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Chance for top chefs, mixologists to market Kenya

Thursday October 1 2015

Kenya Tourism Board Managing Director Muriithi

Kenya Tourism Board Managing Director Muriithi Ndegwa is welcomed by Nev Jiwani, managing director of Go Places, at the launch of the 2015 Chefs, Bar & Mixologists Awards at the National Museums of Kenya on September 30, 2015. In the background is Minaz Kurji the sponsor of the chef awards. PHOTO | COURTESY 

JAMES KARIUKI
By JAMES KARIUKI
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Kenya’s best chefs and alcohol cocktail-makers in high-end hotels now have a chance to compete for national awards in bid to nurture the budding culinary tourism market.

Kenya Tourist Board director Mr Muriithi Ndegwa said the Chefs Delight, Bar & Mixology Awards 2015 would be promoted internationally inviting tourists to visit Kenya and taste its variety of local cuisine that is a must-cook delicacy for all visitors to Kenyan homes and hotels.

“We have a chance to tell the world about our nyama choma, githeri, muthokoi, ugali and many others by giving our chefs the challenge to use the kitchen to market Kenya as a tourists destination,” said the KTB boss at the National Museums of Kenya during the official launch of the competition.

NATIONAL COMPETITION

Chefs Delight and Bar & Mixology Awards 2015 founder Mr Mansoor Jiwani said 200 high-end hotels across the country had registered for the competition that will run for the next three and a half months during which diners will vote online for the best chefs and mixologists.

Mr Mansoor said that all participating hotels would also be given a logo identifying their facilities as home to Kenya’s best foods and cocktails adding that this would act as a mark of confidence for the food and drinks served to local and foreign tourists.

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Nairobi’s Tourism and Trade executive Ann Othoro welcomed the competition saying Kenya needed to diversify its offer on the tourism menu largely dominated by wildlife and sandy beaches.

“We need to look at food, sports and agriculture as other sources of tourism. Even Nairobi has a lot to offer to the tourism world with its warm and welcoming people as well as its physical features,” she said.

HOTEL INDUSTRY

Mr Ndegwa expressed optimism with the tourism sector saying a lot of investors had shown confidence with several high-end hospitality projects being put up in Nairobi and in other major towns.

Mr Mansoor said that the completion would also encourage hotels and their workers to enhance service delivery that build around a tourists’ wholesome experience on food and beverages.

Ms Othoro added that the growing middle class is also keen on paying more money for good services and food.