This week on CNN International’s ‘Inside Africa’, Kenyan-born CNN anchor Zain Verjee shows viewers the other side of Maasai Mara as she discovers it’s not only about the wild animals.
She comes across a Maasai cooking school which supplements tribal heritage and distinct traditions by embracing the art of cooking and fine cuisine including recipes from Denmark, French, Italian, Indian, Mexican and refined local delicacies.
Verjee, riding through the Maara on a motorbike, arrives at this unique training centre and together with the ambitious culinary novices, prepares some international fare.
“We are living in a tourist place, national reserve, and in Maasai Mara there are few chefs who come from the Maasai tribe. We have since decided to join the industry as the young guys from the Maasai,” says Julius, a student at the school.
The Kenya Maasai Cooking School, established by Karen Blixen camp and DANIDA the Danish government in January 2012, is run via donations and camp collections. The students, all from the nearby town of Aitong, spend one and a half years in training to become master chefs.
In addition to culinary skills, the students are taught English, German, Maths, Business and also learn how to work in a restaurant environment.
“The intake process is quite tough. Potential candidates first send an application including their grades from school, we then pick the 20 best and invite them for an interview and a test and finally we choose the top 8,” says Rune Eriksen, Maasai Cooking School’s top chef and Administrator.
‘Inside Africa’ has established that the Maasai cooking school is now enrolling their next group of students, taking on two groups every second year.
Watch ‘Inside Africa’, CNN International this Friday, 18th April at 19:30