kenya Cane is one of the best straightforward cocktail ingredients available on the market. It is good, it is clean, it is affordable and it mixes with almost everything. Last year the guys at UDV decided to up the game when they introduced their Kenya Cane Coconut and in the spirit of innovation they have just released their newest addition: Kenya Cane Citrus!
What to expect for our fifth annual Nairobi Restaurant Week Nairobiâ€™s most exciting and biggest culinary event is set to return to the city with over 50 of the best restaurants participating from 25th January to 4th February 2018. This time round weâ€™ve made it even more exciting with offers starting from Ksh. 1000 for lunch, and Ksh. 2,000 and Ksh. 3,000 for dinner. As you gear up, be on the lookout for more details on: Facebook.com/EatOutAfrica, Twitter: @eatoutkenya and Instagram: @ eatoutkenya.
Headlined by the American performer TY Dolla $igns and South African Rapper Nasty C, the Jameson Connects show was sold out days before the night of the event. And it wasnâ€™t only about music with activities that included games, fun, food and fashion. Over the years many brands have experimented with putting on one hell of an amazing end of year show. Well, in our humble opinion, we think Jameson is the one that has hit on the right formula
NEWS AND EVENTS
XMAS DINING It’s that time of year when families gather together, champagne bottles popped, turkeys or in other cases goats are roasted and everyone is open to overindulging. For those of you who haven’t already packed your bags for a trip out of town, chances are you will be in Nairobi and its environs over the festive season. So here are some great Xmas deals you can enjoy. Colourful Festivities at Park Inn By Radisson Live-Inn will be offering a Christmas themed Sunday brunch on Christmas Eve, combined with live band entertainment, and fun activities for the little ones for Ksh. 3,200 for adults and Ksh. 1600 for children between 6-11 years. The Attic Rooftop Bar and Restaurant will be providing shawarma specials at Ksh. 800 per serving, discounts on beers and cocktails and the DJ promises to keep you up on your feet all night. A special three course Christmas brunch menu awaits you on Christmas day for Ksh. 3,500 per person and an extended happy hour at the Attic from 3 pm -7 pm. Share Love, Joy & Food at Intercontinental Hotel Nairobi On Christmas Eve, dig into the afternoon Christmas brunch buffet from 12pm to 6pm at the Terrace and Pool Deck restaurants and sink your teeth into juicy pieces of Nyama Choma among other local and international dishes for Ksh. 3650 per person. Makuti Bar will on Christmas Eve offer Christmas cocktails, beer bucket and you can also make your own barbeque platter for Ksh.2650 per person. A grand Christmas feast will then follow on Christmas day including activities for the kids such as a magic show, face painting, jumping castles, free swimming and lots of goodies from Santa for Ksh. 5,950 per person. Have fun as you make your own barbeque platter at Makuti Bar on Christmas day for Ksh.1500 per person. Christmas By The Park at Ole Sereni Usher in Christmas at Big Five’s choma
night Christmas Eve feast accompanied by soothing tunes from the salsa band for Ksh. 4950 per person or enjoy Eagles Steak House tailored five course Christmas Eve menu in an intimate setting for Ksh. 5500. Make your Christmas Day memorable and experience Rhumba by the park, featuring a game drive, a sun downer and bitings at the Nairobi National Park from 2:30pm to 6:30pm for Kshs. 8,000 per person for citizens, Ksh. 10,000 for residents and Ksh. 14,000 for nonresidents. At the Big five, a carved gala
lunch will be prepared for you on Xmas day for Ksh. 6500 per person and at Eagles, a four course Christmas lunch and dinner is also set for Ksh. 5500 per person. Merry Little Christmas at Four Points JKIA Experience the newly opened Tazama restaurant at Four Points JKIA this Christmas and sample on traditional roasts, trimmings, a Christmas brunch with African barbeque and mezze for Ksh. 5,000 per person inclusive of pool access.
Festive Set Menus at Ibis Styles From traditional roast turkey to tantalizing lamb chops, Utamu restaurant at Ibis Styles Hotel has crafted a creative menu for Christmas, Boxing day with the climax being the New year’s Eve party at the rooftop. All the three course dinners cost Ksh. 3000 per person. Buffet Treat at Zen Garden Jade Coffee & Tea House at Zen Garden will be treating you to a Christmas buffet accompanied with Live Jazz on the terrace. Children activities lined up include: Face painting, bouncy castle, balloons, Xmas treats, milkshakes and fun a kids menu! From their lavish burger bar, live turkey carving, startopped minced pies to mint & orange flavoured cupcakes; they will have a wide variety of dishes to enjoy for Ksh. 4000 per person. Bamboo Oriental Restaurant will also be open for those who want to indulge in their a la carte menu. Tranquil Christmas at Tamambo Karen Bask in the garden and delight in Tamambo’s exquisite continental cuisine including a variety of fresh seafood options, steaks and turkey with stuffing and trimmings for Ksh. 3950 per person and Ksh. 1950 for kids for early bird bookings. Special Treats at Seven Seafood & Grill Indulge in mulled wine martinis and a three course Christmas menu for Ksh. 4000 per person at Seven. Be sure to also take advantage of their all day happy hour on 24th and 31st December and sip on their festive cocktails and drinks.
NEWS & YUMMY EVENTS
MOMBASA RAHA The exuberant tourist capital of Kenya, Mombasa undoubtedly knows how to ‘turn up the heat’ when it comes to options for bar and club lovers - especially during the holiday season when night owls from Nairobi and beyond, flock the beach side for some much needed vacation. Whether you are looking for fun things to do at night, or to listen to some great live music, Mombasa has a vibrant nightlife scene. The following spots are our favorites to let loose. Some are small, some are bars, some are clubs but they are all roomy and are great spots to party with your friends and make your holiday memorable. Bella Vista Conveniently located at the heart of the CBD, Bella Vista is the ultimate spot for lovers of dancing to let loose and dance the night away. The resident DJs at this club are known for keeping revellers on their feet the entire night. If dancing isn’t your thing the establishment also caters for sports lovers with an extra large high definition projector set up in the garden, covering all major games. eatout.co.ke/bella-vista-restaurant
Big Tree The huge makuti thatch, banging sound system, Italian menu, sandy beach and soothing breeze from the ocean, are all reasons why Big Tree in Bamburi should be top of your list of Mombasa hotspots. More popular on Sundays, this live music venue caters in the evening for young party goers and during the daytime, hosts family shows and games for the children. eatout.co.ke/big-tree-restaurant
Bob’s Bar An old-time favourite, this open-air sports bar is located at Birgis Complex in Nyali and can get absolutely packed with seasonal revellers on evenings during the holidays. Its two large bar areas help minimise the time it takes you to quench your thirst and get back on the dancefloor and its DJs are guaranteed to play all the hottest tracks of the season. eatout.co.ke/bobs-bar
Moonshine Beach Bar Located at the beach front of the Reef Hotel Mombasa, Moonshine is popular for its eclectic ambiance and fun nights with various themes and live band music. Open from Tuesdays to Sundays from noon till late, they have an extensive cocktails and drinks menu and a wide variety of whiskies, wines, and beers. It gets even better on Wednesdays when ladies get one free cocktail. eatout.co.ke/moonshine
Tamarind Dhow Picture yourself on a dhow, sipping on delicious Dawa cocktails, watching the boats sail gracefully by as you bathe in the breathtaking golden hues of the evening sun. This spectacular experience awaits you at the refurbished traditional Arab sailing boats. Take a dhow cruise around the city while enjoying the live band and sipping on boozy cocktails. You’ll be dancing in no time. eatout.co.ke/tamarind-mombasa
Z-Lounge This upscale rooftop bar and lounge offers one of the areas more mature clubbing experiences in the area. Start the night ordering from their a-la-carte menu, continue drinking from their extensive and well-executed selection of cocktails and finish the night dancing under the stars with the twinkling lights of Nyali spreading out below you. eatout.co.ke/z-lounge
AL FRESCO DINING The soothing breeze softly swaying the trees, a stunning view of green manicured gardens, the sun shining above you as you enjoy a delicious meal and the desire to linger for “one last glass of wine” long after the meal is finished… these are elements that characterise the perfect Nairobi outdoor dining experience. With the holiday season upon us, there is no better time than the present to set out to discover one of Nairobi’s leafier eating establishments. So with that in mind, here is a list of EatOut’s favourite garden dining spots. About Thyme Dubbed “Down Thyme’, the outdoor seating area at this charmingly intimate restaurant is sunk deep amongst trees which cocoon diners as they eat in their secluded gazebos covered in flowers and vines. In the evening time, tables are laid with candles which, combined with soft music and their consistently amazing food, make this the ideal spot for a romantic dinner for two or simply a perfect place to unwind and calm the senses. eatout.co.ke/about-thyme
Asmara Karen With a large garden and a great climbing frame for the kids, the third Asmara restaurant recently opened in Karen, is swiftly becoming a favourite for the long-winded Sunday lunch crowd. While this restaurant is a favourite for lovers of the delicious and varied cuisine of Eritrea, its menu has an ample Italian selection too with pastas, thincrust pizzas and some decadent desserts thrown in for good measure. eatout.co.ke/ asmara
Lord Erroll If fine dining with a view is what you are after, then the Lord Erroll might well be the place for you. With a delightful, bubbling, fountain, chirping birds and a well manicured lawn, this French-inspired restaurant has an extensive gourmet menu which will suit even the most demanding of diners. It is the perfect place to host weddings, birthdays or other celebrations in which you might want to make an impression. eatout.co.ke/lord-erroll-restaurant
Talisman A favourite on the Nairobi foodie scene, this Karen gastrolounge boasts an extensive kiddie-friendly lawn and a relaxed patio dining area. The walls of its open plan indoor/outdoor layout are defined by colourful local paintings and a mix of exotic ornaments. That and the inspired mix of delicious classic British and Oriental Cuisines, are the reasons that year in year out, diners keep coming back for more. eatout.co.ke/talisman
Bella Maria Nestled deep amongst the tall trees of the Peponi Valley, if it weren’t for the sounds of cars driving by on the road down below, you’d be forgiven for thinking this restaurant is lost deep in the countryside. Relax over a light lunch of pasta or order a pillowy pizza cooked in their wood oven by the restaurant’s Malindi-trained chef, while sipping on glasses of wine and catching up with any gossip in this surprisingly delightful and lush hidden corner of the city. eatout.co.ke/bella-maria-s-little-italy Toranj Not sure whether you fancy a Persian, Turkish or Italian meal? Toranj makes your life easier by making all three and in a lovely family-friendly open garden setting. The restaurant is conveniently located along James Gichuru road and is an ideal mid-week lunch spot. Their non-alcoholic drinks menu is filled with a great variety of juices and other Middle-Eastern inspired drinks, so get comfortable and make sure you draw out your meal to the max. eatout.co.ke/toranj
PHOTO DERICK HIGHINESS
Our writer Anyiko Owoko was recently on an East African round trip. She stopped over in Dar es Salaam where she met and interviewed Navy Kenzo –Tanzania’s dynamic music duo and celebrity couple. It is their first interview since they made a very special announcement. I am meeting Navy Kenzo at Samaki Samaki, Tanzania’s top seafood chain of restaurants and my favourite of all. Milimani City branch is currently under renovation and we are lucky the manager, Zulha, manages to get us a cozy hidden spot—perfect to meet the megastars who would otherwise stay away from public areas. It’s just a day since Nahreel and Aika nearly broke Tanzanian Instagram through the announcement of their upcoming child. At the time of the interview, Aika is eight months pregnant with their first baby, who they have named Gold. Aika says: “We wanted to accomplish our dreams in 2017. First was to build our mansion – the one that’s got everybody talking. It’s something out of a music video,” she jests, adding, “Everything was planned. We decided that in one year we would build a house, drop an album and have a child.” I can’t decide what I am enjoying more. Samaki Samaki’s dhow-inspired décor and their Basket Jahazi Platter , or Navy Kenzo’s company. I am so inspired by their hard work, consistency and dedication to each other as a couple working together in business and building a brand. The two have been together for nine years now. Aika says, “We have evolved and changed thanks to our mistakes and learning from our celebrity friends.” Even though titled AIM (Above inna Minute), Navy Kenzo’s debut album that dropped early 2017 took seven years in the making. The album included international African stars including Tanzania’s Alikiba and Mr. Eazi and R2Bees from West Africa. “AIM is an amazing product that
YOU’RE HOT AND 20. I’M CHILLED SEXY AND CLASSY.
