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Chef Otieno Oluoch of Four points by Sheraton.

Sandra Wekesa @PeopleDailyKe

What inspired you to become a chef?

My mother taught me how to cook for the family when I was seven years old, since she was always scheduled to work for night shifts. Being a first-born I had to learn culinary skills by myself. I started off with noodle soups, then later graduated to Kraft Mac and cheese. Then finalized with making chapati with rice and beans

If you had to cook a nice meal in 30 minutes, what would you cook?

Chicken Picatta.

What qualities should a good chef possess to be a successful cook?

Ability to handle a highly stressful environment. Incessant curiosity and a desire to learn more in this career. You cannot know all cuisines, but you have to keep learning day by day.

Do you find it a challenge to constantly innovate?

I don’t have any pressure really, since we have a lot of signature dishes around the world. A lot of big cities have a central market and different restaurants. It’s always best to see the type of food they prepare and try something new with an individual twist.

If you were to invite a famous person to your house for a meal who would it be, what would you prepare, and why?

I would invite chef Bruno Albournze, an Italian chef. I would definitely prepare Chemula lamb and rice and garnish with edible flowers. I know that’s his favourite.

What do you love about your job?

I’m simply fascinated by food. The great pleasure of eating and enjoying flavourful meals that enhance our moods. Also creative craving, I have a strong desire to express my creativity as an artist anytime I step up to the stove.

What is your ideal day at home like?

Since I have just one off day, I would rather spend it doing great things like writing, and catching up with my friends.

After a long day of being in the kitchen, do you do the cooking back at home as well?

It’s really hard to cook at home with the long working hours and one off day I have. So, while at home I simply eat what is served.

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