In Kenya we first settled with our two small children on the island of Lamu, north of Mombasa.
This peaceful Afro-Arab settlement is a center of the century old Swahili culture. Among their many distinctive achievments, the Swahili are
known for their outstanding cuisine. I had the privilege to learn some of its secrets from ladies like Mama Khadija and Mama Abdulla, outstanding
cooks who produced splendid meals over simple charcoal jikos (braziers) with only the most basic pots and cooking implements.
After some time in Lamu, I joined the newly opened Golden Beach Hotel at Kenyas south coast.
Six months later I got an offer from the Nyali Beach Hotel in Mombasa, Kenya's most prestigious beach hotel. Here I was as Executive chef in
charge of a large table de hote restaurant, two other restaurants, special functions, and an outside catering section with an staff of 60 in
I had a chance to put many of my ideas in to practice, including to the delight of the guests, placing Kenyan dishes on the menu.
Swahili Seafood Buffet
At the time it was considered to be "low class" for a high class hotel in Africa to serve indigenous cuisine! I received memos instructing me:
to stop forthwith lowering the standard and repetuation of the hotel by serving such dishes. But their popularity with the guests brought the
African dishes back and now the trend is to have them on the menu in most tourist hotels.