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“One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well” -Virginai Woolf.

The above food-related quote underscores the importance of food for the sustenance of humans.

As such, the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 2 enjoins countries to end hunger, achieve food security, improve nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture.

One of the means by which Food, a byproduct of agriculture, is prepared, is through cooking. Cooking is explained as the practice or skill of preparing food by combining, mixing, and heating ingredients.

Indeed, the food preparation process is a long journey. From purchasing the ingredients at the market, mall or online, through slicing, chopping, grating and grinding, the cook or chef could easily get exhausted. Talk less of mixing, heating and serving on the dining table.

Depending on the meal being prepared, it could take more than half a day. In light of this, cooking, like many human activities, is perceived differently by various people. While some consider it a chore, others say it is a pastime.

For most Ghanaian women however, the choice to cook or not is non-existent. It is part of the socialization process. Indeed, to be a woman in Ghana and not know how to cook, is considered a taboo by many tribes.

Thus, for women who see it as a pastime, honouring the societal expectation is only a matter of course. So, they excel at it and are able to, hopefully, easily capture the hearts of their husbands- the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach, the saying goes. Actually, some make careers out of it- caterers, nutritionists and food scientists.

On the other hand, those who frown on cooking, grumble at the thought of having to enter the kitchen, be it modern or mud-built or anything in between.

It bears stating that some Ghanaian men have entered the fray by going beyond considering cooking as a pastime, to making it a profession- Chef. This development, no doubt has put paid to a myth that held sway hitherto, of men’s food being pleasant to the tongue- Obarima  nkwan yɛdɛ, usually said in jest.

With the physical make up of men being considered as custom-made for difficult tasks, it goes without saying that chefs may not have any issues with the supposedly tedious process required to put food on the table, ready for munching.

Palm nut soup with fufu, a favourite meal in most Ghanaian homes, is a case in point. The amount of physical energy exerted during the preparation of this staple dish for the Akans, is such a turn- off for even the ardent lover of cooking.

Thus, it is for the sake of those who loathe cooking, due to the so-called drudgery associated with it, that many food manufacturing companies have decided to introduce products that lessen such perceived toil.

The manufacture of the palm nut paste and the fufu pounding machine attests to the speed with which industrialists are willing to help eliminate the frustration experienced by the eaters of this delicious diet.

Over the years, various implements that make the process of cooking less tiresome have been developed. They include; cutting board, can opener, mixing bowls, colander, vegetable peeler, potato masher, whisk, salad spinner, grater, shears, garlic press, honing steel and even knife sharpener. The blender and microwave oven are the commonest of all.

Another aspect of the cooking journey, is cutting the ingredients. Onion is said to emit some substance that makes the eye teary when being sliced for a meal. Blending, shredding or grinding pepper requires meticulous care to avoid being peppered in the eye. Many meal makers therefore dread these experiences.  

Dishrack to the rescue

Other vegetables such as carrots, tomatoes and cabbage may not pose much danger when being processed for a meal, yet they are time-consuming to get ready for consumption.

It is in a bid to meet restauranteurs, chop bar operators, cooks and chefs as well as persons who must cook for one reason or the other, half way through the cooking process, that Dishrack has been birthed.

Dishrack, a culinary experience brand, was introduced onto the Ghanaian market last year. Each Dishrack box comes with all the key ingredients needed- Carrots, onions, shrimps, name them. They come sliced, chopped or grated ready for use. All vegetables are washed and packaged in a way that sustains the freshness.

Marinated Protein like; beef, pork ribs, chicken, etc are also made ready for cooking. Different sauces and spices already measured in the right quantities come with each box.

The meal-kit brand currently has up to 8 carefully selected and curated meal boxes, with each box freshly packaged as ordered. Every box has different ingredients based on the package.

According to the 2021 Population and Housing Census, Ghana’s population is made up of 51% female. If the social stereotype that cooking is for females is anything to go by, then there is a lot of cooking going on daily.

Plus the population is highly youthful. An emerging characteristic from the mostly millennial segment of the youthful population is the culture of eating out. While this can be attributed to the exposure to fast food joints, it is equally due to the fact that most youth find cooking, hard work.

Thus, to encourage the culture of cooking, portray cooking as a fun and exciting experience, as opposed to the perception of it being a tedious process, Dishrack has announced a culinary experience campaign in partnership with telecommunications giant, MTN.

Dubbed, ‘Taste the Pulse’, the campaign is geared towards bringing out the inner chef in people. It is in line with Dishrack’s belief that “Everyone can be a chef”.

The campaign kicked off on 3rd November, 2021 with a call for nominations to find 3 chefs, who will be required to create a signature recipe each, to be out-doored to the public at an appointed time.

Dishrack’s partnership with MTN for ‘Taste the Pulse‘ competition reinforces the culinary innovations company’s objective of providing pre-portioned fresh ingredients for healthy meals prepared under 20 minutes.

MTN Pulse has always pushed for the youth to be more themselves and do more of what they love, through personalized product offers and partnerships, under their “Just Be” strapline. Through this strategic campaign, therefore, MTN Pulse customers will get to unveil and taste 3 new meal boxes.

“Both the MTN Pulse and Dishrack brands are deeply steeped in unique experiences, and this has inspired the ‘Taste The Pulse’ campaign. To bring these unique experiences to life, the brands are asking their customers to be the chefs that help them create the recipes for their new boxes,” a portion of a press release that announced the campaign reads.

Originators of the ‘Taste The Pulse’ campaign say, “it promises to serve up a much needed dose of excitement for the rest of the year.”

Want to join? Follow @mtnghana @dishrackgh #TasteThePulse to learn more.

Indeed, everyone can be a chef, so just be one.



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