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Kiano Moju Releases Her Debut Cookbook: AfriCali: Recipes From My Jikoni

AfriCali: Recipes From My Jikoni

By: Jun. 19, 2024
Kiano Moju Releases Her Debut Cookbook: AfriCali: Recipes From My Jikoni  Image
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Culinary personality and producer, Kiano Moju  releases her debut cookbook, AfriCali: Recipes From My Jikoni on S&S/Simon Element for $35.00 on August 13, 2024. Kiano, whose food media career began at Buzzfeed’s Tasty as the platform’s first black, female producer, draws much of her culinary identity from her Kenyan and Nigerian backgrounds, with influences from her Californian roots and global travels. Her debut book invites home cooks to explore African-inspired and globally-influenced dishes, all of which are accented by California’s bountiful produce. This inventive collection of 85+ vibrant and modern recipes beautifully illustrates Kiano’s passion for her African heritage and California lifestyle. She seamlessly combines these cultures with approachable techniques, flavors, and ingredients, all of which have defined Kiano’s way of cooking, artfully named AfriCali. 

Kiano was born in Oakland, California, to a Maasai-Kenyan mother and Nigerian father, who both moved to the U.S. in their early adulthood. Inspired by a love for chemistry inherited from her father, a biochemist, Kiano found herself drawn to her mother’s side in the kitchen, intrigued by the science of cooking and the culture that surrounds it. From several summers on her grandparents’ ranch in Kenya to taking cooking classes throughout her young adulthood, Kiano's love for food stemmed from a young age. After graduating with a Masters of Publishing from the University of The Arts in London, Kiano began her career in food media, acutely aware of the industry’s lack of diverse representation and determined to create space for more cultures and voices. During her time as a video producer at Buzzfeed’s Tasty, Kiano helped bring its production from majority-minded content to a breadth of recipes from various cultures. In Late 2019, she launched her own full-service production company, Jikoni Studios, which has produced cooking videos & commercials for industry giants such as Food Network, Fox Studios, Tastemade, the USDA, and many more. Kiano also founded the non-profit organization,Jikoni Recipe Archive which documents the legacy of African and Black cooks, both old-school and new-school, while amplifying and celebrating their vibrant food cultures. It is a culinary beacon for African and Black cuisine that curates the resources to amplify these food identities while preserving them for generations to come. Through her work, and with the release of AfriCali, Kiano carves out space in food media for underrepresented voices and cultures, challenging existing norms and championing inclusivity.

AfriCali: Recipes From My Jikoni showcases Kiano’s way of cooking, all of which is inspired by her global travels, time spent growing up in California, and what’s currently in her kitchen (jikoni means kitchen in Swahili). Kiano’s recipes provide a glimpse into her kitchen, with twists on cherished family recipes and new creations that combine flavors from across Africa with California classics, all while embracing culinary innovation, accessible and easy-to-find ingredients, and the celebration of multicultural foods. Kiano invites readers to discover AfriCali cuisine, which intentionally builds new flavors while pulling from tradition and experience. AfriCali is published by Simon Element, an imprint of Simon & Schuster, and is on sale August 13, 2024.

Organized into six sections, recipe highlights from AfriCali include: 

-Veggies - Lentil Nuggets, Zucchini & Feta Bhajias, Grilled Corn Salad, Kale & Egusi, Feta & Herb Samosas

-Flatbreads, Rice + Friends - Garlic Butter Chapati, Herby Fluffy Flatbread, Jollof Rice, Kijani Seafood Pilau, Shrimp Fried Rice

-Eggs, Chicken + Seafood - Chips Mayai, AfriCali Rolex, Chicken & Okra Wet Fry, Kuku Paka Noodles, Yassa Poisson

-Beef, Lamb + Pork - Berbere Braised Short Ribs, Rosemary Suya Lamb Chops, Spicy Sausage, Couscous, Lentil & Kale Soup, Mom's Steak with Capers, Lamb Meatballs with Tomato & Chickpeas 

-Sweets + Drinks - Coconut & Cardamom Mandazi, Green Mango Olive Oil Cake, Dirty Chai Tiramisu, Passion Fruit & Lime Pie, Pili Pili Pineapple Margarita 

-My Jikoni - Baker’s Masala, Herby Harissa, Mango-Sweet Chili Sauce, Spicy Tomato Jam, Yaji (Suya Spice)

For additional details, follow on social media @kianomoju and visit

Photo Credit:  Kristin Teig


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