represents the revolution of Navy Kenzo. Before it dropped, there hadn’t been an album in Tanzania that was as talked about or as anticipated as ours. We always love to take risks and the release strategy of this album has leveraged us to a level that many promoters from different countries are contacting us,” she adds. The group also went on an AIM tour worldwide that saw them perform in several countries including Kenya and Israel. Nahreel recalls, “The promoters in Israel told us that we were the first African artists to perform there and while at Coke Studio Africa – 2017, singer Denise told us that our singles: “Game” and “Kamatia Chini” were doing well in Madagascar. In 2017, Nahreel was the only main music producer from East Africa featured on the acclaimed Pan African music show Coke Studio Africa. “It’s my third time to be on Coke Studio and the second as a producer and it’s such an honour!” When Nahreel started producing music he was only a hip-hop producer, working with Tanzanian rap king Joh Makini, after which he decided to diversify. “I wanted to be a producer for every type of artist and so I started producing pop, afro-pop, R&B and songs in all genres possible which would all become award-winning hits. I am producing everything – that’s why I am a special producer.” In 2018, Navy Kenzo promises to deliver a new music project featuring more international collaborations with artists across the globe, and more music videos. To date, they have made history as Tanzania’s first music group to rise to stardom while
singing both in English and Swahili. Most of the top artists in Tanzanian sing largely in Swahili. Aika expounds: “We made it because we are doing this for the culture and for the fans across the world beyond East Africa. And just like the others, once you give East Africans good music, they take it and love it!” Navy Kenzo are extremely creative. Nahreel says of their creative direction when it comes to music videos and image: “We always take our time to create videos that will be timeless. It’s all about preparation and sometimes we take even three months to plan. We are already planning to shoot a video in March 2018.” They are assertive, and their
own bosses. Aika says, “We don’t want to do common things and that’s why we are unique,” sharing advice to other artists: “There will be many opportunities presented to you but you must ensure that they don’t devalue your brand. Our brand is our business and that’s why we embody it fully.” They are also self-professed foodies with a state of the art kitchen in their new home. Aika laughs at the fact that she can only boil Macaroni and put rice in the kitchen cooker. She says, “We love to cook weird things just mixing things up. Nahreel loves Macaroni served with Beef and I love to bake Lasagna!”
TEXT ILOTI MUTOKA
ARCTIC TALE PART 3
In part three of our arctic journey our Kenyan explorer is one step closer to revealing what the true motive for embarking on this expedition is “They looked just like you, the boys who ran into my wife and my daughter. But they were young, and they had drunk too much.” I don’t think I could have stopped Erik talking now, even if I wanted to. “I have carried this bitterness with me for so long. Just as I thought I had forgotten enough of it to move on, to go back and love again, here you come, looking, walking and talking like them. Believe me when I tell you I almost asked them to find you a replacement to take you to the Pole.” I wasn’t surprised. Though not frosty, our first meeting was no love at first sight. I sipped the scalding hot coffee and caught his eye. “I am no racist,” he continued, his eyes boring into mine. “But in my 40 years of Arctic exploration, I have never taken an African man to the Pole. So for my last client to be a Kenyan is just heart wrenching, a constant reminder, even though I know you are a victim like me”. I shifted, uncomfortable at being called a victim by a man that knew so little about me. “So,” he went on, “tell me truly why you do this. Because if I am to be reminded that I brought my family to the beach just to get away from the snow and ended up shattering the
lives of my twin grandchildren, it had better be for more than fame.” I stared at him blankly, empathy and sympathy fighting for real estate within me. He did not blink. “I had many problems as a young
out to the percolator to pour myself a last cup for the night, it was empty, without my noticing, Erik had helped himself to the last of it. “I had to get away and I was out of options. I was consumed by horrible
man growing up”, I began, but he waved me silent. “That is everyone’s life story. Give me reason.” I glared at him. Who was he to purport to know me? To hell with him, I glared some more. Then I hesitated, outside the wind howled menacingly, the tent flapping excitedly. I reached
thoughts... I... I...” They had warned me that if I did leak water from my eyes I had to wipe it off immediately. Which was annoying because it made being discreet about waterworks impossible. “I was struggling to see a way out of my misery. Then one day I read about the people of Qausuittuq and
how they were lied to and forced to settle here just to maintain Canadian sovereignty over Resolute Bay. And yet they thrive. Not only that, they found out about whale migration patterns and began hunting them.” I paused, reestablishing eye contact before forging on: “I thought to myself how horrible it must have been for these people, forced to restart their lives in harsh conditions, alone and unshielded. I realised that change is not a capacity humans have but a quality and decided I would come to Resolute, to see these children of Resolve. They would not quit, they could not. When change was forced upon them, they chose to change with it. So I come here to show myself that I too can choose to change.” I wiped away a tear from my eye, the defiance that comes with a man’s tears broken in the face of a truth that I had been the last to learn. “This is good. Maybe we find healing together. Amaruq lost his best girl two nights ago from hypothermia. So we all heal. We go to the Pole.” He lifted his cup, nodded, and drained his cup to its last dregs. I did the same with my own cold coffee. A little look of understanding passed between us. We were going to the Pole.
ON THE LINE
BLOGGERS WE LOVE 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.
Chimichurri Sauce 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
Method 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 yummy.co.ke/bloggers-we-love
KAHAWA YUMMY DIARIES
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This month we managed to pin down actor, performer and radio presenter Nick Ndeda who has been blowing up on screens across the country with his feature film “18 hours” and just finished performing at the National Theatre in a stage version of everyone’s favourite musical “Grease”. What current projects are you working on? My first feature film “18 Hours” is completing its first full month at the cinema and I still haven’t gotten over the excitement. I am so grateful for everyone who came out to watch and support local talent. Aside from that, I am doing a political thriller play next weekend titled ‘What Happens In The Night” but this week it is all about Grease-The Musical!
How do you conquer stage fright? I don’t conquer it. I try to dance to its tune a bit. Getting in front of a gathering to perform is always nerve racking but I use some tools to my advantage. For example, I’m short-sighted so on stage in a huge hall such as the Kenya National Theatre, with all the lights, I hardly see the people out in the crowd. So I do my stage business and focus on the performance.
What is it like being on stage, how is it different from your previous experiences in Radio and on Film? I treat them all as performances so I always inject a dose of showmanship in my delivery be it on radio, TV or film. There is something exhilarating about being on stage though…the energy and concentration levels are over the roof and I love that!
How do you keep yourself focused when you are on the job? A good performance needs high concentration so not to sound cliché I just focus. When I’m on radio, my phone is off or on vibrate at the end of the room, when I’m backstage during the show waiting to get on I don’t chat about. Once the show starts, the wheels are moving and I don’t allow myself to stop until when it’s time to stop.
What is your routine before going on stage? I take about 15 minutes to sort of mellow out, get in the mind of the time of the play, the season, the weather, maybe the pervading aromas of the place. Soon my heart starts to race and I feel like crapping my pants but before I know it we get on stage. And it’s always worth it!
What role does coffee play in your life? I mostly take it if it is on set or someone else is making it. I never quite learned how to make a really nice one.
How do you take your coffee? With lots of milk and 3 sugars.
Thereâ€™s a new deli very service in town
This Christmas, give your loved ones
THE GIFT OF WINE
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Each box that lands on your doorstep will be packed with an exhilarating range of tasty wines, spilling over with interesting facts & tips about each one. And every month, Chef Anthony Huth pairs one of the bottles of wine with a recipe of unadulterated deliciousness.
