- Chef Konde has cooked his way out of poverty.
- Nyashinski and Garang’s wife Rebecca are some of high profile persons Konde has cooked for privately.
- In pursuit of self-employment, he now operates Chini ya Mnazi dishes located at Adams arcade business center off Ngong road.
Taste his food once and you’ll keep asking for more. The little food giant Chef Konde cooks for Nyashinski and Rebecca Garang among other renowned persons in Kenya and beyond.
Konde Katana Kaingu popular as Chef Konde is a Kenyan born in Vipingo Mombasa County which explains his bias for Swahili dishes. Konde has 25 years’ experience in cooking for high end hotels, outside catering and private people.
He now runs his own food restaurant Chini ya Mnazi located at Adams Arcade business center off Ngong road.
To place an order one can call him on 0722883494. He offers private cooking, outside catering and office orders or simply visit the food kiosk.
Cooking for Nyashinski and other high-profile persons
Chef Konde met Nyashinski through a friend and colleague called Milton. Together they worked at Jeans hotel located in Nairobi west but Milton ended up becoming Nyashinski’s PA
He invited Konde for Nyash and the band’s Chef Interview of which he passed with tasty colours and the rest is history.
Whenever Nyashinski and the band are rehearsing and performing he travels with them. Nshincity was his breakthrough and on the same day it was launched, Chini ya Mnazi was born too.
Through referrals his orders have grown and his dream to become his own boss running a successful eatery is being actualized. With a staff of three ladies and two riders, sky is the limit for the little food giant!
His passion for cooking
Konde had a passion in cooking as a child. He could watch his mother cook and ask so many questions. To date he holds the view his mother is the best cook in Kenya.
His mother and the Coast food culture has the biggest influence on his way of cooking.
Coming from a poor family who could eat cashew nuts for a meal, he was pushed to earn from his cooking as a passion.
“We could sleep hungry; it would pain me to see my mother suffer for us. I kept asking myself what I could do to make things better. Watching other children eat while we scrambled for cashew nuts in school was humiliating and painful.” He painfully narrates.
Turning Point; how cooking became his career.
One day some friends had a barbecue party where they smoked fish.
He took his chance and prepared just one fish and that was the beginning of his cooking career.
“I wrapped the fish with banana leaves, put lemon ginger, salt prepared it naturally with no cooking fat. When the host tasted it, he immediately offered me a job!” he narrated with joy in his face.
Kshs. 2000 per month for cooking and laundry was the offer, which then was good money a young village man. Coincidentally, his boss was Mark Lesly, who was an executive Chef from South Africa.
Mark Lesly offered to train him at his place of work, Sarova White Sands hotel in Mombasa. Noticing his raw unique talent, Mark arranged for a South African online certification test which he passed earning him a premasters certificate.
Since Mark was set to leave Kenya in 2 years’ time, his dream was that one day Konde can open his own place, cook and earn a decent living for him and family.
The dream is now alive at Chini ya Mnazi, many years after working at White Sands, Heming ways, Kenya Marine land, Dam Busters, Falcon Heights and Steadman Garden among top hotels.