Meet Kaluhi Adagala, the most successful food blogger in the country who has enjoyed success not only in Kenya but across the borders too. She not only talks about quitting her job in finance to be a blogger, but also being featured by CNN Africa as one of the most successful food bloggers in Africa and Being a Coca-cola brand ambassador.
A.M: Have you always had a passion for cooking
KALUHI: I always have. It is something I have always enjoyed but only realized it was indeed my passion when I was about 22 years old
A.M: Why did you decide to be a food blogger?
KALUHI: Why not ? I feel in this day and age, you can become anything you wish to be. I have no culinary training whatsoever, but my sheer interest in putting Kenyan food in the global scene is what powers me to grow my God given gift. I am a food blogger because I enjoy it and it adds value to the lives of others.
A.M: In 2016, CNN Africa featured you as one of the most successful food bloggers in Africa, how did you take this.
KALUHI: It was truly an honor, and quite validating to know the hard work I have put in over the years is being recognized and the risk I took by leaving my 8-5 job in finance was worth it.
A.M: Do you feel like you are always under pressure from the public to try more advanced recipes
KALUHI: Not at all. I will of course take suggestions from my readers, but at the end of the day, I will publish what I see fit, and not because of external pressure.
A.M: How did you feel when Coca-Cola named you their brand Ambassador?
KALUHI: Fantastic. Besides Coca-Cola, I have also worked with fantastic brands such as Guinness, Safaricom, Ramtons and my favorite one yet, Google Africa.
A.M: Has it been an easy journey? If not what challenges have you gone through to achieve such great success in a field that is partaken by almost everyone right now?
KALUHI: Nothing in life comes easy. There is this perception that blogging is a walk in the park, but it truly takes a lot of hard work like everything else. There are so many blogs in the country, but only a handful are successful. It takes time to build a brand that is both locally and internationally recognized. It takes a lot of hard work, consistency and strategy. My main challenge, but one I have overcome was making blogging my main income source.
A.M: What is the most difficult and challenging recipe you have ever tried
KALUHI: So far none, since all my recipes are Bourne from my creative process of the ones my mother taught me.
A.M: Many women have trouble cooking in our generation. What advice would you give to them? Do you think its important women learn how to cook?
KALUHI: I would like to stress this: It is not important for a woman to learn how to cook but for EVERYONE, male and female, to learn how to cook. We as human beings need food to survive, and as a grown up, male or female, you MUST know how to make food for yourself. It does not have to be something complex, but each grown up male and female person needs to know at least 5 basic meals they can cook for themselves. I know many women who love cooking, and equally as many men who do which is something I encourage. My brand targets both men and women. Everyone needs to learn how to cook. It is not a woman’s thing, but a human thing.
A.M: How can one maintain cleanliness in the kitchen during cooking?
KALUHI: By being orderly. Do not spill unnecessarily and clear your utensils as they come. Avoid piling them up.
A.M: What are the best most nutritious meals for a 3 course homemade dinner?
KALUHI: It could be anything really, and the answer will vary from person to person since we have different tastes and preferences. To have a nutritious meal, just have all three food groups: a starch, a protein, and a vegetable/fruit
A.M: For someone who is trying to lose weight or keep fit, what meals should they avoid and which ones should they eat.
KALUHI: I believe one can lose weight simply by portioning their meals as opposed to cutting out entire food groups. Eat a balanced diet, but watch your portions and snack on healthy things such as fruit when craving strikes. Instead of having three enormous servings in a day, have six small meals and spread them out throughout the day. And of course, exercise. You can do 30 minute home work-outs and take walks is you cannot access a gym for one reason or another.
A.M: Is it advisable to always use olive oil while cooking
KALUHI: In my experience, any vegetable oil is just as good: be it corn seed oil, coconut oil, peanut oil, canola oil etc. Olive oil is good too, but it cannot be used in everything. For example, you cannot fry mandazi in olive oil, since it is too dense for the pastry, however, you can fry with sunflower oil or coconut oil. It all depends on what you are cooking.
A.M: Many ladies worry about gluten in food. Is it really that bad.
KALUHI: Gluten is not actually bad for you unless you have a medically documented allergy to it. Most people are not allergic to it, but make a conscious choice to simply not consume it. There is no problem with that too since it is a lifestyle choice. Same way one can decide to stop eating red meat despite not having any allergies associated to it.
A.M: Do you agree with the myth that red meat is not good for your health.
KALUHI: I do not believe that. It is bad if you have it in dangerously high amounts and frequently. Just as drinking alcohol is not bad, but it only becomes bad when you have it all the time hence compromising your health. Once in a while consumption of red meat is not bad, but having it four time as a day every day is what makes it bad. That occasional slice of cake is not bad, but eating cake everyday may be harmful to your health in the long run. We just have to control our portions and have everything in moderation. No food in inherently bad in my opinion, it all boils down to how much and how often you have it that will determine whether it is bad or good for you.