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Frank Muchiri, head chef Ole Ken Hotel, Nakuru

Barry Silah @obel_barry

Describe to us your journey in the kitchen.

I have been in this business for 16 years now and it has indeed been fulfilling. I am a lover of food and the kitchen since my youth. The experience has taught me a lot that is also replicated in life, especially patience. My history in the kitchen has been such that I have not only adapted to it as a second home, but also continued to inspire many others. I have been blessed enough to work for classic hotels in Nakuru county.

What is your favourite cuisine?

Mine would be seafood any day. I have grown fond of it and I remember learning about it from my mentor, a Belgian-trained chef Presence Orinda of Lake Nakuru Lodge. I enjoy preparing tilapia, crayfish and Nile Perch. Marinating itself just brings out the best out of that kind of fish and my customers always love it. I prefer fresh fish deliveries from Lake Victoria.

On special occasions in your hotel, what do you prefer?

For starters, I come up with a unique menu for visitors. I get to understand their needs and their numbers before meeting with my team and brainstorming on a good buffet menu. We like flexibility but at the same time we put in some research before a meal goes out. Food is a sensitive matter and I must ensure it is clean, fresh and well prepared.

How would you assess your team?

They are a good group of 14, always willing to learn. I love working with interested and curious people who ask questions. That is the only way to get better in that hot department. My office is critical in hotel operations and so we must have qualified and healthy individuals to run the kitchen. I provide them with practical lessons based on individual capabilities and attitudes. We also share a lot and I offer them chances to explore their talents.

Do you cook for family at home?

My wife and two children love my cooking and occasionally, I surprise them. When I am off duty, they really enjoy my culinary techniques. Nothing beats family time, especially at the table and it is always humbling when I put a smile on their faces.

Your future plans?

At the moment, my four months at Ole Ken Hotel has been nothing short of exciting and enjoyable. However, when the time comes for me to move on eventually, I will start my own restaurant.

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