By Kuria Kimani
Bernice Kariuki is a professional chef born and raised in Kenya before she went overseas in search of opportunities to build her culinary career. Defying the odds set against her, she has gone to achieve a job many would die for. This article takes a closer glimpse at the Kenyan lady tasked with ensuring that Arsenal FC players are in shape to score and win games.
Age and Place of Birth
Bernice Kariuki was born and brought up in Jericho, Eastlands in Nairobi City. Jericho was Barack Obama Senior’s home who later fathered the first black POTUS. Evidently, the estate has gone on to produce more high-achieving and popular personalities despite being one of the top ten crime hotspots in Nairobi according to a research paper on Safety and Security by the University of Nairobi.
The trailblazing lady received her Culinary Arts training at Westminster Kingsway College in London after leaving Kenya to pursue a career she had a deep passion for. After completing her course, she went into practice starting with baby steps and as of 2021 boasts of having worked for some of the world’s biggest hotels and iconic restaurants in the United Kingdom.
Bernice Kariuki’s has had an illustrious career working high-end hotels and restaurants. Her portfolio boasts of being a private chef in The Dorchester in London. It is a five-star hotel that attracts moneyed guests and is renowned for its cuisine, top-rated accommodation, and exquisite spaces to hold meetings, events, and celebrations. Bernice worked at the hotel as a private chef before she joined The Lanesborough, another five-star hotel with fine dining and luxury suites for its clients. It is an Oetker Collection masterpiece hotel, won several awards in the industry, and the deal topped with butlers available for each room. She has also been a private chef at The Waldorf Hilton London, a luxury hotel in Covent Garden built in the 1800s.
Her new opportunity to be Arsenal Football Club’s first-team private chef has been received by admiration and celebration from Kenyans online. At the Premier League English club, Bernice Kariuki works under Darren Taylor, the club’s Executive Chef.
“A girl from the ghetto Jericho living nothing but her dreams. May I reintroduce myself as Arsenal’s first-team private chef,” an excited Bernice stated.
The Nutrition team at the club plays a critical role in ensuring that the players are at their best to perform on the pitch. They manage the players’ nutritional needs and prepare menus when the team is traveling for matches.
According to Taylor, their work “involves designing healthy, nutritious menus before travelling with the team on all home and away matches and cooking exclusively for the players, management, and technical team.”
Bernice grew up in Nairobi’s Eastlands area and rose up the ranks to be at the service of some of the most famous people around the world. She is proud of her success and in a post online, she shared the great news cheering on people who grow up in difficult conditions to keep going. At the United Kingdom, Bernice met Manoah Esipisu, Kenya’s High Commissioner to the United Kingdom at a forum for Kenyans citizens in the diaspora. Taking a photo together, the High Commissioner hailed Ms. Kariuki as a trailblazer and role model to many. The forum attended by several personalities was held at Windsor, Berkshire.
His post read:
“Delighted to bump into Arsenal first-team chef Bernice Kariuki at a black-tie Kenya UK Diaspora event in Windsor, Berkshire. Trailblazing and embodying the Kenyan ‘can do’ spirit. Congratulations,” his post on social media read.