James & Nicola Adedeji and family are the masterminds behind Bim’s Kitchen. Bringing the finer flavours of Africa to our rainy shores their sauces and chutneys boast ingredients such as baobab fruit, alligator pepper, cubeb and hibiscus.
James, or ‘Bim’ sort for his Nigerian name ‘Abimbola’, shared with us a little bit about the family business and what sets their sauces apart from the rest.
Who’s behind the recipes for your sauces?
Bim’s Kitchen is the creation of myself and my wife Nicola. All our products are made to original recipes created by me with lots of tasting input along the way from the rest of the family, friends and even some of our customers. They are all modern creations rather than traditional recipes.
I lived in Nigeria as a child and it was there that I first learnt about many of the ingredients we now use in the range. It was while learning how to cook many of the traditional dishes that I discovered my talent for creating new flavour combinations with these new ingredients and started putting my own twist on many popular recipes. Many of the products in our range started out as things I used to cook at home and share with friends and family but over time they have been developed further into professional artisan recipes which many customers now enjoy across the country and beyond. As the business has grown, we have continued to experiment with many new ingredients as they have become available in the UK.
What’s in your sauces that set you aside from other sauciers?
Our mission at Bim’s Kitchen is to share the wonderful, diverse and delicious ingredients from Africa with a new Western audience. African food is very diverse which is perhaps not surprising when you consider that the continent is home to over 1 billion people across more than 50 different countries speaking over 2,000 languages. Each country and people have their own diverse cultures, traditions and, of course, food.
We use mainly ingredients native to or commonly used in Africa that many people have either never heard of or have never seen used in quite the way we use them like baobab fruit, moringa, tigernuts, tamarind, cashew nuts, alligator pepper, birdseye chillies and hibiscus. And these represent just a small fraction of the fascinating ingredients available across the African continent. We complement these exotic ingredients with other flavours we love from around the world.
We draw our inspiration and ideas from the ingredients themselves and local African dishes. While our main ingredients might make a lot of people run for the nearest encyclopaedia, we always try to make sure our end-products are delicious, versatile and easy to use, along the way finding innovative new uses for many age-old African ingredients.
Tell us more about your production process and how the family get involved.
We make all our own products ourselves from start to finish. We used to make them from our registered home kitchen in north London but have now moved to north Wales where we now have a larger commercial kitchen. All the products are cooked in small batches using high quality, natural ingredients all sourced from reputable suppliers in the UK. The whole family pitches in- myself and Nic cook and label and the kids make up boxes for sending orders out. We usually all go to the various food festivals we attend across the country.
What’s your favourite hot sauce aside from your own brand?
This is genuinely a difficult one! We have been privileged to meet a lot of absolutely fantastic small producers who make delicious hot sauces we’d be happy to make ourselves. We regularly swap products with other producers when we meet at events. At the moment we are working our way through some our favourites from The Chilli Alchemist, Grim Reaper, Mr Vikkis, L’ail Olive, Upton Cheyney Chilli Farm, Wiltshire Chilli Farm, Dartmoor Chilli Farm and Galloway Chillies.