Thursday, May 26, 2022

Bernice Kariuki: Meet Arsenal’s Top Chef from Eastlands

Bernice Kariuki has come a long way from Jericho in Nairobi’s Eastlands to cooking for some of the biggest names in world football at Arsenal F.C.

She works as a private chef for Arsenal’s first-team and has become an inspiration for many Kenyans working hard to live their dreams.

Kariuki studied Culinary Arts at Westminster Kingsway College in London. She’s worked at several 5-star hotels in England as a Chef, including at The Lanesborough, The Dorchester and The Waldorf Hilton London.

With nutrition now considered a key element in sports science to enhance athletics performance, the importance of Kariuki’s work at a top Premier League club cannot be overstated. She works with a team led by Darren Taylor, the Executive Chef at Arsenal.

Kariuki’s roles as a Private Chef for the Arsenal first-team include cooking exclusively for first-team players and members of the technical bench and management team. She also plays a part in the management of pre/post match nutrition including menus for the travelling team.

A star such as Arsenal’s talented 21-year old midfielder Emile Smith Rowe, for instance, in November disclosed that the club had dispatched a private chef to his home to help him improve his nutrition, something he considers a contributor to his impressive form this season.

“I wasn’t eating great, I wasn’t drinking that well, before games I wasn’t really that hydrated but since then I’ve tried to focus so much on it. There’s loads of stuff we should be drinking before a game but before I was a bit too lazy. It was mainly my diet, nutrition and stuff like that. That’s really helped me. The club have sorted me out a chef, Chris, and he comes to my house every day.

“He’s got a couple of pasta dishes and that’s good for carbs. I didn’t used to like fish but now I am into it — salmon and stuff,” the midfielder disclosed.

Speaking at a forum for Kenyans in the U.K in Windsor, Berkshire on Monday, November 29, Kariuki urged Kenyans in the U.K not to adopt a victim mentality but instead to work hard towards their goals.

“When I win we all win…we all have challenges. It’s not easy, we need to push because we are in a better country where you can become who you want. Don’t say kuna racism (there’s racism). No, no, no – you can become who you want. ”

“It’s amazing guys, thank you so much for the love. I promise I’m not gonna let you down,” she told the cheering audience.

Kenya’s High Commissioner to the U.K Manoah Esipisu had nothing but good things to say about Kariuki.

He wrote; “Delighted to bump into first team chef Bernice Kariuki at a black-tie Kenya UK Diaspora event in Windsor, Berkshire. Trailblazing and embodying the Kenyan ‘can do’ spirit. Pongezi.”

Kariuki remains connected to her roots and regularly references Jericho where she comes from on her socials, even as she makes waves in the culinary world.


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