My Top 10 ‘Once in a Lifetime’ Experiences

My Top 10 ‘Once in a Lifetime’ Experiences

My Top 10 ‘Once in a lifetime’ experiences so far have included meeting celebrities, both in the human and animal world, gastronomical experiences in the most unusual of company and in the most exciting locations, watching my grandad graduate with a doctorate, as well as being able to donate my skills to a cause close to my heart. Here are my top 10 in no particular order.

1. Interviewing the late legendary Antonio Carluccio, OBE

I loved watching Antonio Carluccio with his partner in crime, Gennaro, on TV, and it always made me wanderlust about going to Italy and experiencing the off the beaten track foodie adventures, so much so that last year I found myself having lunch on a Saffron farm in Tuscany,  as well as going Truffle hunting.

His famous “MOF MOF” or “minimum of fuss, maximum of flavour” cooking philosophy has always stuck in my mind whenever I am cooking Italian food at home.

Antonio Carluccio

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Antonio Carluccio’s passing last year filled me with great sadness, and he will always be the greatest Italian chef that was!

I am forever grateful to have been given the opportunity for an exclusive  interview with him. I remember vividly how the night before I excitedly prepared some questions.  I did sneak in a non-food related question and am glad to report he loves cats as much as I do!

You can read more here.

You can watch the interview here.

2. Meeting Michel Roux Jr (3 times)

I have been so lucky to have had met one of my food heroes, Chef Michel Roux Jr a total of 3 times (every single time has felt like a once in a lifetime experience)! Once at HSBC when he was doing a book signing, the second time was while out dining and the third time was at the Langham London, where I was previewing the Valentine’s Afternoon Tea!

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He is such a lovely down to earth guy and always ready for a chat, always happy to take a photo, and always smiling!

3. Meeting Rick Stein at Chewton Glen

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I have lost count of how many of Rick Stein’s shows we have recorded and watch over and over again, our favourites being his India series, so much so that I even purchased the book.

He is Amit’s absolute favourite TV Cook and so when I found out he was doing an event at Chewton Glen in collaboration with the Pop up Picture Company around the time of Amit’s birthday, I had to get tickets. It was absolutely amazing and we even got to meet him properly and have a little chat!

He is just such an incredibly inspiring guy with so much enthusiasm for his love of food and it really showed when he spoke to us!

You can read more about the event here.

4. Having dinner cooked by James Martin on a Mediterranean cruise with P&O Cruises

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When Saturday Kitchen (the original one) left our screens I was devastated and for a period of time my Saturday morning were just not the same. When an opportunity arose to go on a Mediterranean cruise I jumped at it, and what was even better was that food hero James Martin was going to be on the cruise and I had a small intimate group dinner scheduled as part of the trip, where he would actually cook for us! Yes it was definitely a “pinch me, am I dreaming” kind of moment.

As you can imagine I totally fan-girled at every single moment and even more when he jokingly used me as an arm rest when I asked to get a photo with him!

He is even more gorgeous in real life!

You can read about the experience here.

5. Attending the Latin America 50 Best Restaurant Awards in 2016 in Mexico City

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When an email popped in my inbox inviting me to Mexico City to attend the Latin America 50 Best Restaurant awards I thought it was a joke at first. However, it was actually legit and I went to Mexico City all by myself and had the most incredible  time and it was such a superbly organized press trip. I got to experience the food, culture, arts and main sights in Mexico City too, which you can read about here.

Getting dressed up and attending The Latin America 50 Best Restaurant Awards was definitely a once in a lifetime experience. It was just phenomenal seeing all the various restaurants that were included and also getting to try the food for lunches and dinners throughout the week I was there at all the Mexican restaurants that were included in the list.

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6. Meeting Grumpy Cat

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I am obsessed with cats but there is one celebrity cat that I am totally obsessed with and that is Grumpy Cat!