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GIFTS FOR FOODIES Foodies are an easy bunch to get presents for. Some luxury food, a hamper or a nice bottle of alcohol should do the trick, right? Truth is sometimes it pays off to go that extra mile and invest in something special that will withstand the test of time. Pressed for time or ideas? Worry not, our team of dedicated food lovers hit the Nairobi streets, malls and fairs, to find some of the coolest items to gift your gourmet loved ones this Christmas season.
STOPLESS SALT SHAKER
Waithira Chege has been making timeless and unique ceramic designs since the 1980s. Her innovative salt shaker design sells out at every christmas faire. Buy one at Spinners Web on Kitisuru Road Retails at Ksh 4,000
This beautiful casserole by Tope Creations is microwave, dishwasher and oven proof. Delicious food deserves beautiful crockery to go with it. Check out the rest of the series on facebook.com/topecreations, Grace Kairu can arrange for it to be delivered on the same day. Retails at Ksh. 4,000
We love cool mugs and these ones are so Kenyan we just couldnâ€™t resist putting them on the list! Available at The Bonk Store, The Junction Mall Retails at Ksh. 1,000
The hipsters have known about this great dinner party hack for years and now Nairobians too can get in on the trend and bring their entertaining game to new levels. Available at all Healthy U shops, pack of 3 Candles retail at Ksh. 2,495
100 YEARS PLATTER
They started out as a clothing company but their recent forays into kitchenware are colourful and so pretty. Soapstone platter available at their Alchemist outlet Retails at Ksh. 3,000
These petite blenders are all the range at the moment and can whip up a delicious and nutritious smoothie in seconds! Give this to your healthconscious bestie, trust me theyâ€™ll thank you for it. Available to buy at all Hotpoint outlets. Retails at Ksh. 16,360
Whisky aficionados deserve to be shown some love this Christmas and what better way then with this. Retails at Ksh. 4,400
ON THE SHORE
Susan takes a two hour drive ending up at the shores of the beautiful Lake Oloiden, home to La Pieve Farm Shop where warthogs and antelopes pop by. Farm-to-table is an emerging menu trend that has grown so popular it has become the new norm. Many Nairobi restaurants are using produce sourced from local farms for freshness and sustainability, but when you need to drive two and a half hours to a farm just to eat, that brings a whole new meaning to farm-to-table. Beyond the gate, the drive was long and shaded, protected by tall and vast acacias like a canopy of parasols. The path leads you past La Pieve Farm Shop, which is stocked with organic produce and decorated with antique farm equipment in an old converted structure. Manicured lawns then
lead to a meandering stone path up a short incline where an expansive view of Lake Oloiden welcomes you. A steady hum of conversations emanate from the al-fresco dining area. White metal tables with mosaic tabletops accentuated with purple seating cushions dot the lush green grounds, a large fireplace anchors the inside of the restaurant, and a wood-burning pizza oven sits proudly next to the bar. Located on Lake Naivashaâ€™s little sister Lake Oloiden, Ranch House Bistro is an idyllic, quaint and charming restaurant that uses fresh ingredients sourced directly from
their farm, and serves a Dawa of utter perfection. Menus arrive on clipboards, creating a relaxed and welcoming setting. After a long and hot drive, Dawas and Homemade Lemonades were on our mind. The Strawberry Lemonade, which tasted more like a strawberry juice, was less exciting than the Dawa which had a great expression of honey, and zing from both limes and vodka. We began with the Onion and Goat Cheese Tartlet accompanied with a Beetroot Salad that arrived hot and delicious. Flavourful caramelised onions added a subtle sweetness to the melting goat cheese. The light
pastry broke at the touch of the knife, and the cheese oozed beautifully. Perfectly seasoned, the plate was devoured in seconds. As we waited for our mains, I found myself staring into the horizon. The sun had cast a beautiful glow on the lake. A family of warthogs trotted past our table as a herd of antelopes grazed unbothered. The staff rushed to set a picnic blanket for the children from another group. They wanted to lounge on the grass, and enjoy the birds flying overhead. The staff was attentive, warm, and accommodating. The view also easily made me forget about my pending office to-do-list,
TEXT & PHOTOS SUSAN WONG
the stupid traffic police that stopped us along the way for nothing, and even what we had been waiting for… the food. Wood oven slow-cooked pork shoulder, dressed with mint, arrived pulled into strands and sandwiched in between toasted buns. The menu had written that the pulled pork would have some red chilli, but that flavour was completely absent. Served with homemade BBQ Sauce, don’t forget to drizzle that over the pulled pork to balance the saltiness and ensure that every morsel is moist. The Coleslaw was beautiful and fresh but under seasoned. The French Fries served in a miniature tin pail, were crispy, not greasy,
and were still soft in the center – absolutely delicious! The Grilled Fillet Steak with Pepper Sauce served with Mash Potatoes and Creamed Spinach arrived as a massive portion. However, the perfectly cooked medium rare fillet was swimming in the sauce – I wish it had come on the side. Despite the sauce being quite tasty, the pepper in the Pepper Sauce was incredibly subtle - perhaps too subtle for some. The creamed spinach was faultless - fresh, rich and savoury all in a comforting portion. The Thai Fish Cakes arrived with coconut rice, a cashew nut cucumber salad that had a kick of chilli, and a honey sauce.
The fish cakes were quite dense and had an overpowering tartness from probably some lime juice that was incorporated into the raw ingredients before frying. Finally, a stunning piece of Tiramisu, soaked with espresso, completed our lunch. Our meal wasn’t perfect, but it certainly still felt enjoyable and was profound. Home cooking with fresh produce harvested from the property, and incredible surroundings – you really can’t go wrong with that. A meal at Ranch House Bistro is about firmly living in the present. http://www.oserengoniwildlife.com/ category/ranch-house-bistro
A steady hum of conversations emanate from the al fresco dining area.
In their four years since opening, Suite 101 at Tribe Hotel have continued to show a dedication to churning out high level desserts and pastries to suit the sweet tooths of their discerning customers. This month their chef Ruwan Aruna Shantha opened their doors to the Yummy photo team to give them a sneak peek of what they do.
RASPBERRY WHITE CHOCOLATE CHEESE CAKE EGGLESS 300g Philadelphia cream cheese 250g cream cheese 300ml double cream 2 x 300g white chocolate belcolade. You can use any type of chocolate and even use less 500g biscuits e.g. digestives Few knobs of butter Handful of raspberry
Procedure: 1. Crush the biscuits until completely ground. Add butter (either in food processor or gently heat on hob) until desired crumbly consistency. 2. Add the biscuit mixture to a cake tin and pat till flat. 3. Leave to set in the fridge for approximately 30 minutes. 4. Begin melting the chocolate in a glass bowl over a small pan of hot water on a low heat. 5. Stir occasionally to prevent sticking. 6. Mix the Philadelphia and cream cheese together with a whisk; hand or electric. Add double cream and whisk. Finally, add melted chocolate to the mixture and whisk. The mixture may seem slightly ‘curdled’ just continue whisking. 7. Spoon the mixture over the cooled and set biscuit base. Return to the fridge to cool for as long as possible, until the topping is set. Finally decorate with fruit or other topping.
PHOTOS PETER NDUNG’U
DARK CHCOLATE DOME You Will Need: 250g dark chocolate 45g almond meal 95ml heavy cream 2 egg whites 45 g icing sugar 45 g Cocoa 50 ml water 300 ml full cream 6 g gelatin 20 g sugar 1 egg yolk 50 g butter
Step 1 MAKE MIRROR GLAZE Soak gelatin in cold water. Add 50 ml water and 140 g of sugar into a saucepan and heat until simmering. Whisk in 45 g cocoa powder. Bring 95 ml cream to the boil and add to cocoa syrup. Whisk until smooth. Add soaked gelatin into mixture until melted. Let cool in the fridge until completely set. Step 2 MAKE CHOCOLATE MOUSSE In a Bain Marie, add 250 g chocolate and 50 g butter to a bowl and melt. Mix well. Grate in the zest of an orange. Add vanilla extract if desired. Remove from heat and let cool for 15 minutes. In another bowl, whisk the cream until stiff peaks. Add a third of the cream to the chocolate and stir until incorporated. Add another third and mix till incorporated. Add final third but be careful not to overmix to maintain airiness. Step 3 MOULD Pour the chocolate mousse into a hemisphere mold
Step 4 MAKE DACQUOISE BASE Whisk 2 egg whites until stiff peaks. Add almond meal and icing sugar and mix until incorporated (donâ€™t overmix). Spread onto baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes at 180 degrees Celsius. Step 5 ASSEMBLE Place each dacquoise disc onto the top of the chocolate mousse of each mold. Place into freezer to set up overnight. Step 6 GLAZE Take the mirror glaze and reheat until about 45 degrees (or a thick but pourable consistency). Remove hemispheres from freezer. Place each hemisphere onto a wire rack and pour glaze into the center of each hemisphere to let glaze spread over the whole dome. Step 7 SERVE Remove from wire rack carefully with a pastry spatula. Place in fridge for a couple of hours to let mousse defrost. Garnish and serve.
COCONUT PANNA COTTA WITH MANGO 4 cups full fat coconut milk, divided 1 tablespoon unflavored gelatin 1/3 cup raw honey 2 teaspoons vanilla extract 1 cup mango fresh
Procedure: 1. Pour 1 cup coconut milk into a medium saucepan and sprinkle evenly with the gelatin. Let the milk sit for 5-10 minutes to allow the gelatin to soften. 2. Heat the milk and gelatin over medium heat, stirring constantly, until gelatin is dissolved and milk begins to steam. Stir the remaining coconut milk and honey into the warm milk and whisk until all the ingredients are dissolved. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the vanilla. Let the mixture cool for 10 minutes. 3. Divide the coconut milk mixture evenly among 6 glasses or small bowls. Cover panna cottas tightly with plastic wrap, making sure the plastic wrap does not touch the creamâ€™s surface. Refrigerate for about 5 hours, until cold and set.
