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Meet Kenyan who cooks for Man United

Monday, February 26th, 2024 06:50 | By
Meet Kenyan who cooks for Man United
Milton Isalano, the Kenyan who prepares food for one of the leading English Premier League clubs Manchester United. PHOTO/Agencies

Globally, Kenyans are making great strides from the world of Athletics to other fields. One such Kenyan is Milton Isalano, who prepares food for one of the leading English Premier League clubs Manchester United.

Isalano disclosed that he has been working at Manchester United as a senior chef since 2005 which dates back to when Sir Alex Ferguson was the head coach at the club.

“I am a Kenyan former Pioneer Senior Chef at the Windsor Golf and country club, in Nairobi from 1991 to 2002 before I moved to the United Kingdom as a chef. I have been working at Manchester United as a Senior chef since 2005 to date,” he told this journalist.

The Senior chef at Manchester United disclosed that besides the job at the club, he has held other high-profile jobs citing an example in 2014 he was Head Chef of V.I.P Escape Lounges Manchester Airport in terminals one, two and three.

“In 2010-2014, I was the Head Chef of V.I.P Escape Lounges Manchester Airport in terminals one, two, and three. Any time the first Manchester United team and Manchester City football teams flew out of the country, I served them in the lounges before they boarded the plane,” he stated.

To understand the intrigues of working at such a precious club, Manchester United has 26 kitchens, and on a single match day, they need 120 chefs.

From 2015-2018, Isalano also worked in a top 5 stars Gotham Hotel and served the likes of X-factor stars Simon Cowell.

Prior to moving to the UK, he had done short Chefs courses at Kenya Utalii College and Kenya Polytechnic.

In 2004-2006, the Senior Chef at Manchester United did a Chef’s Diploma at Lancaster and Morecambe College before going to do a BA in Hospitality Management at Salford University in 2012.

Isalano was spotted with Kenya’s High Commissioner to the UK Manoah Esipisu during the Kenya and Friends in the Park at London Pitshanger Park.

“Another Kenyan Chef doing great. Bumped into Milton Isoyi, Man United chef at the #KenyainthePark event in North London. Great event serving great connections amongst Kenyan Diaspora,” Esipisu posted on social media.

The event, which was organised by Lydia Olet, brought together Kenyans in the diaspora for networking opportunities.

Colour and splendour

“It was colour and splendour at a great gathering of hundreds of Kenyans and our friends in this year’s Kenya in the Park event in Ealing, North London. Great connections, great talk on investment, great people from all walks of life,” Ambassador Manoah tweeted.

Isalano is now the second known Kenyan chef to have worked at a top Premier League club after Bernice Kariuki, who left Arsenal last year, having served as a private chef for the Gunners for two years.

Kariuki had been cooking for Arsenal players and management and also managed the daily well-being and nutrition of the team before and after matches.

Besides her work at Arsenal, Kariuki has been a chef for highly-rated upmarket hotels in the UK, and has prepared meals for numerous high-profile clients. Kariuki was born and raised in Jericho, a neighbourhood in Eastlands. She attended local schools up to high school.

She was passionate about cooking and eventually secured an opportunity to study Culinary Arts at Westminster Kingsway College – one of the largest further education colleges in London.

The institution describes itself as the “UK’s leading school of hospitality & culinary arts.” It trains industry professionals including chefs, waiters and waitresses, bar staff and catering and bar managers.

Having proved her prowess in the kitchen, Kariuki went on to secure opportunities with high-end hotels including The Lanesborough, The Dorchester and The Waldorf Hilton London.

She landed the role as a private, first-team chef at Arsenal after making Pilau – an East African dish – for Chelsea striker Pierre Emerick Aubameyang at a Christmas party. Aubameyang loved it and, as they interacted, connected her with the club to have her as his private chef.

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