Salmon Salad With Sweet & Tangy Dressing by Chef John Njuki, H&S Chef Of The Month
H&S Chef Of The Month
Chef John Njuki
Interview With H&S Magazine
Who Is John Njuki?
I am the firstborn in a family of three. I am a food entrepreneur & TV host/chef at ‘Our Delicacy Show’, on KUTV.
I am a very passionate chef, having knowledge in all areas of commercial kitchen, though I am an expert mostly in the meats & desserts section.
I have pursued a bachelor’s degree in Hospitality & Tourism Management, majoring in Hospitality Management, awaiting graduation this December 2022 from Kenyatta University.
Having trained in every area of the kitchen in different facilities like Maiyan Villas a 5-star resort in Nanyuki, Tamarind Hotel banqueting team, Swatch Place in the grill section among others enabled or rather inspired me to open a mobile hotel company last year, known as Hotels Utamu Wa Africa (HUWA), where we offer catering services for all events big and small, private chef services, events planning and management, house staff trainings & cookery lessons among other services.
At the moment I play 3 major roles in my company as I am the executive chef, the sales & marketing director and definitely the manager on the ground for most of our events.
Type Of Cuisine?
I love African cuisine because of the fusion of freshness, our heritage and above all room for creativity when it comes to food preparation, cooking and plating.
What Inspired You To Become A Chef?
From an early age, my mum always tagged me along in her kitchen, and at around the age of 10, I could make very nice chapatis. It was this that led me to developing my interests in food and in cooking. Because I have always loved good food, I preferred cooking for myself rather than eating out and I continued this practice throughout my campus life, which has brought me to where I am today.
What Is The Biggest Challenge You Have Faced In The Culinary Industry?
Quitting my job and starting my own hotel company from scratch has been a big challenge but I thank God for all that I have achieved thus far.
What’s Your Biggest Achievement In The Culinary Industry?
Starting and building my company that offers a variety of services in the hospitality industry and being able to give opportunities to over 30 students from different colleges who come work with us on part-time basis, seeing them learn, grow and becoming better every time, is by far the biggest achievement for me.
When It comes To Cooking, What Is More Important To You, The Technique, The Ingredients Or The Creativity?
I believe the three are inseparable, and they are all imperative if you want to create great food.
Recipe Of The Week: Salmon Salad With Sweet & Tangy Dressing
• 2 (6-ounce) salmon fillets, skin removed
• ½ tsp salt
• ¼ tsp black pepper
• 2 Tbsp olive oil
• 1 medium lettuce
• 6 cherry tomatoes
• ½ small red radish, thinly sliced
• 3 Tbsps red wine vinegar
• 2 Tbsps freshly squeezed lemon juice (from 1 lemon)
The Salad Dressing
• Small bunch of dill
• 3 tsps apple cider vinegar
• 100ml mayonnaise
• 1 Tbsp soy sauce
• 1 tsp celery seeds
• 2 Tbsp honey
• 1 clove garlic minced
• 1 small piece ginger minced
Preparation: The Salmon
Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven to pre-heat to 180 degrees Celsius. Marinate the salmon with salt, black pepper & olive oil, & roast until it is cooked through and flakes easily, approx. 8 to 12 minutes.
Preparation: The Salad
Cut the lettuce in to chunks and pass through red wine vinegar and lemon juice marinade. Add the lettuce, cherry tomatoes and radishes, toss to evenly coat.
Preparation: The Salad Dressing
In a bowl, mix all the ingredients to make a delicious sweet & tangy dressing.
Divide the salad between 2 plates or salad bowls. When the salmon is ready, place 1 fillet on top of each salad. Decorate with the radishes and cherry tomatoes & dress with the sweet & tangy dressing.