TEXT JOSIAH KAHIU
KNOW YOUR BUBBLES What do Coco Chanel, Winston Churchill, Charles Dickens and Napoleon Bonaparte have in common? A passion for Champagne of course! Not sure it’s worth the fuss? It sure is says Josiah Kahiu who is keen to tell us why it is worth investing in the good stuff for the special occasion. There are very few sounds in the world that evoke a sense of celebration as the unmistakable “pop” of a champagne bottle. From the time of the royal French court to date, it is the only drink that can be associated with celebration. It is that bubbly time of year so as most of you will be reaching your bubbly quota in the next few weeks, we thought a quick write-up on the world of champagne is needed. So what makes Champagne so different from all the other sparkling wines in the market? Simply put, it’s the method of production. In the world of wine, Champagne is widely considered to be the highest quality, longest living, most complex and expressive form of sparkling wine on the market. It takes the longest time to produce and requires the largest amount of labour compared to all other forms of sparkling wine. People often wonder why
Champagne is so expensive and wonder whether it might be worth just spending their money on some cheaper bubbly. The truth is that the Champagne Method or Traditional method as it is known outside of France, is the only way to make this timeless drink. What this means is that after the first fermentation of base wine (usually Chardonnay, Pinot Noir or Pinot Meunier) a secondary fermentation must occur in the bottle. In simple terms, the base wine is added to a bottle with a certain amount of yeast and left to ferment again, creating a whole new set of bubbles in the bottle. When the yeast has done its job and has died, the spent yeast called lees is left in the bottle. This may not sound so appealing, dead yeast in a bottle, but it is what actually gives Champagne the complexity, richness and texture. How long the wine stays on lees is generally decided by the winemaker
or the regulations governing the production of the area. After the bottling phase, Champagne still has to go a further four steps before a label is slapped on it - ageing, riddling, disgorgement and dosage. These steps are done to settle, clarify and add that secret special ingredient that adds finesse to the bottle. All these steps together mean that many hours of labour are spent on creating that bottle and hence the price. So is the hype about Champagne really worth it? From the high-class royalty types to the show off rapper, bubbly always evokes memories of celebration and the high life. When we think of drinking a glass of champagne, it evokes memories of celebration and big events. Whether it is lifelong memories such as celebrating the birth of your first child or just bringing in the new year, there is rarely a sad moment when a bottle
is pulled out. For this reason, regular champagne drinkers are the larger than life type personalities. Life is a show and if there are any problems tomorrow, they can always be sorted with a glass of bubbly in your hand.
ERARD - SALMON
The CuvĂŠe Prestige comes from a balanced blend of three grape varieties Pinot Noir, Meunier and Chardonnay. Its prolonged aging in cellar offers power, roundness and creaminess, allowing it to accompany you from aperitif to your most refined meals. Available from Le Decanter Retails at Ksh. 6,600.
GRAHAM BECK BRUT
This Methode Cap Classic is made from a blend of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. This sparkling wine offers Light yeasty aromas, with limey fresh fruit on the nose and rich creamy complexity on the palate. The fine mousse contributes the freshness and finesse. Available from Wines of the World. Retails at Ksh 1,540
ASK A WINO
This blend of Grenache, Cinsault and Syrah has an intense pink vibrant color with good effervescence. The nose is a lively mix of fresh strawberries and blackberries. This Brut Rosé is refreshing but not too sweet and is a perfect choice to enjoy on its own. Available at alcohol distributors and bars countrywide Retails at Ksh. 4,000
Italian-trained oenologist (pronounced Ehno-lo-jist - that’s a wine expert to you and me) Josiah Kahiu answers all your questions on wine. What are sulfates and should I try to avoid them when drinking wine? Wahida Rehama, 32 Hi Wahida, this is one of those questions that people tend to get very confused about. Firstly, there is no such thing as 100% sulfite free wines. Sulfites develop naturally in very small trace amounts during the winemaking process as a byproduct of fermentation. All wines, beer and cheeses have naturally occurring sulfites and their presence is so small that they are considered harmless to the body. That said, additional sulfates are sometimes added during the winemaking process. Sulfur dioxide (SO2), is a preservative that is widely used in winemaking as well as in the food industry. The main purpose for which winemakers use sulfites is due to their antibacterial and antioxidant properties. Simply put, they allow the wine to maintain its freshness. The amount of extra sulfites in wine is very well regulated around the world and any wine with more than 10 parts per million (ppm) has to have the words “contains sulfites” labelled on the bottle. When it comes to sulfates and the human body, numerous tests have indicated they are generally harmless unless you suffer from severe asthma. The myth that they cause headaches has been debunked by various medical studies. In reality, many foods that we eat such as dried fruits contain much higher levels of sulfites than wines. So why do people think wine causes headaches? Simple: to begin with keep in mind that wine contains alcohol. As with any other alcoholic beverages, if you overdo it or mix different types of alcohol, chances are, you will wake up feeling like you left your brain on the pillow. Wine also includes other compounds such as tannins and histamines that have been shown to give some people headaches. Another common myth is that red wines have more sulfites that white wines and therefore are more likely to cause headaches. Red wine has tannins, which act as a preservative and therefore require less sulfites than white wines.
This sparkling wine is a blend of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir that create a surprising complexity. It is pleasantly well structured and balanced on the palate. Available from Le Decanter. Retails at Ksh. 1,400
So, the next time you are opening a bottle of wine or three during the festive period, do not keep jumping back and forth from red to white, either stick to one or gradually move from white to red. And to guarantee that you wake up feeling fresh and ready for the next glass, water before you sleep is always the best way to go. If you have a wine dilemma, send an email to email@example.com Follow him on Instagram on @knife_and_wine
You set out in November thinking it’s a great idea but as the date draws closer it dawns on you that you don’t know the first thing about hosting and your idea of a cocktail is pouring some Stoney Tangawizi into a cup half full with Kenya Cane. Don’t fret, with these simple rules, you are bound to make a great impression and save yourself a lot of stress.
MAIN FEATURE Invite: It’s so easy to make your cocktail party a Facebook event. You choose a great picture, write down all the details, send out the invites and voila’! your party is automatically a success! The truth is that people don’t always necessarily check their Facebook notifications, so take the time to reach out to people individually, let them know that you have invited them on Facebook but that you wanted to make sure they were aware and could make it. People really appreciate the extra attention. Booze: This might seem like a no brainer but it deserves a moment’s repetition. A cocktail party is NOT a cocktail party with inadequate amounts of booze. While at barbecues it is perfectly acceptable to ask people to bring their own bottle, when hosting a cocktail party you are expected to keep your guests drinking for at least two if not three hours. So make sure whatever you buy is plenty. On average calculate that a bottle of wine gets you 5 to 6 glasses and a bottle of spirits makes about 12 to 15 drinks. Oh and unless your guests are super thirsty, calculate about an average of two drinks per head per hour. Bar: There are really two ways to go here. The first involves having a stocked bar with all of the different spirits (Vodka, Gin, Brandy, Tequila, Rum and of course Whisky), a few that can be mixed in for cocktails (Campari, Vermouth, Cointreau, Triple Sec), mixers and some beer and wines for the rest. People are then free to make up their own concoctions of choice. The second option involves coming up with three or four cocktails of your own. Think a bubbly cocktail, a light punch and something dark for the dark spirit lovers. Get creative and make something memorable, guests will appreciate the effort. Barman: It might be worth paying someone to man the bar all night. One great benefit with this is it will curtail those people who are prone to pouring two thirds of the glass with booze but he or she can also help to keep the mess in check, so you aren’t faced with total chaos the moment everyone leaves. Ask the bartender to come early so they can spend some time preparing for the cocktails, chopping lemon wedges, slicing fruit and making sure all the garnishes are in place. Non-boozers: Spare a thought for your friends who do not drink alcohol. They too like to hold a pretty drink in their hand and to get a chance to say cheers once in awhile with something more than a glass of water. Trust us, they will be very grateful if you take the time to make something specially for them and
it will make them more willing to be the designated drivers later on! Food: Your guests need something to absorb all that alcohol and nuts and crisps are just not going to cut it. One way around this, is to invest in some white focaccia or baguette which you can slice and spread with an easy cream cheese and chive pate’, some cold cuts, cheese, hummus or an olive tapenade. Whatever you serve make sure it is finger friendly and if it is on a stick, make sure guests have somewhere to dispose of it afterwards! Ice Ice Baby: How many times have you had to call a friend and plead them to bring ice to your party? This one is easy to forget but don’t. You only realise how important ice is when you don’t have any and all the shops are closed. Surfaces and Lighting: Make sure there are enough surfaces for people to place their drinks on and create some nice seating arrangements so that when people get tired they can rest their feet. Your lighting shouldn’t be too bright so consider putting some light coloured fabric over your lamps or putting up some pretty fairy lights! That said, don’t go too far with this, this isn’t a wild house party so people don’t need it to be completely dark. Music: If you can’t afford or can’t be bothered with a DJ that is fine but don’t under any circumstances allow your music to be hijacked by guests who really want to play the latest Trap hit hell-bent on celebrating killing machines and female dogs. Take the time to make your own playlist or make sure your streaming platform of choice has a playlist that is perfectly in tune with the ambiance you have in mind. Conversation: It pays off to be a reasonably well informed host, so at a minimum make an effort to read up on the headlines of the day, even if it is just the sports page! Another important conversation tip is if you have been talking for over three minutes and the other person is simply nodding, consider the fact maybe you are talking too much; this is especially important if you have been talking exclusively about yourself and your amazing abilities. Don’t be that guy/gal who always has to one-up people by telling them that whatever they are saying you have already done/ seen/explored/become an expert at. Remember to listen, ask people questions about themselves and try to avoid making politically incorrect jokes with people you have just met. In the words of someone on the internet: “Be bright. Be brief. Be gone”.
