Introducing Akila Waka from Kiki Foodie
Akila, why don’t you tell us a bit about yourself?
My name is Akila Waka. I was born in Johannesburg. I lived in Mozambique for the majority of my childhood. I finished high school in Pretoria. I was super intrigued by hospitality as I took it as a subject during high school.
I was able to then move to Switzerland where I acquired a Business degree in International Hotel Management. During my university career, I was required to do two internships. I did one in Cascais, Portugal and another in Barcelona, Spain.
During my time in Barcelona, I was working at the Cotton House Hotel, being a concierge of an unfamiliar place forced me to break the boundaries between our cultures and go deep into their food and art culture. Barcelona has a very rich culture of food and this was my main inspiration for starting this fun way to display the places I visit for the guests at the hotel to have an insider’s perspective of the food and ambiance.
How would you describe your relationship with food?
My fascination with food began when I was a child. My mother used to bake cakes for birthdays and weddings. As short as I was, I would leap over the table and watch her make these intricate cakes. That is when I discovered that food was an art in different forms. The food has to look good to excite your senses, the smell must invite you to take a bite, the taste should always be in harmony and that is my relationship with food.
Tell us about what inspired you to start Kiki.Foodie; and is this your time as blogger?
I was mainly inspired by the city of Barcelona but also being a concierge to provide the most relevant information to my guests was to show them how I experienced the restaurant. Using my blog and photos as a guide to multiple hidden spots in Barcelona, I was able to provide an exquisite service to exceed my guest’s expectations. I quickly realized that my Instagram was not only helping my guests directly, but my colleagues had noticed one or the other interesting post and started to ask questions. I am usually surrounded by international people, since most of them were also not local, they were very interested to explore Barcelona. That is when my Instagram had turned into more of a blog than an album of photos to show to my guests.
How much time in a week do you dedicate to this?
Lately, since I am at the beginning of my hospitality career which is highly demanding. I take 30-60 mins a day preparing something for Instagram or deciding where to go. I also take a portion of my day on my days off to explore the hidden features of the location I am in or to try something interesting for my blog.
Would you say you have specific flavours or style of food that you prefer?
What is it about those styles and flavours that sticks out for you?
I wouldn’t say I am picky with food flavours or styles. If I had to pick a favourite region, it would be Asia. I am intrigued by the diversity and complexity of cuisines in Asia. There is China, Thailand, Japan, Korean, India and much more. Their cuisines are so notable and so complex in their own way but they all lie in the same region. The creativity with these cuisines are endless and this is what makes them so unique. Coming from an Indian background, the complexity of Indian cuisine itself had never ceased to amaze me. Coming back to what I said earlier about food and art, this is a way you can see it come to life. The perfect balance of spices develops into a beautiful aromatic gravy that can envelope the surroundings with its fragrance.
Stay tuned for pt 2…
Our MissionHere at Fetch the City, we're on a mission to unite the Pretoria based foodie bloggers and foodie folks on social media. Please tell us about your favourite foodie sites in the comments below and we'll do our best to blog about them. Thank you!