“My name is Phyllis Maleche and I am a mum in business who is very passionate about cooking- especially Kenyan Cuisine. I create easy to make recipe that make cooking fun and families can enjoy mouth watering food. These recipes can be found in my Cookbook Delicious Kenya.”
Just like every young person, growing up I wanted to be and do various things. Back in the day, I loved to argue, so I felt that maybe I could be a good lawyer. I had an uncle who managed and lived in hotels, I admired that- and also wanted become a hotel manager.
Eventually, I ended up doing Design, and majored in Graphic design and communication at University of Nairobi. I graduated with 2nd class honors and went on to job hunt in Advertising agencies.
My first instinct was to get a nice, cushy job and let others think about paying the salaries etc. Thankfully, I was not successful in getting my dream cushy job. I worked for two small graphics companies that both closed down. By that time, I was married and my husband and I decided to start Imagemate Limited which is a book publishing business. Our core business is developing Kenyan Cuisine by publishing Delicious Kenya Cookbook.
THE INSPIRATION FOR STARTING A COOKBOOK …
During my childhood, I had an intense interest in cooking and had seen and used many foreign published cookbooks. A lot of the time, most of the ingredients were unrecognizable. Although these ingredients were probably most likely available locally, the names and terms used were totally unfamiliar. This became my inspiration as I went into business, I wanted to create a cookbook that most Kenyans could understand easily and make home cooking easy.
I knew that not everyone can go to a culinary school. Besides, women have busy careers and a majority will never get professional food training. Yet our homes are transformed into restaurants every meal time, every day. I strongly felt that we need something at hand that is easy to understand, gives easy step-by-step instructions and gives delicious outcomes- this is how Delicious Kenya Cookbook came about.
Back in the day when Delicious Kenya started, cooking was still seen as a menial job, a chore that needed to be done quickly and clinically, so that one can go and do other “more important” things. One of the major achievements we have had is that Delicious Kenya has made cooking fun and exciting;. The kitchen is now a space to create and express love for her family and not a prison! Such that the time spent there whether a lot or a little, is memorable for her and her family.
For me working on Delicious Kenya has also been a fulfilling experience. The Cookbook continues to get massive acceptance and recognition, especially by cooking enthusiasts.
It has been exciting to discover that Delicious Kenya has become an important part of most Kenyan homes.
In a nutshell, Delicious Kenya Cookbook is about pushing our food and cooking boundaries from what we already know and how we cook Kenyan food.
It is about making Kenyan food exceptional. To make it stand out and be recognized. It is also about merging various food influences and flavors, both local and international
Delicious Kenya is also about food biodiversity. Encouraging families to eat and enjoy more local food varieties for both their rich, unique tastes and invaluable nutritional benefits. We are passionate about educating people about healthy food alternatives and lifestyles. This also includes the food options for Kids
KIDS & FOOD…
In this age and time, I have observed that there’s too much starch and sugar in our children’s diets compared to vegetables and fruits. At home, we feed our kids too much rice, potatoes, chapatti e.t.c and less greens and fruits.
We feed our children too much junk food- Mandazi, chips, biscuits, sweets, lollipops, chewing gum, Ready to drink juices, sodas, sausages and so much more. Worse still, too much decision making is left to care-givers/house helps who have their own food prejudices. So children end up eating only what the (current) help likes to cook and eat herself.
HERE IS HOW I THINK WE CAN DO BETTER …
- Food choices start from the market. What you buy is what you and your children end up eating. For instance, buy varieties of beans and pulses for protein, buy both brown and white chapatti flour and mix when making, buy healthy flours like pumpkin, amaranth, and cassava and add to starches like ugali when cooking.
- Invest in equipment that will make cooking quicker and easier. Pressure cookers are great for quickly boiling beans that can be frozen in portions.
- Learn ‘hands off’ cooking techniques like cooking using the oven where you simply pop the food into the oven while you do other things.
- Make a food time-table and stick to it regardless of the house help changing. This ensures that her prejudices do not affect your own diet.
LETS MAKE THE KITCHEN AN EXCITING PLACE …
I know that most mums are generally busy but there are still many ways to make the kitchen an exciting place:
– The first thing to do is change our attitudes about cooking. We have to decide that, cooking and our family’s nutrition it is important enough to make time for.
– For mums who come home late maybe from school or office, make it a habit to report to the kitchen and find out what the family ate. Let the help give an account of what was cooked and served.
– Follow-up is especially important for smaller children who can be fussy eaters. In my case, I would instruct my help to cover and keep aside any leftovers my children did not finish. This allowed me to assess exactly what was served and how much they ate.
– The next tip might seem strange but it is important especially for toddlers. Check their stool regularly! If your child has hard or too light stool, you will know their diet has a problem.
– Even when your children eat junk food, try to balance it. e.g. serve chips then a good helping of fruits, serve cake with plain milk (without sugar), serve hot dogs with a good vegetable salad helping.
As a woman in business, I would like to encourage other women to believe that they also can turn their passion into a successful business. You can do more than you think you can. Always give yourself the opportunity to try once more and not give up. And no matter what happens when you experience challenges remain professional, whatever the circumstances. However passionate you are about your business, don’t let your emotions get the upper hand during crisis. Handle it professionally.
So, go on and enjoy cooking, try out the recipes on Delicious Kenya Cookbooks, they are available in the leading supermarkets and I can guarantee you, that your family will love them!.
Email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Call: 0720 247368
Facebook Page: Delicious Kenya by Phyllis Maleche