WRONG COLLINS • • • •
60ml Black Barrel 120ml Apple juice Ginger ale - to top up Mix, stir and garnish with slices of green Apple slices
• 45ml Jameson original • 15ml kahlua • Dash of angostura bitters/ campari • Stir and garnish with orange zest
PHOTO PETER NDUNG’U SHOT ON LOCATION J’S
APPLE BARREL • • • • •
50ml Black Barrel 10ml creme de cassis Dash of sweet and sour Apple juice Shake and pour creme de cassis on top and garnish orange slice
• 45ml Black Barrel • 15ml dry vermouth • 15ml honey syrup • 15ml lemon juice • Shake and garnish with 3 olives and orange slice
BAR TALES YUMMY
BARTENDER CONFESSIONS After a decade and a half spent bartending, Noam Orr believes he knows exactly where a night is headed depending on what drinks have been consumed and how. I have more than 15 years’ experience mixing potions and delicious cocktails in some of Israel’s top bars and let me tell you, over time I have developed some very “interesting relationships” with the vast array of drinks that are available out there. When I first started drinking, every drink or cocktail that I would knock back would take my night in a different direction with my adventures in and outside bars changing according to what I had been consuming that night. In the beginning, I thought that maybe it was only me that reacted differently to different drinks as I spent more time working behind the bar, I began to see a pattern emerge with my clients. Soon I could predict how an evening would evolve with one of my regulars if he started off drinking wine or went straight for the tequila
shots. I knew when someone was going to end the night by themselves or whether that was the night they’d get lucky and go home with someone under their arm, or whether it would all end up in one big fist fight. Every bartender with a few years of experience can tell you that people who drink wine will inevitably be more relaxed and laid back when compared to people that are drinking tequila. People that drink vodka or gin are much better at keeping their libido in check as the night progresses as opposed to people that are drinking beer who tend to struggle to keep their sex drive under control the more pints they drink. Turns out that my observations were not completely far-fetched and that there is actually some scientific proof to back up my thesis. In a survey that was made by researchers from the UK, 29,000 people from 21 countries between
the ages 18-34 were asked about their drinking habits and how they reacted emotionally to different alcohols. Participants described their feelings after consuming different types of drinks choosing from a wide range of emotional states which included arousal, relaxation, self-confidence and a sexy feeling, as opposed to fatigue, restlessness, aggression or sadness. By and large, the results varied according to age and demographic but there were definitely signs that spirits drunk in a specific social setting tended to affect moods differently than for example wine or beer. Based on my personal experiences, this is what different alcohols do to my emotions: • Beer- will lead to a night of long and emotional talks about life and its meaning • Gin- will make me feel sexy
and the feeling that I can get any girl’s number(which usually does not happen ) • Rum- gives me the courage of a pirate and leads to unexpected adventures • Vodka- half way into the night I will be pass out in the bathroom with no memory of what happened • Tequila- I end up making crazy stupid decisions that often end up in me breaking some part of my body • Whisky- makes me meet random people in the bar and make them my best friends for life • Wine- makes me think about my past poor choices and the future and usually sends me to sleep crying • Shots- the devil’s drink! When shots turn up I know that I am inevitably headed for a night full of mistakes!
CAREER YUMMY PATH
PHOTO PETER NDUNG’U
MASTER MIXOLOGIST Sheila Rabala is excited to meet Yvonne Wairimu, the mixologist who is redefining what it means to be a woman behind the bar. There’s an energy around Yvonne Wairimu that is purely infectious. One of the leading female bartenders in the country, it is immediately apparent from the minute she walks behind the counter that this is a lady in her zone. With many achievements already under her belt including earlier this year when she not only represented Kenya but Africa at the annual prestigious “Tales of the Cocktail”, a premier series of cocktail festivals which was held in the United States highlighting what's now, new and next in the spirits industry. What was the exact moment you knew you wanted to be a mixologist? Immediately after Highschool I got a job waiting on tables, but I would always find myself gravitating towards the bar. Once there, I would take my time reading the back of labels trying to figure out what made one drink different from the other. My manager started getting frustrated that my station was always unattended and eventually allowed me to work behind the bar. Twenty years later I have never looked back.
You really made a name for yourself while working with some international brands. What’s the most important thing you learned while working with such corporates? Bartending is an art and in the initial days working with corporates was tough. I had to get accustomed to office culture where there were rules and regulations governing a lot of aspects of your operations, down to how you dressed. What has been your career highlight to date? At this moment it is definitely the recent Jameson Connect party 2017. It was quite a challenge running all the bars during the event. I was a little apprehensive at first but 5000 satisfied revelers later I can say a huge moment for me and my team. What is most challenging about what you do? Being a woman in the industry. So many assumptions are made about you. First the misconception that your knowledge of the craft would be limited because you are a woman. I have across too many people who
assume that I got there through favours. In many cases you have to work two or three times harder than your male counterpart to prove yourself. Do you have a tip for home bartenders? First relax and have fun with it when you are hosting. When it comes to displaying your drinks arrange all your light spirits on one side like your vodkas, gins, rums and all your dark spirits like cognacs and whiskeys on another. Another tip is invest in some simple bar tools or improvise with what you have in the house for example use a small glass with a bigger one to improvise as a shaker. What cocktail trend would you like to see disappear? Rainbow cocktails for sure! There’s this trend that is steadily growing where once a bartender starts making one or two cocktails, they start playing around with different colored liqueurs and layer for you different drinks which are just full of sugar! Liqueurs are meant to be modifiers not the base spirit of the cocktail! It
seems some people haven’t received the memo on that What does 2018 hold for you, do you have any exciting projects in the pipeline? I am excited for what 2018 hold for me and the mobile bar company we run called We Mix. We’ve been doing alot of events this year. I have a small cocktail bar in Thika, Wemix Cocktail Lounge and we are working very hard to have it moved to Nairobi in 2018. How do you deal with annoying customers? I smile a lot, but on the inside I’m dishing out curse words. It is a difficult spot being a female behind the bar but I have learnt to remain calm. It is always important to remind yourself that the customer is drinking and might be slightly inebriated while you are sober. You would be surprised to find out that female clients are usually the most difficult in such situations. If the situations gets too extreme, I walk away from the bar. At the end of the day it is important to remember that even bartenders are human.
YUMMY DRINK SPOTLIGHT
PHOTO PETER NDUNG’U
The search for the perfect Bloody Mary has brought Katy Fentress to the Balcony Bar. Will their mixologist meet her exacting standards? It is not hyperbole to say that I have spent the better part of the last decade searching for the perfect Bloody Mary. My quest has taken me across continents: from airplanes, to dive bars, to the plushest of hotels and, of course, my own kitchen. More often than not, the Bloody Marys that have given me the most happiness are the ones I painstakingly knockedup my self. I have been known to start preparing on Friday, sometimes by asking the Korean restaurant I happen to be dining at whether they can part with some of their delicious kimchi (that’s fermented cabbage) juice with me. On Saturdays, I often hoard all the bones of whatever hunk of meat we have roasted to turn them into stock which is added in on Sunday giving it depth, complexity and oh so much savoury goodness. My defining moment came when I discovered using fresh tomatoes. After that, no Bloody Mary was good enough for me unless someone had thoroughly blended and sieved the tomatoes. When asked what my favourite
Bloody Mary of all time is, I tend to answer: “the one that is still in my head”. I am still obsessed with finding the perfect balance of acidity, saltiness, umami and that almost undetectable sweet tang, and always feel there is a Bloody Mary out there that will be better than the last. With that in mind, when I walked into the Balcony Bar at Villa Rosa Kempinski the other day, I was full of arrogance and bluster, fully expecting their concoction to fall well below par. Although rumour had it that their Rosa Bloody Mary really was superb, I am not one to believe rumours until I have proven them true through my own, scrupulous research. When I informed Patrick Mutua Kioko, the Balcony Bar mixologist, of my doubts in his ability to prepare a Bloody Mary to my exacting standards, he laughed heartily and answered with a Swahili proverb which went something along the lines of: “a man who has never left his home thinks his mother’s cooking is the best”. Challenge accepted, so I sat down to observe this self-professed
Bloody Mary master in his natural habitat. As Kioko got down to the business of preparing this “Rosa Bloody Mary” (named after the Rosa Kempinski) he informed me that the recipe was created by the entire Balcony Bar team. “The truth is,” he shared with a conspiratorial whisper, “that we got the recipe spot on the first time. We all agreed that it was better to use fresh tomatoes and so went with that. The only thing we ended up changing was that we didn’t sieve the tomatoes at first and discovered the results were too thick, so that was the one change we made”. I watched Kioko as he poured in the Kettle One vodka, added a dash of tabasco, two glugs of Worcester sauce, a pinch of pink Himalayan rock salt and some freshly ground pepper. I was about to call out “you forgot the horseradish!” when from under the bar he produced a blender half full with a green and frothy liquid. This, he announced with pride, was the “Espuma”, a foam created by blending celery, salt, pepper, lime
juice, wasabi powder and a teaspoon of emulsifying lecithin. When poured on top of the tomato juice, the foam was so light it floated invitingly on the surface. The cocktail was then served with an additional 30 ml of vodka infused with a bullet chilli on the side and a large red chilli wedged on the rim of the glass, which Kioko proceeded to char with a cooking torch in order to, I quote: “vigorously arouse the drink’s aromas”. The result? I’m still convinced that the best Bloody Mary is the one in my head but the truth is that I was suitably impressed. With the exception of their innovative green espuma, by and large the Rosa Bloody Mary sticks to the traditional recipe yet the results are fresh and light and at the same time incredibly flavoursome and multilayered. The proof is in the cocktail! Katy was a guest at the Balcony Bar, Villa Rosa Kempinski eatout.co.ke/the-balcony-at-villarosa-kempinski
