Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Emirates Wins In-Flight Dining Award

Airline recognized for regionally inspired cuisine, inflight service and Onboard Lounge product
28 October, 2014 — Emirates has won Saveur Magazine’s Culinary Travel Award for Best In-Flight Dining: First Class & Business Class for the second consecutive year.
Saveur, an American-based, globally recognized culinary-travel magazine, asked an expert panel of world travellers and readers to identify the world's best cities, markets, restaurants, bars, hotels, airlines and other experiences. The panel cited Emirates’ seven-course meals served on Royal Doulton fine bone china, extensive range of vintage wines, and healthy fare as factors that set it apart from other entrants. 

“Saveur is one of the most influential and respected voices in the culinary world,” said Terry Daly, Divisional Senior Vice President, Service Delivery. “Being recognised by a publication of Saveur’s calibre carries special weight and validates the attention to detail we put into our in-flight food and beverage programme. The quality of our cuisine reflects Emirates’ commitment to providing our passengers with the world’s best flying experience.”

Emirates’ regionally inspired dishes are prepared by five-star chefs, who customize each in-flight menu to reflect the culinary tastes of specific routes and destinations. Travellers can experience a different menu with each Emirates trip – from Japanese gastronomy served in specially designed crockery, to authentic Indian regional favourites.  

The Saveur panel also recognised Emirates’ Onboard Lounge – available to First Class and Business Class passengers on A380 flights – as another key service element that helped the airline earn top honours. The Onboard Lounge provides a place for passengers to stretch their legs, network over fine wines and cocktails, and enjoy hors d'oeuvres and delicacies at 40,000 feet.

"As inveterate travellers, diners, and cooks, the editors, contributors and readers of Saveur seek out the very best culinary destinations the world over," said Betsy Andrews, Executive Editor of Saveur. "This year's Culinary Travel Award winners excite and inspire us with their commitment to excellent food, drink, service and experiences. We are so thrilled to have such exciting and delicious options when planning our latest food-filled journeys."

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Table Etiquette and Lay Up -101

Ever gone for a formal dinner or lunch at any of the fine dine restaurants ,or was it a formal or corporate event and you were met up with this elaborately set up table?You quickly start panicking inside but since you do not want to show that you are not from the village{read:Home or Mshamba} you silently take up your seat but your mind races with several questions and thoughts such as ....why this many spoons? What do i start with? Which glass is for water or should i drink straight from the bottle?with which hand should i hold the knife or the fork?.....the questions always seem to be endless and i know if you are like me sometime back you go into safemode...i.e allow the other person to start and follow the lead, and if he is in the same boat as you...that's where the drama begins.

Simply put a picture speaks a thousand words...therefore acquaint yourself with the attached photo/infographics ...they may prove to be your savior from now on.

This kind of Table etiquette and setup came to our continent by ship therefore there is no need to feel embarrassed. Take sometime to learn the westernized culture but at the same time if you are eating African cuisine ,please elect to keep it local.Dig into that 'Ugali' with your your fistcup  shaped hand.As long as your hands are clean and washed you will be right in order.The Japanese/Chinese also have their unique table etiquette and they have exported it worldwide and i t has gained appeal.It therefore stands to reason that we must be proud of our local [Read: Traditional] etiquette and table manners otherwise it will not have appeal to others.

And right...don't eat while talking or with your mouth open at the same time(some guys are able to do that) its so irritating-that's just universal table manners !

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Simple Bake Focaccia Bread


Do you love Pizza? many people do.Focaccia happens to be an Italian Pizza Like Bread ,very tasty and one can employ a variety of toppings the only difference between the two types of bread perhaps being the amount of yeast employed and thick crust of the Focaccia Bread.

Focaccia is an easy and simple bake kind of bread and requires less skill in making than a typical pizza bread.It is very tasty and hardly takes time.I find it to be the most simple and perhaps the recommended bread type that a novice should first try their hand at.

In this post i will give a simple recipe of an Olive Oil Focaccia Bread topped with Tomato(Sun Dried preferably) and Rosemary.You can use a variety of other toppings dependent on your liking and taste buds but this simple recipe can work as a guideline.As a cook i will always encourage you to play around with the ingredients and tweak recipes so as to get what can truly be called your unique creation.There's nothing as good as knowing that whatever you have cooked has your authentic signature.It belongs to you and is not a copy cat act.Here goes:

Olive Oil Focaccia Bread Topped With Sun Dried Tomato and Rosemary Herb 




1. General Purpose Flour       5 1/3 Cups or 680gms  (Variation 500 gms flour +180gms Semolina Flour)
                                              This is what i used.Makes it crunchy and flavorful.
2. 1 Level Tablespoon Salt     14gms will do.
3. 1 Tablespoon of Sugar        14 gms will do , adjust to your taste(Traditional recipes do not have sugar but                                           this is Africa we love our bread with some taste)
4.  2 cups of  Warm Water  or 400ml
5. 1 Satchet of Angel Instant Dry Yeast  11g(if in Kenya buy the one in a yellow box has better flavour) if not using Angel Instant Dry yeast substitute with 14 gms of any other brand Instant Dry Yeast .
6.  50 ml Olive Oil or 1/4 cup , you can substitute with any other type of  neutral cooking oil though you will suffer loss in flavor and aroma

For Toppings:

Three or Four sprigs of Rosemary Leaves.A can of sun dried tomatoes(due to high price and availability i do with homegrown  medium size or cherry tomatoes, halve them and brush with tomato paste and voila !there you have it rich tomato flavour that will taste equally as good as some of those sun dried tomato brands on your supermarket shelf.Good cooks/Chefs think outside the box).


Mix the warm water with Olive Oil.

Mix the dry ingredients i.e Flour, Salt, Sugar and Yeast in your mixing bowl, make sure they are well mixed.
Make a well in the flour and with your fingers widely spread resembling a fork pour the oil water mixture while incorporating the flour in middle.The dough will start coming together though sticky and tacky at first(You can use a commercial mixer with the dough attachment for around 3 to 5 minutes until the dough comes into a mass). Once the dough has come together, let rest for about 3 minutes.Dust your kneading surface lightly with flour .Dont use too much flour as your dough will absorb extra flour and become dry loosing its spring/rise quality when baked. Good bread dough must be well hydrated.Knead the dough  well for around 10 minutes to develop gluten strands.Once well knead ,lightly oil your bowl  place the dough,cover with thin cling film or cotton kitchen towel dusted with flour and let the dough rise in a warm area(proofing) for 30 to 60 minutes or until it doubles in size.

For tips on Kneading there are a number of videos on Youtube that can make your work pretty easy in a giffy.

After the dough has risen transfer to a lightly oiled and slightly salted 12 by 9 Inch square baking ting.Lightly knead and spread it to fil the the tin evenly.Using your middle index finger make finger holes on the dough in straight lines or any other preferable pattern. In the impressions put sprigs of Rosemary and the tomato pieces according to your preferable pattern.

Finally, lightly spray or pour olive oil on the top ,you may pour some little salt and freshly ground black pepper on the surface top.Bake in already preheated oven at 200 Degrees Centigrade (gas mark 6) for around 30 minutes or until golden and cooked through. Once cooked remove from oven and baking tin and let rest on wire rack to avoid sweating.

Freshly Baked Focaccia Bread Resting on Wire Rack
There you have it, that's how i made my easy bake Focaccia bread as you can see in the photo it looks good and taste's real yummy.My wife carried it to work and all her colleagues couldn't help but ask for the tiniest morsels ,its so good you should try it!