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Aubameyang: How interaction with Chelsea forward handed Kenyan chef Kariuki Arsenal job

5:41 PM IST 16/10/22
Bernice Kariuki.
Kenya-born chef Bernice Kariuki has revealed how her Christmas interaction with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang later landed her a job at Arsenal.
  • Aubameyang requested Kariuki to be his personal chef
  • The Nairobi-born chef works with Arsenal's first team
  • Kariuki is experienced, having worked in top London hotels

WHAT HAPPENED? Kariuki is now the chief chef of the Gunners’ first team. Born and raised in Jericho in Nairobi’s Eastlands, the 51-year-old is working under Darren Taylor, who is the executive chef at the Premier League club.

She cooks exclusively for first-team players, the management team, and members of the coaching bench.

Kariuki also manages the daily well-being and nutrition of the team before and after matches and prepares menus for the travelling team.

According to her, when Aubameyang – now at Chelsea - tasted her pilau, a traditional and fragrant rice dish made with many aromatic spices, especially popular in the East Africa region, the forward loved the food and requested her to be his personal chef before she was later appointed by the club.

WHAT HAS BEEN SAID: "There was one time we went to a Christmas party and I met Aubameyang, who is now at Chelsea, and I asked if he could get me a job at the club," Kariuki told Chams Media TV.

"He said I could be his personal chef, and that is how I got my job. He was passionate about the food because he liked the pilau I made.

"The first team has about 27 chefs. They [players] do not eat the same food because maybe some have gained weight and have to stick to a particular diet, but mostly they eat fish, plantains, and healthy rice.

"We try to accommodate everybody, but everybody knows what to eat, and we just don’t cook anything, we are told what to cook.

"My journey starts at 3:00 in the morning. We begin preparing the fish because you are supposed to prepare the fish when the kitchen is cold, and then we do their shakes because they run in the morning.

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Kariuki, an alumnus of London’s Westminster Kingsway College, where she studied culinary arts, has worked at The Lanesborough, The Dorchester, and The Waldorf Hilton hotels.

WHAT NEXT FOR ARSENAL? The Gunners are enjoying a good run in the league and will face PSV in the Europa League after playing Leeds United on Sunday.