TEXT KATY FENTRESS
What do Scotsmen do when they get together for an event? Wear skirts and drink loads of whisky of course! Diageo brand ambassador Dougie Duncanson let’s us in on some of the traditions of the annual Scottish St Andrew’s ball. I am sitting with Douglas Duncanson, Senior Reserve Brand Ambassador for the Diageo luxury spirits line, trying to interview him about his experiences working in Nairobi over the last three years. I am attempting to steer the conversation towards alcohol, his qualifications and any insights he has about Nairobi drinking trends. Somehow, though, we keep on going off topic and talking about his experience presiding over the St Andrew’s Ball in Loresho this November. As I try to come up with an intelligent line of questioning, I realise that the problem lies in the angle of the story. When writing profiles about chefs, there is generally an origin tale that involves mothers, smoky kitchens and a childhood fascination with cooking. Yet it is hard to get the same details from an expert purveyor of fine booze. When did you first start drinking alcohol? How did you decide to get into the alcohol business? What makes you excited about alcohol? The responses to these questions are rarely as family-
friendly as they would be if you replaced the word alcohol with the word food. Duncanson is as knowledgeable as any brand ambassador could ever aspire to be, has an easy going nononsense personality and a resume’ which includes stints working in some of London’s most exclusive bars. Yet my mind keeps on trying to picture what he would look like in a kilt. I finally give up and decide to scrap the brand ambassador questions altogether. “What was the St Andrew’s Ball in aid of?” I venture. “The St Andrew’s Ball is one of two annual events put on by the Scottish Caledonian Society, a society that has been in Kenya since 1906 and of which I am currently the Chieftain.” Duncanson explains that while the events are chiefly about raising money for local charities they are also about getting together, eating food and having a great knees up. What is the point of being part of such a society? Duncanson explains that it’s all about keeping in touch with his roots. “Celebrating my
heritage has always been good fun as you have excellent opportunities to wear a kilt and dance around to Scottish music” Has he always been part of the society? Duncanson laughs, “actually when I lived in London, I was part of the Kenyan Golf Society, my father has lived here for over twenty years so I have considered Kenya my second home for about half my life.” “So what were the highlights of the Ball?” I am genuinely delighted to hear about this Scottish pocket of Kenyan life. “I feel the main highlights of the Ball were the amount of people that turned up and the two bands, one, Scotch Bonnet that we flew over from Scotland and the local Kalabash band which are always a hit. Between them they kept us dancing late into the night”. “Any specific dress code?” I press on, angling for a great story about men in skirts. “We have a strong dress code at the Ball. You have the option of highland wear which is your kilt or black tie or
your traditional national dress. With regards to etiquette, there are quite a few rules, so for example we follow the haggis (stuffed sheep’s stomach, the Scottish national dish) in with a musician playing the bagpipes, you cannot take your jacket off until a toast for the Queen of England and the President of Kenya has been made and before eating, the Chieftain has to read out an poem to the haggis.” It’s all sounds very formal, I mention. “On no, once all of that is done we just get to dance and have a great time”. I decide to tie up the interview with one last question that brings it all back to where we had begun. “What whisky did you serve the people sitting at your high table?” I ask. “I had three bottles of whisky: a Singleton 12 year old, a 200 year anniversary bottle of Lagavulin, one of the best I’ve ever drunk and a very large bottle of Johnnie walker blue label to treat the honoured guests at my table”.
ON THE BOX
TEXT YUMMY STAFF
Known around town simply as “that Israeli wine guy”, in the two years since landing in Nairobi, Noam Orr has been keen to add a few tricks to his bulging entrepreneurial portfolio. Most recently, when not hitting the pavement boosting sales for his line of Israeli olive oil, wine, spices and military boots, he has been involved in creating, producing and starring in a whole new TV show called “The Cellar” the purpose of which, he tells us, is to elevate the Kenyan mixology scene and turn Nairobi into a cocktail hotspot much like his home back in Tel Aviv. We caught up with Orr to find out more about the experience of making the show and where he plans to take the concept. What brought you to Nairobi? Kenya is the future, this is a place where everything is happening, it is a regional hub for business, nightlife, arts and culture. How could I miss out? The truth, though, is that it was my dad that first discovered what an investment potential there was here and it was him that convinced my sister and me to move here to play a part in this fast-paced economy. The way I see it, it took Artcaffe ten years to take off and now the same kind of change is happening in the space of two years. Why do you think everything is speeding up now? I think it is mainly down to social media and the fact that more and more Kenyans are traveling and bringing their knowledge from around the world home with them. We are so interconnected and that just makes people eager to be on a par with cities like London, Paris or Tel Aviv.
Why a TV show about cocktails? Let’s face it, a large percentage of Kenyans love their booze. That said the drinking culture here is not about drinking responsibly. People binge drink, they don’t know the rules about mixing different types of alcohol and there is no passion for well-made cocktails. Compared to the food scene, the mixology scene has been slow to catch up so I felt I had a role to play in introducing Kenyans to the world of mixed drinks. What qualifies you to star in a show like this? Well to start with I was working with Brand Plus TV on a show about wine tasting. However after filming the first couple of episodes, the producers and I decided it was actually a bit boring, so given that I have ten years experience working as a bar man and food and beverage manager at some of Israel’s biggest hotels, we came up with the idea of a show celebrating cocktails.
Why do you think cocktails are not so popular in Kenya? While in the rest of the world cocktails have become trendy across the board, they have generally maintained quite a girly image in this country with the preference often being for really sweet colourful drinks. In the end its all about balance and once a balance between dry, sweet and fruit is achieved, there is nothing girly about a really good cocktail! What is the show’s format? Giacinta Waimanga, the show’s producer and I, came up with a format that we feel is both instructive and fun. For every 45 minute episode we would select a specific location and feature three different cocktails. We would then talk about the cocktails a bit, do some demonstrations, interview some people about them and then do some evening shots of people at the chosen location knocking back the drinks and having fun.
What kind of logistic challenges did you face? One of my recurring problems is sourcing the right fresh ingredients for my concoctions. Things like dragon fruit or a reliable source of fresh mint were surprisingly hard to find. That and glasses: somehow I could never find the glasses I wanted and ended up having to transport them back from Tel Aviv in my luggage. Plans for the future? The first season will be composed of 12 episodes. So far we have shot in Nairobi, Diani and Maasai Mara. Currently we are working on a plan to scale the show up to the whole of East Africa but that’s all to be confirmed. Catch “The Cellar” on BrandPlus TV a free to air channel hosted on Signet. Content is also available on the Youtube BrandPlus TV channel.
E X C E S S I V E C O N S U M P T I O N O F A L C O H O L I S H A R M F U L T O Y O U R H E A L T H . 57. NOT FOR SALE TO PERSONS UNDER 18 YEARS OF AGE
BRAND AMBASSADOR YUMMY
TEXT WINNIE WANGUI
THE COOL GENTLEMAN Meet Nairobi’s top gentleman, David Mutunga, who just jetted in from the Jack Daniel’s distillery in Lynchburg Tennessee, after winning the recently concluded ‘Gentleman Wanted’ campaign. “Nerve wrecking does not even scratch the surface of how I felt in the moments before the winner was announced. I was anxious and hopeful at the same time, busying myself with work trying not to focus on the whirl of emotions that swept over me,” David Mutunga sighs as he recalls the moment when he finally found out he had been nominated as Jack Daniel’s brand ambassador and was headed for a special training in Lynchburg Tennessee. We are at the Jack Daniel’s office where I am meeting Mutunga, who recently returned from his week-long trip to the United States. He is a laidback bespectacled man, who’s serious demeanour quickly eases up during our conversation. On one wall of the company boardroom are various bottles of Jack Daniels whiskey, each standing majestically proud of its unique features. The Single Barrel, the
Jack Honey- my personal favourite, and the robust Gentleman’s Jack, which David tells me is his tipple of choice, all vye for attention from their positions lined up along the wall. Having been a loyal Jack Daniel’s Old No.7 fan for years, and having successfully managed to convince most of his friends to join the Jack Daniel’s bandwagon, Mutunga saw the Brand Ambassador opportunity as a great way to not only develop his own marketing career but to help Kenya shine abroad. “The most critical thing in life is to have great social skills and to be honest, when I registered for the role of brand ambassador I just felt I had the creative and marketing skills to make it happen” Mutunga is keen to underline that he was perfect for the job not just because of his passion for Jack Daniels: “I’m the kind of person who always tries to go over and
above what is expected of me, I am passionate about marketing and more specifically, branding.” Mutunga studied marketing and finance and has worked in the industry for six years, his most recent stint having been at an audit firm. “The more uncomfortable the situation seems, the higher the chances of putting myself up for it to push myself to take the risk and achieve more,” he tells me. An ardent fan and follower of Formula One, he is also a lover of high adrenaline activities and rarely misses an opportunity to watch a rugby match. “Fun and intensive”, is how Mutunga describes his training experience at The Jack Daniel’s headquarters. “No,” he laughs, they certainly were not on a seven day Jack Daniel’s binge. In fact, he tells me that during the seven days, it was only on the last night which also happened to
be Halloween weekend, that he had a chance to experience Tennessee. “Walking through Nashville brought a whole new Halloween experience for me. Let me just say that people there take Halloween very seriously and excitement, costumes and candy filled the streets.” If he had more time, Mutunga wishes he had visited Graceland, the home of the King of Rock n’ Roll, Elvis Presley in Memphis. He hopes this will be the first of many trips to the States, but is satisfied with having experienced Halloween and gotten a taste of the bright lights of the Nashville nightlife scene. Back in Kenya, at the end of a hard day, David confesses his favourite way to unwind with a glass of the extra smooth, double mellowed Gentleman’s Jack, neat of course, as he feels in brings out its balanced flavour.
