Founders Of 45 Degrees Kitchen That Was Once A Poultry Farm

Harold Sena-Akoto is the Executive Chef at 45 Degrees Kitchen, a fine-dining restaurant located in Nairobi. He owns the establishment alongside his wife Rose Wahome. The Ghanaian-born chef boasts decades of experience in the hospitality industry and has served in a number of restaurants and hotels around the world.


According to his LinkedIn profile, the chef holds a bachelor’s degree in Science and Technology from the University of Ghana where he attended between 1981 and 1985.

Career Journey

He began his culinary journey at Alma, Scuala International Di Cucina, Rome, marking the start of his journey through some of the world’s finest restaurants. Among these, Piatto D’ Oro, Rome and Toronto’s fine dining restaurants Pronto and North 44, a two Michelin star restaurant.

Harold’s next stop was Montana Bar & Grill where he was Executive Chef. The restaurant was chosen by Food and Wine Magazine as one of the best fine dining establishments in Toronto, Canada. En Route Magazine also selected Montana Bar & Grill as one of the best places to dine in North America.

Between November 1998 and July 2000, Sena-Akoto served as the Executive Chef at Elliston Vineyard in California.

Founders Of 45 Degrees Kitchen That Was Once A Poultry Farm
L-R: Harold Sena-Akoto and his wife Rose Wahome Image/Kenyaartsreview

In July 2000, he moved to Ruby Hill Golf Club in Pleasanton, California as the executive chef. He was responsible for the entire food and beverage department; wine pairing, menu development, hiring and training, budgeting, and anything else associated with hospitality.

At Ruby Hill, the proud native of Accra, Ghana was famed for his remarkable skills with spice mixtures and other techniques. During his time there, the club became one of California’s favourite dining establishments and was voted the best upscale wedding location by the Know and other wedding publications.

Over his career his guests have included Hollywood stars such as Arnold Schwarzenegger and American Football legend, John Madden.

Moving To Kenya

When Mr Sena-Akoto moved to Kenya, he established 45 Degrees Kitchen which opened in late 2015. Throughout his career, the chef has operated on the basic principle of providing good, healthy, nourishing food for his clients.

During an interview with the New York Times in 2017, he revealed that he had learnt an important lesson from an Italian chef who was his mentor, that has shaped his career journey over the years.

“You know these Italians, they are so passionate. My chef said to me: ‘Consider yourself blessed that people come to you for a meal. So imagine that every meal you cook is going to be their last,” Sena-Akoto said.

The renowned chef sources everything locally. He had a designated cient who brought him chicken, he got lambs from a farm in Naivasha, and carrots, beets, cucumbers, arugula and bok choy from a garden behind his parking lot. He also has the contacts of fishermen in the coast who catch whatever he needs and send it to Nairobi in an overnight bus.

Despite running a successful business, Harold’s wife, Rose Wahome notes that it is not an easy task, since local sourcing has its challenges.

“It’s a crazy operation. Sometimes they tell us, ‘Oh, the moon was out and the fish could see us and they were hiding.’ So no fish. And guess what? We have customers coming,” she said.

Sena-Akoto also notes that he tries to hire locally as well.

“Many of my waiters have never been waited on,” he said.

There are not many qualified professionals out there, so he identifies youths and takes them to other restaurants to learn the experience, which often appears to work out for him.

Sena-Akoto named the hotel, 45 Degrees Kitchen, after the angle at which many chefs sharpen their knives.

According to Kenyans Arts Review, 45 Degrees Kitchen was a poultry farm that was owned by his Rose’s family. The high vaulted dining room was where eggs were stored.