By Thuothuo Anthony | Boston, MA
In our continuing promotion of Kenyan-run brands in the diaspora, today Jamhuri News features a Seattle-based duo impacting lives through culinary.
Meet Chefs Ruth Kimani and Jacqueline Keeys, owners of Kimani and Keeys LLC. They are teaching people to cook in the comfort of their own homes in Seattle Washington.
At only 26, Kimani has worked in some of the most prestigious restaurants such as Versace Mansion in Miami FL, Makoto (iron chef), and has also cooked for Microsoft. With a bachelor’s degree in Travel and Tourism from Johnson & Wales University, her love for cooking would only get better and more creative.
Working as a Private Chef, Kimani met her business partner, Jacqueline Keeys when she placed an order at Kimani’s place of work, she loved her food and contacted her proposing a business partnership. This saw the formation of Kimani and Keeys LLC.
Jacqueline, a U.S. Army trained chef, and Kimani who is a Le Cordon bleu trained chef, both have nearly 20yrs combined experience in culinary.
Armed with their undying passion in the field, Kimani and Keeys crafted their business idea of teaching clients to cook in the privacy of a home based setting and in an office setting.
‘‘I realized I could continue to make the gourmet food I loved cooking and she could continue making traditional great comfort foods and international soul and street food- while teaching others at the same time. It was the best of both worlds!!!” Kimani says passionately responding to Jamhuri News question on how they both managed to blend gourmet and traditional comfort foods.
Kimani and Keeys offers a unique experience especially for people in the Northwest, many of whom tell them that they don’t know how to cook or just don’t enjoy cooking.
”We strive to teach people to cook, in a way that they will enjoy themselves and gain new skills, and confidence in the kitchen.” Says Ruth
As anyone would expect with any startup, Kimani and Keeys LLC has faced its own mountain of strains. The duo has however, managed to skillfully scale to new heights; currently working on purchasing a new equipment that will allow the company to accept small on-site jobs as personal chefs.
What best describes Kimani and Keeys?
”Our cuisine is both traditional, and gourmet. Chef Jacqueline concentrates more on traditional ‘world’ cuisine. If you want an amazing tasting dish, the way you grew up eating in moms, auntie’s or grandma’s kitchen, she can make your heart sing. Chef Kimani, our Le Cordon Bleu trained chef who concentrates more on Gourmet cuisine, can create a classic or original Gourmet dish that you won’t soon forget. Together we bring out the best in you, in the kitchen and each other.” Kimani and Keeys told www.jamhuri-news.com.
Although the duo does not have a paid staff yet, they are able to bring in 4-5 assistants from family and friends, when they have an assignment requiring more manpower.
Among their future goals, Kimani and Keeys want to incorporate teaching culinary skills to kids. They have organized their first culinary day camp for kids to take place over the summer.
”We have an even larger (short term) goal which is to send up to 100 kids to Camp for free; so we have created Camp Kookalot, a Culinary Day Camp where up to 12 children can participate per week for 9 weeks, beginning (June 5th-Aug 4th)”. They say
Kimani and Keeys also foresee growth that will enable them to integrate international Culinary exchange programs in their portfolio, with Cuba as their first target.
When chef Kimani is not cooking, you will find her out and about with her dog at the park. She enjoys reading, (especially cookbooks) and traveling. Chef Keeys loves being around children and traveling; having traveled to over 30 countries with her spouse, a retired U.S. Army Sergent Major of 30 active years in the U.S. Army.
Watch their video below:
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