MAN ABOUT TOWN YUMMY
Jackson Biko would infinitely rather be sitting at a table sipping tumblers of single malt than ever, ever, having to stand awkwardly at a cocktail party trying to make polite conversation while holding a fish finger in one hand It’s December, which means I have to send my one blue bespoke blazer to the drycleaners in readiness for a string of dreary cocktail shindigs. I hate cocktail functions because someone in a silk cravat is always trying to make the world’s socioeconomic politics sound sexy. I suffer the humiliation of having to eat a samosa while holding it with a serviette, or having to spear a fish finger with a toothpick. I also never seem to be able to catch the waiter’s eye, so end up standing with an empty whisky glass and feeling stupid, because the bloody guy in a cravat is not yet done talking. I especially hate the mornings after, when I stare at about 2,000 strange business cards I somehow picked throughout the night, most of them dreadful, printed on cheap paper, often with names of people who see it fit to suffix MBA or PHD. And don’t even get me started on the headache, because the open bars at such dos never want to serve single malt
whiskies, so it’s always some entry level blended whiskies that go down like burning fire. And so I try to avoid as many as I can, before I’m forced to attend one because of a client who paid for my children’s school fees or something. What I prefer, though, are small intimate does like the one I recently attended for Glenmorangie. Ten people, sat around a circular table in a cigar lounge, no ongoing game of musical chairs. Nobody played footsie with anyone else because, well, there were more men than women. The host, Alex, did not sit there acting like a sensei. He never stood up to give a boring rehashed speech about whisky and why theirs is the best and how you should always drink theirs because it was founded by some guys in baggy woolen pants in Scotland some 100 years ago and they know what they are doing. He did not bore us with marketing videos on the television screen of people from 1907 standing before a horse drawn
carriage carrying the founder of their whisky. Neither did he make us guess why Americans spell whisky with an “e”. Actually he never stood up the whole time. Nobody did. Bottles of whisky were cracked: Glenmorangie Quinta Ruban, La Santa, Original and Nectar Dor. Unveiled like brides. A waiter poured a finger in the first glass. We tasted like gentlemen, and ladies. Someone a Nigerian guy - asked, “Is the 12 year old better than the 10-year old?” and Alex answered him and only then did he gloat about their whisky making tradition and talk about stills and the weather and the barrels used and a schooling on whiskies. He wasn’t pompous about it. He didn’t make us feel like we were in a classroom. We all nodded and sipped. Nodded and sipped again. “It’s amazing you should say that,” the Nigerian said, “because there is a misconception out there that the older the whisky is matured and more expensive it is and the better it tastes!”
There were games. A lady won a set of golf balls to which someone across the table joked good naturedly, “So now you have a set of balls.” Ho-ho- ho. Food came and went; cheese, assorted pastries, ham, cake. The crowd got more relaxed and everybody called each other by their first name and Alex asked another question which the answer was the giraffe and someone won a pair of cufflinks and a set of whisky tasters and other bits and bobs. I didn’t win anything because I never win anything, but I didn’t mind because it could have been worse. I could be seated next to a man in a cravat telling me about Arafat. By 10pm we took pictures and laughed; okay they took pictures and laughed while from across the table I ignored a Nigerien (from Niger) who kept saying, “We should all go to Kiza, the first bottle of Glenmorangie on me!” Like I said, it could have been worse. Nobody fell off their chair.
GIVE A ONE OF A KIND MERRY CHRISTMAS
61. EXCESSIVE CONSUMPTION OF ALCOHOL IS HARMFUL TO YOUR HEALTH. STRICTLY NOT FOR SALE TO PERSONS UNDER 18 YEARS.
SOCIAL BUTTERFLY YUMMY
TEXT PATRICIA KIHORO
TIME FOR PAUSE
Sometimes the negative things that happen in life are the ones that make us sit down, pop a bottle of champers and take stock of how far we have come. At this very minute, I am sitting by my lonesome on the damp, musty carpet of my house at 9 am on a Wednesday, sipping on a bottle of Moet and Chandon that was gifted to me by the Tribe Hotel. I am celebrating nothing in particular, but at the same time, everything in general. See, about twenty five hours before this, I woke up to my apartment flooded with water following an incident with my upstairs neighbour’s plumbing. After trying to mitigate the situation, assessing the electrical and structural damage, as well as what devices will need fixing or replacement and what books and documents I lost, I became suddenly overwhelmed, stopped what I was doing, sat on the couch, and my mind did this thing where it shut down and I spent the next hour staring into space. When I finally snapped out of
it, the first thought that occurred to me was, “I should celebrate. Is it too early to pop champers?” See, in that moment, I was overcome by an insane rush of gratitude, that even I didn’t quite understand. Usually, I would have succumbed to a state of questioning, and lamenting at yet another negative thing happening before the year ends. I have been trying my best to collate as much positivity to ride out the last month of the year. 2017 has been quite the ride, with some unfortunate occurrences; death of a loved one, debilitating heartbreak, quitting a job and at some point grappling with paralyzing self-doubt and a fear of failure. But maybe it’s the new practices I began this year that made the difference. Meditation, practising daily gratitude, watching and sharing lame dad jokes on Youtube, trusting
my gut more, listening to the divine more, trusting my work more, and being kinder to myself have all slowly been changing the way I deal with life’s ups and downs. And that alone is cause for celebration. This year seems to have just disappeared in front of my eyes. Many of the goals I had set out for myself are nowhere near being realised, but I do recognise that I am a very different person from whom I was then and the biggest thing is, I actually really like this person. The tone of voice used on myself used to be harsh and critical, and because of this, I projected that voice onto everyone around me, imagining that my perceived flaws were glaring at everyone. But now, with all that 2017 has been, I can’t help but want to celebrate this person that I’m becoming. Normally, celebration comes with company, food, drink and merriment.
In my case though, I am loving the prospect of celebrating myself, by myself, and appreciating all that life has offered up until this point, whether good or bad. I am celebrating the fact that I feel as deeply as I do, and because of that, my experiences of people, places, and the world around me are immensely rich and textured. I am celebrating that in changing how I see things, shifting experiences - good or bad - from life happening to me, to life teaching me, I am more appreciative of where I am, and I can only hope that as we close out the year, you too have much to celebrate; whether your family, friends, your work, your experiences, fortunes or misfortunes, but most of all, spare a little time to toast to the magic that is you.
TEXT MALCOLM BIGYEMANO
December means different things in different places, here’s what it means in Kampala
In many different places around the world, December means something different, but almost always, it means something festive. Whether it’s the peak of Summer in the Southern Hemisphere, or getting into the “spirit” of Christmas with some heavy drinking in the Northern Hemisphere, December is a time to celebrate. Somewhere in the middle, Uganda, to be specific, December is known by other names.
of course, December. Most African cities are filled with people who live and work within them but consider another, more rural home, their real home. The Village. The story is usually that their family originated there and still largely lives there. When they come home-home, from The Land Of Opportunity, it is expected that they will share the spoils of their labour, whether they are doing well or not. This is why December is also a…
Christmas: Christmas day itself is a single day of the month but when you hear a Ugandan say “We have gone for Christmas”, it usually isn’t for the duration of the 25th of December, after which they will be back. Because Christmas Eve is Christmas too. And so is the day after that, and the day after that, up until New Year’s. And where would they have gone, those who “go for Christmas”?
Prelude To Bankruptcy: If you are a salaried employee, you work this month to receive the money with which to deal with next month’s expenses, right? Enter: The December Advance. Many people opt to receive their December salary in the middle of December to pay for December. Sure the Villagefest alone is costly, but so is the sudden uptake of plans, because, of course, it’s Summa Time.
The Villagefest: Village to City is the way most migration flows, until,
Summa Time: Not Summer Time. Summas are Ugandans who live and
work in “outside countries”, coming home either because it’s Summer where they are, or because they are looking for Summer at home. Summa Time is holiday time. Monday to Sunday is really just one big Saturday, and if you happen to be a Summa’s Trip Advisor (cousin, sibling, friend), the same rules tend to apply; whether or not you have a job. You will go places you only drive past on the way to work and go on adventures you mostly see white people in travel brochures indulge in. It will not be cheap, but it will be fun. People will tell you that all your festive plans must be put in check, “... especially these days.” These Days: Because December has a reputation for being festive and making people spendthrifts, it also brings out the opportunists amongst us. Everybody from petty criminals to traffic policemen will be looking to “make Christmas” any way they can, so there is a constant
warning to moderate how much fun is being had “especially these days.” “You shouldn’t come back so late… especially these days”, “Put on your seatbelt, you know how traffic police are these days”, “Don’t spend too much, especially these days…”, “Text us when you get home, you know how things are… these days”. If anything can be agreed on about these days, it’s that they are a kind of festivity you will not find any other month of the year. The last month is always a great time to spend with family and reflect, in between long nights shaking off and drinking away the frustrations and victories of the year that was. What are December’s other names for you? Follow Malcolm on IG @ mrbigyemano
KILIFI NIGHTS Leroy Buliro sets out to find out what the fuss about Miraa shots at the Kilifi New Year’s is all about.
