BritAsia TV spoke with Binny, lifestyle blogger and author of ‘Binny’s Kitchen and Travel Diaries’.
Hi Binny, when did your passion in blogging and writing start?
I’ve always had a passion for writing and Binny’s Kitchen and Travel Diaries launched as a creative outlet almost three years ago, where I could share my recipes and document my adventures both in London and internationally, of events, restaurants, hotels and destinations I have been to.
I was always being asked by friends and family on tips on where to go, which restaurants, etc, so it made sense to put them all online. It’s also like a digital diary for me and I love reading back on some of my earlier posts from time to time and re-living the memories.
Where do you find your inspiration for your recipes? Do you like to experiment with different tastes when cooking different dishes?
Whilst growing up Kenya, the food I ate was a fusion of African, Indian, Arabic and European ingredients, cooking methods and flavours. This was as a result of this East African country’s cuisine being vastly influenced by its myriad of historical settlers.
The history behind popular food as well as the extensive variety available, inspired me to cook and share recipes of well-loved dishes from my childhood in Kenya, as well as document my food experiences in features on my blog.
Which cuisine do you enjoy the most?
My favourite cuisine is a fusion of Kenyan-Indian food. I love Indian food in general as I love how vast the variety and styles are depending on which part of India it is from. I always find the use of spices, flavours, textures and styles from India so intriguing.
The influence of Indian migrants in Kenya has created the most amazing dishes which are a fusion of both countries and cultures, and that is ultimately my favourite food, as it brings out the best of both worlds.
What are the weirdest things you have ever eaten?
I ate ants and grasshoppers on a press trip to Mexico City, where I attended the Latin America Top 50 Restaurant Awards, which was a truly swanky affair! You can read more about my time in Mexico City here.
What country was your favourite to visit?
I’ve been very lucky to visit some incredible destinations but Italy is one of my favourites and I can just never get enough of the pasta, pizzas, gelato and wine! I recently visited Tuscany and it was truly the most beautiful place I have been to with its green rolling hills, gorgeous vineyards and amazing hospitality.
What places are still on your bucket list?
My travel bucket list is huge but my top destination is Costa Rica, where I want to visit a sloth sanctuary, Bora Bora, and I want to drive along the Amalfi Coast in a Fiat.
Your following on social media is continually increasing, where do you see your blog/social media platforms going in five years’ time and what is it you would like to achieve by then?
I would love to have had more opportunities to travel to cool and far flung destinations, collaborations with amazing brands as well as continue to have the same love and passion for my blog that I have today.
What I love most about blogging is that it has enabled me to move out of my comfort zone, meet amazing people, make some brilliant friendships and the blogging community is simply amazing. I hope that in 5 years’ time my blog has made a valuable contribution to the blogosphere and that it continues to inspire people to move out of their comfort zones and to travel and try new things.
What is the biggest challenge about blogging?
The biggest challenge I would say is time. I am balancing a full-time job in Banking alongside my blog. I usually wake up at 5am every day to work on my blog for an hour and a half before going to Canary Wharf for my day job.
The blog is almost like having a second job as it takes a lot of time and effort to write up posts, schedule tweets, edit photos as well as continually engage with followers. I usually post around 4-5 times a week and I am out almost every evening attending events, reviewing restaurants or going to bar launches/parties.
However, I love it so much that I am going to be going full time on the blogging side by the end of this year so I will definitely have a lot more time than I do now.
What has travel taught you?
Travel has taught me just how big and wonderful the world is and that it’s important to be mindful of other cultures, humble and kind to everyone you meet. I never want to stop exploring or wanting to discover new things. One of my favourite quotes by St. Augustine is ‘The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.’
Check out Binny’s blog here- Http://binnyskitchen.com