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Stephanie Kiragu: Chef’s Journey to Establishing Own Restaurant After 14 Years Working Internationally

Stephanie Kiragu
Como Restaurant owner Stephanie Kiragu PHOTO/Capital FM

Stephanie Kiragu, also known as Steph the Chef, is the owner of Como Restaurant in Tigoni.

With 14 years of experience, she has studied and worked abroad in countries such as Spain, Switzerland, Dubai and the United States.

With a dream of owning her own restaurant, Stephanie returned to Kenya where she decided to set up Como in the outskirts of Nairobi City.

Here is Stephanie’s story as told by EAFeed.

After gaining experience working in different countries across the world, Stephanie decided to come back home.

She first worked as the head chef at the US Embassy before moving to Hemmingways Nairobi.

At Hemmingways Nairobi, Stephanie worked as the executive suos chef before moving to Hemmingways Watamu.

After her gig with Hemmingways Watamu, she ventured into consultancy saying, “When I started my little family, I decided to go the consultancy route because chef hours can be crazy.”

As a consultant, Stephanie worked with multiple restaurants including Peppertree which she oversaw its growth.

It was then whe she gathered the courage to venture into entrepreneurship by opening her own restaurant, Como, in Tigoni.

Como has different meanings including “people coming together” in Kikuyu, and “I eat” in Spanish.

Stephanie Kiragu
Stephanie Kiragu PHOTO/Instagram

Additionally, the word is linked to Lake Como in Italy which is known for sticking to traditional northern Italian dishes.

“I have known Tigoni for many years. My parents live there. For a long time, there were no restaurants and people had to go to Village Market to eat out yet Tigoni has a large community,” Stephanie said.

In an interview with Business Daily, Stephanie noted that she wanted to set up her business in an area that has not been saturated with restaurants.

“Between Westlands and Village Market, there are 145 restaurants. In Tigoni, there are only four,” she said.

The restaurant has several sitting areas that can hold up to 95 guests at a one go, two private gazebos, a fireplace and a garden where children can play.

“Even though I knew I would have a very good product wherever I went, I thought why not take it somewhere where it is unique in that area,” Stephanie stated.

A few months after officially opening the business, Stephanie is proud of what she has achieved so far.

“In the first week we opened, we had to place a signboard on the road to say that we were fully booked

“With time we will add a few more outdoor tables but having opened restaurants for others, I noticed that Kenyans are really into trends. In the first six months it would be flooded then after that you would hear that it closed down,” she said.

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