This week, CNN’s African Voices features Kenyan chef Kiran Jethwa who has found success through his travels, heritage and deep understanding of flavour.
The programme reports from Nairobi, Kenya, where African Voices joins Jethwa in his seafood restaurant, Seven.
Tune in to African Voices on Tuesday 11 April at 06:30 EAT on CNN (401).
Born and raised in the city to an English mother and Indian, but Kenyan-born father, Jethwa explains how he has sought to integrate his own cultural background into his recipes: “Cooking is very much influenced by my heritage… My dad would only eat Indian food and as a result, I got a comprehensive understanding of it from a very young age.”
Describing his cooking style as Indo-Mediterranean fusion, Jethwa worked and travelled abroad to refine his palate, before returning to Nairobi to found his restaurant business.
However, African Voices hears how Jethwa’s appetite for adventure eventually led him to star in a television show, Tales From the Bush Larder, which was a celebration of Africa’s culinary heritage.
With the show having now expanded to other parts of the world, Jethwa explains how his travels and television work has now influenced his cooking: “Travelling and seeing the world and seeing the food of the world is, there is no better place to learn, frankly… There’s all sorts of things going on, and different way of using, blending, crafting and creating things.”
Away from his cooking and television career, Jethwa has launched initiatives to bring fresh food to Kenya’s workers and school children, with his business the Good Food Company and through working alongside the World Food Programme.
Explaining why he has so many interests away from his restaurants, Jethwa tells African Voices: “I totally understand and respect that these chefs spend every waking moment in their restaurants and their kitchens, I personally need a release.”
While Jethwa holds several interests in both food and sport initiatives, the programme hears how it is ultimately his spirit of adventure and desire to master his art which has ultimately led him to make an international mark on the world.
Jethwa explains: “As a chef, you never really stop learning, that is the thing I love the most about wherever you go… Food is developing everywhere all the time so you can go back to the same place and things will have changed.”
Be sure to catch Kiran Jethwa on African Voices on Tuesday 11 April at 06:30 EAT on CNN (401).