Geoffrey Muriu's father was not a chef but he was a well-travelled man.
Through his career as a tour guide, he sampled menus from different hotels and brought the experience into the family's dining table.
When he wasn't traveling and every Sunday morning, he rolled up his sleeves and cooked creative recipes from destinations around the world.
Growing up, Geoffrey says he was always looking forward to his father's cooking.
His father, like most dads, had the dishes he did best. Breakfast was his specialty and he would make some pan-fried sliced meat which they called, "nyama ya pan", and meatballs in tomato sauce gravy.
Today, the food experiences he shared with his father remain to be one of the biggest inspiration that keeps him in the kitchen.
The events coordinator and the head bartender started cooking more and sharing vibrant food photos while cooped up indoors due to coronavirus.
"I am happy to live my childhood dream of being a good cook just like my father," he says.
The most valuable cooking lessons, the home chef learned from his father was how to hold a knife like a professional, always clean as you go and we always eat with our eyes first.
"Food plating was very key when it came to his food, too bad we didn't have Instagram by then," says Mr Muriu.
Cooking for the 30-year-old is more than eating good food.
He says coming together and sharing a meal is the most communal and binding thing in almost every place in the world.
"I still remember the very first day I prepared dinner for my family. It was bhajias and grilled chicken. It felt like I'd won an award when I saw the smile on my parent's and brother's faces."
"Good times are always spent around the table, good laughter, and catching up on daily activities. I believe food brings us all together, "he said.
He spends most of the time in the kitchen and has heavily invested in kitchen equipment.
Would he take up cooking as a career?
"Well....not as a career but I can offer some personalised services to all my clients, design menus and recipes for upcoming restaurants as well as house calls," he says.
He shares a recipe for raisins cake inspired by his mother and one for pasta that is very fast to whip up and versatile.
Raisins, he says, was a very common ingredient that would be found in their house and was used to prepare rice and confectioneries.
• 500gms spaghetti
• 180ml cooking oil
• 2 large onions
• 1 tsp ginger and garlic paste
• 1 tsp salt, black pepper
• 125gms pork cubes(very small cuts)
• 1 cup cooking cream/full-fat milk
• 300gm shredded parmesan cheese (optional)
1. In a medium pot, add a jug of water, a pinch of salt and black pepper, and some cooking oil and let the water boil.
2. Add in the spaghetti (I prefer mine whole for ease in plating and eating) and let it cook halfway.
3. On a pan add in oil and let it get hot before you add the onions, and let them cook until translucent.
4. Add in the ginger and garlic paste and keep stirring as it tends to stick onto the pan very fast.
5. Now add the pork cubes and let then cook till golden brown, add the salt, pepper, and milk and bring to a boil.
6. Pour in your refreshed spaghetti and let them cook for 5-10min before removing from the heat.
7. The carbonara is ready and now you can add the cheese in the top and enjoy.
Dried Raisins Sponge Cake
• 125 gm margarine
• 1/2 cup sugar
• 2 eggs
• 1 cup all-purpose flour
• 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
• 1 cup dried black and yellow raisins
• 1 teaspoon cinnamon powder
• 1/4 cup milk
• 2 chocolate bars
• 1/2 cup milk
• 1 tsp butter/margarine
1. Preheat your oven at 180°C.
2. In a mixing bowl add the room temp margarine and cream till it turns off white.
3. Add in the sugar and continue mixing with your whisk or stand mixer till it doubles in size.
4. Add in the eggs one at a time and combine.
5. Add in the milk.
6. In a separate bowl sift the flour, baking powder, cinnamon powder and combine, I add the dried fruits in here too because you want to coat them with a bit of flour to avoid them from sinking at the bottom of your cake.
7. Now add the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and fold in carefully, do not over mix.
8. In a well-greased pan pour in your cake batter and make sure you give it a tap to release any unwanted bubbles and to make it evenly distributed.
9. Place in your oven for 35-40 minutes depending on your oven heat.
MAKING THE GANACHE
-Using two different sizes of glass bowls prepare a warm bath for your chocolate, butter, and milk, mix them until a well incorporated and runny consistency.
-To check for doneness, insert a skewer or a toothpick and if it comes out clean it's ready.
-Pour the ganache into the cake and let it soak up while hot. Now transfer to your serving tray and decorate as desired, this cake us beat served as it is with minimal frosting.