Gatuiri Irauka studied actuarial science but her passion for cooking led her to start a blog, Leo Tunapika. The award-winning food blogger answers 5 questions about herself and her passion.
1. What does food mean to you? Are you one of those people who only cook for someone they like?
Food means different things to me. When with family and friends, it is something that brings us together. When stressed and alone, it is a source of comfort. When excited, it is an adventure! Well, I’m yet to cook for anyone I don’t like so I guess, yes.
2. During these uncertain times, how are you coping?
By cooking, baking and catching up on old films. I normally work from home and I’ve found myself spending even more time cooking.
I always cook whenever I am stressed. Right now I’m making lots of pasta dishes. They are quick and hard to mess up — plus my daughters are in love with pasta.
They like to sit right next to me waiting for the food to be ready. I’ve also been making a lot of pancakes. I absolutely love them and I’m currently trying to develop one of the best pancake recipes.
3. How did you get into the world of blogging, and what challenges did you face at the beginning?
When I got married and took charge of my kitchen, I found out that I enjoyed cooking so I started reading food blogs.
My favourites were Pendo la Mama by Aika and Foodie in the Desert (now African Kaya) by Wangeci.
Seeing what they were doing inspired me to start my own blog. I reached out to Aika and she was kind enough to send me an e-mail with a list of the things I would need to start the blog.
When I started out, I neither had a laptop nor a good camera. But because I had fallen deep in love with food, I wasn’t bothered by the bad quality of photos. I was cooking and sharing recipes and that made me happy.
4. What spices or ingredients do you never run out of?
Freshly cracked black peppercorns and whole nutmeg, which I usually use to make soups, sauces and even in pastries like pancakes and cakes.
I also never lack curry powder or garam masala because I love spice blends. They pack a lot of flavour, and when one isn’t too sure of how much or which specific spice to use, a blend is always safe bet.
5. What do you enjoy doing when you’re not cooking?
Watching TV series. I, however, know that I should be interacting with the many unread books on my shelf. I also enjoy going on solo dates and catching afternoon naps — the perks of working from home.