Hi, I’m Chani Solanki and welcome to my food blog. I cook, write and love to take pictures of delicious food along with my husband, Jai. I like to experiment and create dishes from different parts of the world using ingredients that are readily available here in Kenya. I collect kitchen items and am too scared of losing any of them so i’d rather wash the dishes myself.
I studied Biomedical Science in Coventry University, UK, and watched cooking shows all day instead of attending lectures. I baked cupcakes for myself and my house mates in the middle of the night and would make my best friend her favourite Paneer Samosas. I didn’t ever expect to own a food blog.
My brother, Rajan, came up with this blog on 9th May 2011 and was one of the first food bloggers in Kenya. 2 years later, he lost his life in a terrorist attack at Westgate Mall. He named the blog “Pika Chakula” which means “Cook Food” in Kiswahili and came up with the tag line “Discover Your Inner Chef”.
In memory of my brother, we aired a cooking show called “Pika Chakula- Home Dinners” on NTV Kenya in early 2015. In the last 4 years, Pika Chakula has won the Best Food Blog in Kenya 2013, 2014 & 2015 by BAKE, Best Food Blogger by Samsung, Best Food Blog in Africa 2015 by African Blogger Awards (South Africa) and has featured in numerous magazines across East Africa.
A few other Random Facts:
- Chani can’t eat the food she cooks unless it is vegetarian food.
- Jai loves to eat anything and everything as long as it is non-vegetarian.
- They love to travel and try different cuisines.
- They travelled to Singapore for a Food Photography Course and only chose Singapore so they could travel to Malaysia, a city where Chani previously studied.
- Rajan’s favourite dessert was Eclairs filled with almond custard.
- Chani and Rajan fought like cats and dogs, and she wishes she could do it again one more time.
- Chani was labelled a “Culinary Diva” by East Africa’s Best Selling Magazine, True Love.
- Jai is a Pilot by profession and always says he has two jobs, Flying & Frying. He is also madly in love with technology and cars.
- They have a food Photography portfolio on www.foodiegraphy.co.ke where you can read more about the duo here.
Thanks for reading,
Chani & Jai