A Tour around Binny’s Kitchen – Meet the Blogger at #FBC15

Today we are having a tour around Binny’s Kitchen (@binnyjs)! Binny Shah is a Kenyan , currently living in London and enjoying trying out lots of different cuisines as part of her quest to eat well.

binny

What are you looking forward to learning and enjoying at FBC this year?
I am looking forward to meeting bloggers and learning some key skills about blogging, especially food styling!

Is blogging your full time job? If not, what is your day job?
My day job is Investment Banking so blogging is a creative escape from daily routine for me. When I am not blogging, I can be found socialising, eating out at restaurants or travelling. I also run an app called Our Kenya which takes up some of my time.
I would absolutely love to become a full time blogger. It is just making the blog pay the bills is what I need to work out!
Since I have been blogging I have such a massive passion for food and travel I would love to have it as a full time career.

How do you think brands could work better with bloggers?
I think alot of brands could work better with bloggers. We live in a social media era where customers trust the opinions of other customers more than what the brand advertises to them. I feel that brands could optimally use the power of bloggers more for true product reviews – even more than celebrity endorsements.

Screen Shot 2015-09-01 at 8.04.32 AM

What first motivated you to blog and how has blogging changed your life?
I was teaching myself to cook in the evenings after work and instagramming my dishes. Soon lots of people were asking me to share my recipes and so I decided to start a blog as a place to share recipes and other food and travel related content.

What’s your ultimate blogging dream – where do you plan to take it in the future?
I would love to carry on writing my blog and eventually after a few years the dream is to have a cookbook in the shops!

From where do you get inspiration for your blog posts?
I get inspiration for my posts from stumbling across products, new restaurants, travelling and trying new cuisines and just thinking on my commute into work.

What’s your signature dish?
My signature dish is corn on the cob in a coconut gravy. I grew up in Mombasa, Kenya and this is a dish that my mum used to make all the time and it has a very close place in my heart as it evokes alot of nostalgia. I now make it almost weekly and it is mine and my husbands comfort meal. Here is the recipe

Corn coconut gravy

Tell us something you’ve learned from reading other blogs you probably wouldn’t know otherwise?
I have learned so much from other bloggers in terms of food styling tips and love reading different writing styles.

What’s the most unusual restaurant you have ever eaten at?
The most unusual restaurant I have eaten at is at Angar, an Indian restaurant at the Yas Hotel in Abu Dhabi because you can hear the sound of cars racing on the F1 track while you eat a curry! It is the most strange but coolest combination!

What would be your last meal on earth?
My last meal on earth would be a curry, and more specifically a paneer curry!

Finish this sentence: “For me, the ultimate food heaven is …”
For me, the ultimate food heaven is taste testing the ice creams my dad makes in his ice cream factory in Kenya. He has a dream job!

My idea of food hell is sea urchin sushi. I say this because I ate this recently and could not get rid off the taste memory it left behind for a few days!

Who is your favourite celebrity chef?
My favourite celebrity chef is Ina Garten. I love how she freestyles with her cooking and I am like her (according to my husband.) I make a lot of one hit wonder dishes because I forget to write the recipe down. My husband likes to think he is like Jeffrey.

img_6588You’re given the opportunity to cook for anyone – dead or alive, real or fictional, chef, celebrity, royalty, public figure – anyone! Who would it be and why?
If I was given the opportunity to cook for anyone it would be my uncle who passed away while I was in university. He loved food and he would have been so proud of my blog and been my wingman on many foodie excursions! I would make him baingan bharta as that was his favourite dish.

How many cookbooks do you own?
I own more baking cookbooks than anything as baking is not my forte! For me a cookbook needs to have easy to follow steps and good visuals so you know what the end product is meant to look like.

Do you have a favourite kitchen tool or appliance?
My favourite kitchen appliance is my Kenwood mini chopper. I use it for chopping onions, chillies, blitzing raitas and sauces as well as making pesto. I have had it for 7 years and for under 20 pounds it is amazing!

What’s on your wish-list right now?
My wish list has a Vitamix, dinner at Gymkhana because I can eat there over and over again, and a holiday to Bora Bora on it!

What other influences or interests would you say make for a great food blog – travel, fashion, tech, lifestyle?
Travel is a major inspiration for my food blog as I am lucky enough to have my family living in Kenya. I love going home and getting ideas for new recipes from different ingredients.

How is your lifestyle shaped by food?im-going-to
My lifestyle is shaped by food as I now consciously decide to go to restaurants to review them and am always on the hunt for new pop ups or food trends. I am also the kind of person who instagrams their food before I eat it so presentation is very important to me.

To achieve a successful blog what comes first – the dishes, the styling, the photography or the words?
To achieve a successful blog, the words and photography are equally important. The picture will grab attention to the post and the words will either turn on or turn off the reader.

Thank you, Binny – It has been very interesting getting to know you a little better – We look forward to catching up with you at #FBC15

 

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