H&S Chef Of The Month: Meet Chef Mumbua Karimi Musau
H&S Chef Of The Month
Interview With H&S Magazine
Who Is Mumbua Karimi Musau?
I am a 28-year-old creative, adventurous and curious young lady with a great sense of humour and a knack for cooking and enjoying amazing food.
My studies gained me a higher diploma in Culinary Arts at The International Hotel and Tourism Institute, Kenya and thereafter attended The Blue Mountains International Hotel Management School, Sydney studying International Events Management.
I have had the pleasure to work in some of the most exciting locations, such as the well-known Tamarind Mombasa, Tamarind Nairobi, The Masai Mara and the bustling city of Sydney. I have had the opportunity to serve in the hospitality industry for over a decade. Over these years, my passion for cooking, hosting and organizing has increased immensely and gives me great joy when I see my clients happy.
Type Of Cuisine?
I enjoy being in the hot kitchen section because there is much room to explore and experiment & when it comes to cuisine, I do not think I have a preference. I enjoy the fusion of cuisines and use of local ingredients to tailor make outstanding food.
What Inspired You To Become A Chef?
My inspiration to be a chef is both funny and encouraging. While in Primary School (boarding school) My step-father would often ask what I would like him to bring when he came to visit. I loved biscuits and cookies and would always ask him to bring me some.
Once, he picked me up from school over the holidays and while in the car making conversation, I told him that when I grow up I would like to marry a baker. So, he asked me why, and I confidently answered because I would have all the cookies and biscuits I could ever want. He stopped talking, and then he drove to a supermarket close to our home, purchased a few cake mixes and icing. A clear sign! I would spend hours in the kitchen with him, he was a wonderful cook and host, I picked up what he taught, and it became second nature to me. At the age of 13, I frequently made Sunday Brunch for our family, and he also encouraged me to pursue my passion in Culinary Arts later on in life.
What Is The Biggest Challenge You Have Faced In The Culinary Industry?
The biggest challenge I have experienced is NOT commanding respect as a young lady in this industry. This brings back a memory in a commercial kitchen at the age of 18 years when there was only one lady in the Pastry section of the kitchen. She was older, unpleasant and joined in when the other male chefs were being rude to me. I felt unsupported and a bit demotivated.
What’s Your Biggest Achievement In The Culinary Industry?
My biggest achievement as a chef is being able to make a living from my passion, inspiring and mentoring others.
When It comes To Cooking, What Is More Important To You, The Technique, The Ingredients Or The Creativity?
I believe there is a tie between creativity and ingredients. Technique often evolves, because of the new inventions in meal preparation. However, the freshest and most precise ingredients make a meal both tastier and shows respect for the culture of the food.
Creativity, on the other hand, is inspiring. Cooking is both a form of art and science that motivates one to have fun.
Recipe Of The Week: Cream Of Mushroom Soup
• 3 Tbsp butter
• 1 large yellow onion (chopped)
• 1 tsp crushed garlic
• 500g button mushrooms (sliced)
• 2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
• 1 bay leaf
• ½ tsp fresh thyme
• 2 cups of homemade vegetable stock
• ⅓ cup cooking cream
Preparation: The Cream Of Mushroom Soup
Fry the chopped onions with butter in a pot until translucent, add garlic then cook for another minute (making sure not to burn the garlic and onions). Next, add the sliced mushrooms and thyme and cook until the mushrooms are soft and start releasing water, then add in the flour and stir to combine. Lastly, add in the bay leaf and vegetable stock & allow to simmer for 10 or minutes or. Remove the pot from the heat, take the bay leaf out and blend the rest of the mixture until smooth. Finally, heat the soup in a pan, season with salt and pepper, then add the cream & stir until combined.
In a soup bowl, add the hot soup and garnish with a drizzle of cream, fresh thyme or sautéed mushrooms, before serving.