It is 6 AM when we disembark at the Kilifi bus stage and are welcomed by a quenching morning sun. Unlike Nairobi, where the weather had been fresh and breezy, here the air is heavy and humid. We hail a tuk tuk and make our way to Distant Relatives Eco-Lodge where we arrive in good time to catch a morning espresso with a BLT sandwich breakfast. I had been invited to Kilifi alongside my fellow DJ Coco Em, both of us members of the Bad Mambo DJ collective, to play at a silent disco (you know, those ones where everyone wears headphones). When my editor found out where I was headed, she insisted that I get one of the staff at Distant Relatives to divulge the recipe for the legendary Miraa Juice that the lodge knocks-up every year for their New Year’s Eve festival. The debate about the legal status of Miraa (also known as Khat, a flowering plant native to the Horn of Africa which acts like a mild stimulant and has been part of the social fabric of certain local communities for many centuries) in Kenya has ebbed and flowed over the years. Currently, it is legal in here but not in Tanzania or Uganda and in over 15 countries around Europe. While in Kenya there
is a certain amount of stigma attached to the chewing of miraa, there is an increasing movement geared towards creating juices out of it that give people an energy boost when out dancing. Just as I am preparing to retire to bed and rest a couple of hours after the long overnight trip, one of the Distant Relatives guys turns up accompanied by a short stocky man in a black t-shirt. Between them, I see they are carrying a blender and all the essentials needed for the upcoming miraa juice presentation. I resign myself to the fact that I probably won’t get any sleep that day, don my reporter’s cap and get my notepad out. Maximus Kitisao, known by everyone simply as “Max”, is the man behind the legendary miraa shot sensation. He tells me he has been the guy behind the counter, churning out miraa juice since the team first came up with the idea at the first Distant Relatives NYE in 2015. “Miraa shots were not originally birthed in Kenya,” as Max talks, he begins to empty bags of leafy green and reddish stalks onto the counter and chops the leaves into small bits “It is ironic since miraa is a native plant originating from the Horn of
Africa and the Arabian peninsula”. Max launches into a complicated story about how he heard about the idea of juicing miraa from a visiting Yemeni who had learned it from an Arab Israeli who had moved to Yemen from Tel Aviv. By this time everything is finely cut so he pours it into the blender and adds the lime juice. As the blender springs into action, a bittersweet aroma hits my nostrils. Max transfers the mixture from the blender to a bowl covered with a cloth. “The reason of doing this is to sieve out the small bits of the unblended Khat so we can get the fine juice’” Turns out the small chunks of unblended khat can later be dried and packed into sachets which can be used to make miraa tea. He finishes everything off by adding berry juice to the mixture. Word gets out that the juice is ready and guests from the lodge begin to crowd around us, eager to have a taste. Max pours the green drink into a line of shot glasses “Here is to miraa” he raises his glass and, as tradition prescribes, he takes the first sip. Once he has certified it, the rest of the group follows suit. After the initial shock at the dryness of the lemon and chlorophyll, I am left with a surprisingly soothing and distinct
taste in the mouth. That night I get on the decks and play to a silent dancefloor. I am happy and elated but can’t tell if this is down to the shots or the sea breeze. Let’s see what it does to the DJ set I will be playing at the festival for this coming New Year.
Tools Blender Large bowl Piece of cloth Glass jar Shot glasses
Ingredients 1 kg of khat 500 ml of lime juice 250 ml of berry juice
Method Slice the miraa leaves into small bits. Pour into the blender then add the lime juice. Blend till fine. Place the piece of cloth over the bowl, pour the blended mixture onto the piece of cloth, roll it up and squeeze it till all the juice is extracted into the bowl leaving only the miraa sediments on the cloth. Transfer the contents on the bowl into the jar and add the berry juice then fill halfway with ice. Pour into shot glasses
SPICE ROUTE Nduati Githae takes us on a journey that sees the Bantu settlers of East Africa radically change their eating habits over the course of half a millennia Just after 500 BC, a company of bedraggled Bantus from the Congo happened upon East Africa’s coast. At the time, food was more a necessary evil than a magical journey through gastronomic wonderlands. Bantu diet consisted mainly of bananas, plantains, sweet potatoes, millet, wild vegetables, berries and arrowroot, prepared with all the imagination of a municipal by-law on drainage - boiled to the taste equivalent of the colour white and the consistency of old, lumpy toothpaste. This blasé attitude towards food, however, was about to be turned on its head. Spice has run the world nearly as long as money has and historically, the Far East is where it came from. Before the first century, the Kingdom of Axum in Ethiopia and the Indians pretty much owned the Red Sea spice route that ran from as far afield as Japan, along India’s coast, along Arabia’s coast and into East Africa. Around 500 AD, the Arabs had taken over this spice route and were instrumental in establishing the East African coast as an important trading region. Along with their spices, traded for gold, ivory, slaves and timber, they brought with them their culinary influences. Pilaf - a savoury rice and meat dish made with a battalion of spices that are cooked whole to create an intensely flavoured broth, and that unexpectedly explode in your mouth made its way here and morphed into pilau. Cloves, saffron, black peppers, cardamom and cumin blend seamlessly creating a heady, intoxicating aroma that is instantly recognisable as quintessential Swahili. Centuries later, the Arabs ditched their old, fun gods and introduced their new one along with some new ideas into the nascent Swahili culture. New spices were introduced and some things declared haram. Indian merchants also began to arrive and another East African coastal staple,
curry, made landfall. But it wasn’t the only Indian food to be appropriated. Chapati, a kind of fried unleavened bread, originally made with atta, a type of whole wheat flour, is another fan favourite. Atta has since been replaced by regular wheat flour. From Sofala to Mogadishu, a raft of prosperous cities sprang up. Kilwa in Tanzania, Stone Town in Zanzibar, Mombasa and Malindi emerged as the big, important trading ports. But as they grew, so did their squabbling. Soon, it was every Sultan for himself. In 1499, the Portuguese, cruising past on their way to India took one look at the ivory, stacked high, bustling trade going on, the squat dhows, heavy with booty and promptly put their India plans on hold. Vasco Da Gama, with gold bars in his eyes, convinced the King to give him more ships and returned with 19 ships. He dominated the bickering East Africans, and, having proceeded to Calicut, India, broke the hold the Arabs had on the spice trade. He brought with him maize (by way of their newfound territories in Brazil), lemons, lime, cassava, chillies and pineapples. In the 1900s, Europe descended on Africa. Millet and Sorghum were still the default starches for the masses until World War 1 when a mysterious disease swept through the region decimating harvests and leading to famine. Maize, which had slowly been inching its way inland got the foothold it needed. Additionally, labourers in the White Highlands were paid in bags of maize who in turn transported it to their rural homes which then gradually replaced the more traditional grains. Thus, in the early 20th century, ugali replaced pounded millet and sorghum in the family kitchen and became a “traditional” food that is consumed in frightening quantities with vein-popping concentration and a selection of legit traditional vegetables.
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PLATE CRAWLER On a recent trip to Seoul, the capital of South Korea, Stephen E. Vick goes fully local with a meal that was literally crawling off his plate. In early November, I travelled to Seoul, South Korea for two quick nights (and three long days!), where I was a judge for the World AeroPress Championship, cheered on Kenya’s World Barista Championship competitor Martin Shabaya, and took care of some work business at Café Show Seoul, a massive coffee trade show. While I knew my free time would be limited, I visited Seoul a couple of years back (also for a short work trip) and one thing stuck out in my mind from that trip: the food. On this particular night, I wasn’t planning on going on any kind of major culinary adventure, I was only heading to a chimaek, which is a portmanteau of “chicken” and “maekju,” the Korean word for beer; literally chicken (fried and/or spicy) and beer served together as an after-work snack. The chimaek started popping up on menus in South Korea in the 1970’s, when draft beer was introduced. In the past few years, a younger generation has revitalized chimaek culture, making it popular once again. On my way to this chimaek (hosted by a couple of coffee traders), I was freezing cold in Seoul’s 4° C late autumn evening weather (no jacket coming from Kenya), and trekked from where I was staying in
Gangnam, to the small café hosting the party in the Jongno district, about 45 minutes in a taxi. Due to some confusion with the driver, I got out of the taxi about five minutes away from the café and used my phone to navigate to my destination. I noticed some alleys on the map that led directly to where I was headed and they were lined with bustling restaurants as far as the eye could see, so I thought it would be fun to venture through them on my way to the party. Most of these restaurants were little holes in the wall, with around 10-20 tables maximum. Also, most of them had their own aquariums out front full of crabs, octopus, squid, scallops, oysters … you name it. When I saw the long arm octopus swimming around, I immediately remembered YouTube videos I’ve seen of people eating San-nakji, which are raw, freshly butchered long arm octopus tentacles (which are still quite wiggly and often even dance their way off the plate), served with sesame oil and toasted sesame seeds. Some people go so far as to eat the entire live octopus, head and everything, neatly wrapped around a pair of chopsticks! I’ve always been a fairly adventurous eater, and this is something I’ve
wanted to try for some time (the tentacles … not the whole thing, necessarily). After warming up with a couple pieces of delicious chicken (both of the fried and baked-spicy varieties) and washing that down with some beer, I chatted up one of the hosts and told her about my walking adventure and she said that I didn’t stumble onto some ordinary alley … that particular street is actually known for its San-nakji! When I heard this, I knew I had to go and my host offered to take me, so I convinced a few people from the chimaek to tagalong and eat raw octopus with me (or just watch me make the attempt). Six of us gathered around a couple of round tables and my host just started ordering things … what followed was a seafood feast. I can’t recall everything that came out, but for sure we had raw oysters, scallops, prawns, various sashimi-cut white fish, a seafood-based ramen noodlestyle soup, and plenty of kimchee (fermented cabbage). One of the starters was quite interesting and of note: Beondegi, which are steamed silkworm pupae. After snacking on that feast, the main attraction, Sannakji, was placed in the middle of the table: a plate of pulsating, freshly
chopped tentacles from the long arm octopus I saw swimming out in the aquarium just a few minutes before, served with a side of sesame oil and toasted sesame seeds. Now, as excited as I had been to try this, creepy, crawly things make me squeamish, and I certainly wasn’t diving straight in, especially as I saw one little tentacle crawling its way off the plate. After a few attempts at grabbing some tentacles (the suction cups stick immediately to your fingers), and a few squeamish squeals in hesitation (to the entertainment of everyone in the restaurant), I finally managed to get a hold of a tentacle, dip it in some sesame oil and seeds, and get it my mouth to start chewing as it tried to hang on to the edge of my lip. Once the anxiety and anticipation of the first tentacle was over, I managed to enjoy a few more, along with plenty of delicious soju. While I was offered the experience of eating the entire live octopus, I was quite full, and I really don’t think I would have done it. After a few final bites, I ventured back to my hotel in the crisp, cool fall weather, reflecting happily on an experience that I would NEVER try at home, but would happily partake in the next time I visit Seoul.
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Published on Dec 16, 2017
Published on Dec 16, 2017
The Christmas Season is here and Yummy has prepared for you a magazine jam packed with holiday cheer, events and pages of cocktails. Drink...