Pika Chakula is an active Kenyan food blog and a goldmine for assorted recipes, as well as Kenyan Blogs Awards winner last year and a nominee this year. They have now taken the game further by venturing into a TV show to propel them to greater heights. We asked them a few questions and here is what they had to say:
Tell us a bit about Pika Chakula
Pika Chakula was founded by my brother, Rajan Solanki who was a web guru. He found that as Kenyans we are all foodies and the eating out culture was really growing, so why not provide the resources in the form of recipes so that everyone can cook the same dishes at home? As it is, Nairobi is becoming expensive every day, so this was the perfect solution.
How did the idea for the show come about?
A week before the Westgate incident where I lost my brother, he was discussing the idea of a cooking show with some of his colleagues and I happened to be involved in the conversation. When I took over Pika Chakula after his passing on, my first mission was to get the blog back up, start the cooking show, a magazine (coming up soon) and of course cooking classes- his dreams and legacy will continue to live on through me.
What can people expect to see and learn from the show?
With the show my team and myself have decided to give Kenyans a quality show that is short and sweet, but very informative and educative. The show is only 7 minutes long and in that time I show my viewers how to make “Home Dinners” using locally available ingredients, restaurant style dishes and twists to our local Kenyan food. I am trying to educate everyone on the use of different spices and how to build flavours when cooking.
What’s the name of the show and when is it expected to air?
The name of the show is Pika Chakula- Home Dinners and started airing on 26th January 2015. At the moment we have been affected by digital migration, however, the show is most likely going to be back on from next week. It airs at 6.40PM just before the news on NTV and repeats are after the AM Live show and at 3.00PM. The recipes are then also available on the blog and any queries are communicated to us via e-mail or our facebook and twitter pages.
What does the show mean for the future of the site?
The show is going to take Pika Chakula to greater heights. We are already in the process of finalizing the sponsors for the second season and the response has been amazing. Apart from the future of our site, the show has also set a bar for other cooking shows in Kenya to show quality and that way we can together take the Kenyan food world to the next level.
What has your experience of filming the show been like?
It has been nerve wrecking but absolutely amazing. Filming was always fun, especially eating the food once we completed the shoot. Coming from a background in Biomedical Science and never having imagined being on TV, I was extremely camera shy, but now I really enjoy it and am also working on getting a bigger show out there.
At the moment, we have also been nominated for the BAKE 2015 awards for Best Food Blog in Kenya AND Best Blog in Kenya.