Queen of Katwe star Lupita Nyong'o has praised the culinary prowess of a chef based in Tennessee, United States named Kenyatta Ashford.
In a short clip uploaded to the star's Instagram page on the evening of Tuesday, October 5, Nyong'o noted that the food was memorable and that it was beautifully presented.
She further noted that the culinary experience was so supreme that she could feel the taste right through to her feet.
"Afro-New-Olinean-Ghanian fusion in Chattanooga, What does that mean? Well, I tell you this food was memorable, delicious. Like I spent the whole meal going mmmmmh, mmmmh.US Chef Kenyatta Ashford.Travel Noir
"We could not believe the explosion of flavors in our mouths. We were so confused about what was going on. Why are my feet feeling this. It was an immersive culinary experience. It was beautifully presented. It was a journey of flavour," stated Lupita.
To get to the top was, however, not that easy for Kenyatta, 44, whose journey in the sector kicked off when he turned 27 years old.
Prior to that, the chef had worked as a teacher, resigned before moving with his wife and child to Hyde Park, New York, to attend The Culinary Institute of America.
In 2018, the chef won the Jean-Louis Palladin Professional Work/Study Grants (JLP grant) from the James Beard Foundation to expand his knowledge.
After winning the grant, he visited Ghana and Benin whose cuisine experience he notes helped him develop his portfolio in the cutthroat sector.
“It’s the one thing that’s gotten me to where I am right now in how I cook and share more of our story, and I’m beginning to be more comfortable with reaching into that chest to pull out ideas of things I want to explore as far as food,” he stated in an interview with Cuisine Noir.
While accepting the JLP grant, Kenyatta noted that while growing up in the 19s, the most glaring reminder of his ancestral roots was his name Kenyatta which rimes with that of the Kenyan founding PresidentMzee Jomo Kenyatta.
"My namesake is Jomo Kenyatta, the first president of Kenya when it gained independence from its colonial rulers. I’ve always taken pride in the origin of my name and its uniqueness.
"I was once told that Jomo did for Kenya what Martin Luther King Jr. did for the United States—each fighting to make their respective countries egalitarian for all citizens," he noted.
In July 2021, Kenyatta beat all contestants on a culinary show dubed 'Chopped' which aired on US television network, Food Network, to win a grand price of Ksh1 million (US$100,000).
Today, the chef is working on his own restaurant Identified as Neutral Ground located in Chattanooga in the US state of Tenesse.
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