Ali Said Mandhry popularly known as Chef Ali l’artiste is one of the youngest successful chefs in Kenya who has not only captured the attention of the hospitality industry but also the media fraternity.
He discovered his love for cooking at the age of nine and started cooking for his maternal grandparents at home since he was highly inspired by his own late grandfather.
Currently, Ali is greatly involved in the KHTF 2014 where he is scheduled to conduct a cook out with a few other local and prominent chefs.
We speak to Chef Ali who tells us about his passion for food and inspiration.
What is the best… and the worst dish you’ve tried?
I appreciate and Love food as long as it is halal and edible….
What inspires your cooking?
And when did your career with food begin..
My career with food began when i was very young being brought up from a family of great cooks i began cooking proper dishes from 9 years old getting inspiration from my own grand father who loved to cook his own food.
What is your favorite food to eat?
Ugali, sukuma and karanga
What is your favorite cuisine to cook? Why?
Anything African swahili Inspired dish… Samaki wa kupaka Swahili grilled fish topped up with sour coconut and tumeric sauce then post grilled on charcoal to gain that smoked flavor.
Why did you choose to become a Chef?
This is something i always wanted to be cooking is in my veins i live to cook and eat, my mum says my best play place at home was the kitchen since i was a very little.
What do you do to stay educated about new trends?
I keep myself updated online always on Food related issues and culinary standards so that i could implement and experiment the skills.
You’re stranded on a desert island. What five foods would you want with you? What would you make?
My Cold lemon ice tea
My packet of maize mill to make my ugali
greens, tomatoes, spices, salt
If you were being executed tomorrow, what would be your last meal?
The sweetest Cake ever im a sweet tooth.
What is the most essential item in your kitchen?
Salt, ginger, garlic and lemon.
What do you cook at home that you never cook at the restaurant?
‘Mseto’ green gram and rice mashed in coconut cream, goes well with coconut fish stew a Lamu delicacy.
If you weren’t a chef, or in the food business, what would you be?
Actor, singer Producer, Visual fine Artist.