I must say that this week has not been quite easy. While still grieving the sudden death of a class mate, we’ve had a lot going on here on campus with the fees must fall protests, which I will write about in my next post. But the preparation for the International Food Event really took my mind off of things.
With this week being international week at Stellenbosch University, different activities have been held each day to celebrate the diverse nationalities and ethnicities of students here on campus. Last night it was the International Food Evening, where different groups got to showcase food that represented their countries.
Being originally Kenyan🇰🇪, I was very eager and determined to represent Kenya and showcase some of their traditional food. Initially, I never saw any Kenyans during my stay here but when I signed up to participate in the international food event, I found out that there was a Kenyan society. We were able to link up and plan accordingly to win this year. Apparently in the past couple years, Kenya had always placed second, while Germany always won.
My passion and love for food has tremendously grown, especially being here and being able to taste different types of cuisines. To me this opportunity was the perfect challenge to test my cooking skills and proclaim my title as an International Chef. Mind you, the portion size was recommended to serve between 100-150 people. Yikes! Imagine the amount of pressure.
We decided as a team to cook at least 4 types of dishes that represented different tribes in Kenya. Chapatti, Githeri, lentil stew, and Bhajia. I offered to cook the Githeri, knowing the background of the dish and the fact that I eat at home all the time.
When it comes to Githeri, the main ingredients are maize/corn, potatoes and beans. It’s very similar to a chilli except that the Githeri can contain more vegetables but all in all it can also be grouped as a type of stew .The good thing about this dish, is you have room to play around with different flavours and ingredients making it your own. Furthermore, it’s easier serving to a large crowd.
The turnout was pretty amazing. I mean the place was heavily packed. Seeing everybody taking pride in their creations was very touching and humbling at the same time. To me it was more of a food lover’s event.
Some of the downfalls I faced was working in a small kitchen and not being able to get the specific ingredients that I always use to make my type of Githeri. But just like Beyoncé, I made lemonade out of the lemons I got.🍋
From all the feed back I got from those who were able to taste my food, I think I nailed it.
We placed third in food presentation and for the first time won overall for the best dishes in spite of starting late. With this newly found victory, it really got me wondering whether this might be my calling. I do believe that a person can have more than one calling. Well if it is, I’m ready to take on this path and see what the future beholds for me.