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Food & Drinks

Pishi Home Chef of the Week​: YouTube Chef Who Started Cooking at 6

Ms Cecilia Ashioya
Ms Cecilia Ashioya. PHOTO | COURTESY 

Home chefs are cooking up a storm on social media. The chefs are self-taught and improving their skills from YouTube tutorials and cookbooks.

They have gained their following by taking and posting photos of their visually stunning dishes.

Unemployed and trapped in the house due to the coronavirus pandemic, Cecilia Ashioya started cooking, plating, and taking food photos for Instagram.

She also started a cooking channel on YouTube in May with over 500 subscribers.

She provides cooks and food lovers with tutorials on everything from pilau to soft-layered butternut chapati.

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Aesthetic appeal is the primary theme in her images. According to Cecilia, making videos has been a fun way to make herself busy.

“Besides eating good food, cooking is fun. I try out new recipes to kill boredom and learn more,” she says.

The 24-year-old started cooking out of curiosity. She hopes to join a culinary school soon.

“My earliest kitchen memory was me cooking ugali when I was six. I remember it having lots of water, not cooked perfectly but I still ate it,” she says.

Vegetable soup.

Vegetable soup. PHOTO | COURTESY

Her mother taught her to be patient and focused while cooking. “My mum always says if you want to enjoy your food then be patient while preparing it. I still apply that,” she says.

According to Cecilia, a kitchen pantry must have salt, pepper, masala, and Royco.

If you wish to cook with fresh produce, have onions, garlic, carrots, coriander, and tomatoes.

When selecting your first dish, she says a simple recipe can be just as delicious and impressive as a complicated one.

“My most memorable meal was chapati that I prepared for my friends while we were on a tour and they all loved them. I also love chicken,” she says.

Her go-to meal, when she wants to impress, is roasted potatoes with honey served with black tea.

She recommends meal prepping as the first step to cook food perfectly.

“Have the right ingredients for that meal. Home cooks should be open-minded. Cooking is an experience and mistakes are part of learning,” she says.

A visit to Thailand is top on her bucket list.

“I want to taste their seafood and learn about their rich culinary culture,” she said.

Cecilia’s Recipes

Grilled chicken

INGREDIENTS

• Chicken

• Seasoning such as salt, black pepper, chicken masala, and chicken flavour Royce

• Coriander

• Onions

• Tomatoes

• Honey and vegetable oil

METHOD

1. Put the chicken to boil with a little salt to taste.

2. Heat onion in a pan and add the chicken and fry for two minutes.

3. Add black pepper, Royco, chicken masala, and stir.

4. Add grated tomatoes and let it cook for two minutes.

5. Add coriander and bell pepper.

6. Spread some little oil on the oven tray then pull out the chicken and pour on the oven tray.

7. Spread it nicely and pour honey on the chicken.

8. Put your chicken in the oven with a temperature of 80C°

PILAU INGREDIENTS

• Tomato paste, cumin • Garlic, ginger and pilau masala • Cloves • Meat

• Rice

METHOD

1. Boil the meat

2. Blend garlic and ginger.

3. Wash the rice and drain it using a towel or drier.

4. Put oil to heat; add chopped onions and let them cook.

5. Before they begin changing colour to brown add garlic, ginger, pilau masala, cloves and cumin

6. Fry the meat in the ingredients for three minutes.

7. Add water and bring to boil.

8. Add rice.

9. When the rice is almost ready, cover it with a foil for it to dry properly.

 

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