Dashing About With Kina

2 November 2016 | Inside Angama |

Take a sneak peak into a day in the life of Angama Mara's beautiful baker, Kina Karianke...

My name is Kina Karianke and I am a Pastry Chef at Angama Mara and this is a typical ‘day in my life’ …

01:15: My alarm rings. Out of bed, brush my teeth, on with my uniform and make my bed. At this time of day/night, hardly anyone sees me so no need for make up. Askari Saitoti is waiting to escort me to the bakery.

01:34: Lights on, oven pre-heating, gas is on, table is clean: I plug my music in – it helps keep me awake. What’s today’s plan?

  • Brown and white bread loaves for fresh toast for breakfast
  • Zucchini and carrot muffins and scones for breakfast
  • Olive oil dough for dinner rolls
  • Butternut focaccia and burger buns for lunch – the Best Burger in the Mara has to have the best roll
  • Rolls for today’s picnic breakfasts and lunches


Every day we bake something new: yesterday was breadsticks; before that rosemary bread; before that onion bread and cheese straws. Always rotating.

01:39: Start with the olive oil dough: into the mixer goes the water, milk, yeast and salt, followed by sugar then flour and finally the olive oil. Once it’s well mixed and soft, I put it in the proofer while I’m on to the muffins – I never waste a single minute.

03:41: Chef Collins arrives with my cup of coffee – hot milk, scoop of instant coffee and two-heaped spoonful’s of sugar. Move the bread loaves, muffins and scones off the cooling racks, remove the poppy seed buns from the oven, and take the burger buns out of the proofer ready for the egg wash and sesame seeds. Turn on the top oven. But first, a sip of coffee.


03:59: Back to the last few batches of dinner rolls. I save a lot of time rolling them out with two hands. I measure the dough rolls – should be 80 grams but I make these ones to the size of my hand. Each one is sized individually, made with love and care. Great – two trays done, one in the proofer, one ready to be dusted with flour and star cuts on top.

04:23: Sip of coffee. What is that smell? Something is burning. Oh no! The top oven had a sheet of breadcrumbs in it. Well, no one told me … oops, now they’re charred. I’ll have to remember to make more for the chefs.

05:40: Clean up my workspace and time for bed. Final check – all set for breakfast and picnics and in place for the chefs and butlers? And now – a bit more rest.


08:15: Off goes my second alarm of the day. Get up, remake my bed, rebrush my teeth and shower, this time do make up, and dress. Back to the bakery I go. What more can I possibly make today you ask? Well let’s see:

  • Vanilla fudge ice cream, choux puffs and mandazi for dessert
  • Shortbread for tea
  • And of course our delicious stokbrood (stick bread) for tonight’s Forest BBQ. Most of the recipes I just know. I can’t remember where they come from. They are just my recipes in my head now.

11:28: Choux puffs are filled with cream and ready for chocolate coating. The other day, I was piping and all of a sudden I was covered in cream. Again and again I burst the pastry bag. That’s when I knew I had to go and come back to finish. Sometimes, the pastry doesn’t like you and you need your space. It’s mutual.

Angama Mara's Choux Puffs

12:52: By now the kitchen is buzzing with lunch orders flying, chopping and dicing for dinner mise en place, and lots of laughs as the chefs whiz around.

14:48: I’ve finished with my to-do list and just making a few last minute lunch dessert requests – vanilla milkshakes for two? Coming up. Oh and a cheese platter of course. With that, I let dinner’s stokbrood dough rest, and grab a well-deserved catnap.

Angama Mara Cheese Board

17:27: Back in the kitchen for one last hurrah – the dough is ready, sticks are oiled and the team and I wrap 40 stokbrood for tonight’s Forest BBQ where the chefs will bake the bread over the coals.


19:05: After dinner in the staff canteen, I dash to South Camp to set up the dessert bitings after Forest BBQ. The cake stand is set with meringues, choux puffs, almond and orange Florentines, caramel salted brownies, cheese platter with spiced oranges and of course mandazi – our Kenyan specialty. Once I’m happy with the set up, I’m off for the night to socialize, rest and relax. And then set my alarm for another early morning start to do what I love most – bake!


AUTHOR: Shannon Davis

Shannon was one half of the Regional Director team that started the lodge (Tyler was the other). Shan has not, as far as is known, acquired a taste for chai, mbuzi or ugali but probably misses it in America nevertheless. Her addiction for Kenyan coffee still has no bounds.

Jane Hodges
November 2, 2016

Mouthwatering bread making , it all sounds as though you make magic Kina ??

    Nicky Fitzgerald
    November 2, 2016

    Nicky says the one thing I haven’t learnt from her is how to bake bread 🙂

Bunny and Peter
November 2, 2016

We are very much looking forward to tasting all your delicious goodies when we come in February. Bunny and peter

Nicky Fitzgerald
November 2, 2016

Kina promises to bake you a whopping birthday cake

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