When I heard Grumpy Cat was coming to London, I headed to HMV on Oxford Street and queued up by myself for at least 40 minutes, just to see Grumpy Cat. Sod’s law when it was my time to see her she had decided to close her eyes. It was a once in a lifetime experience nevertheless!

7. Afternoon Tea at Giraffe Manor in the company of Warthogs and Giraffes

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I grew up in Kenya I kind of took it for granted that we had access to see wild animals and it was only when I moved away I realised how lucky I was! On a visit back I scheduled Afternoon Tea at the Giraffe Manor and that was definitely a once in a lifetime experience scoffing on scones while Warthogs eyed them with glee.

The icing on the cake being able to feed and kiss the Giraffes after! You can read more here.

8. Breakfast on a helipad in Doha, Qatar

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One of those “is this really happening” surreal moments was when we had breakfast on top of a helipad in Qatar, at the Shangri-La Doha, with the most thrilling views of the city!

I think it is quite possibly THE best breakfast experience I have ever had and not sure how I can possibly ever top this one! Plus the coffee and croissants were to die for!

You can read more about my trip to Qatar here.

9. Attending my Grandad’s PhD graduation

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Nana

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My grandad is quite the role model – he is in his 90s, and was awarded the very deserving Honorary Doctorate of Humanities Degree by The United Graduate College & Seminary, USA on 13th December 2013. I was so grateful to have been in Nairobi during that time to attend the graduation ceremony, and walked alongside him as he went to receive this amazing accolade. It was definitely one of my top once in a lifetime experiences and that moment of proudness I felt will stay with me forever and motivate me in my own endeavours.

You can read a tribute to my role model, my grandad, here.

10. Volunteering at The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust (DSWT) UK Office

The DSWT is close to my heart, and alongside fostering orphaned elephants through monetary means, I have also had a once in a lifetime experience donating my excel and marketing skills to the UK office, helping with database maintenance as well as trends analysis to help plan fundraising  events better in the future.

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If would like to donate your skills whenever the office requires them, you can reach out to be asked to receive the email about volunteering opportunities by contacting:

US: infous@sheldrickwildlifetrust.org and you will be provided with an application form.

UK: infouk@sheldrickwildlifetrust.org

I receive the occasional email which details the type of help they require and it is a great way to support a fantastic cause.

Please note that there are no volunteering opportunities to work directly with the elephants in Kenya.

You can read more here.

The February topic is rather special – once in a lifetime experiences. The one/s that still makes your heart skip a beat, the time your eyes gleam remembering or maybe the one that makes your knees knock when you think about it…

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24 Comments

  1. February 1, 2018 / 9:33 am

    Binny these are fantastic moments and also show what a kind and good person you. I think my favourite is meeting Michel Rouk Jr three times!

    • binnyjs
      February 1, 2018 / 1:47 pm

      Thanks lovely!!!

  2. February 1, 2018 / 1:00 pm

    Love all of these Binny, especially when you got to meet Antonio Carluccio, what an amazing memory to have x

    • binnyjs
      February 1, 2018 / 1:47 pm

      Thanks love!!!

    • binnyjs
      February 1, 2018 / 1:47 pm

      thanks Aaron!

  3. February 1, 2018 / 3:14 pm

    Love these B! What an epic 10 ‘once in a lifetime’ moments. I especially love the fact you have met Grumpy Cat!

    • binnyjs
      February 1, 2018 / 3:45 pm

      Thanks hun xx

  4. February 1, 2018 / 3:15 pm

    What a fantastic and unusal list Binny – I love that you combine classic once in a lifetime travel experiences with other experiences like family, volunteering, and even Grumpy Cat!!!!

    • binnyjs
      February 1, 2018 / 3:45 pm

      Thank you 🙂 xx

  5. February 1, 2018 / 5:25 pm

    Incredible that you’ve all those fantastic chefs. You would you still like to meet?

    • binnyjs
      February 1, 2018 / 5:26 pm

      I would love to meet Ina Garten from The Barefoot Contessa and Heston!

  6. February 2, 2018 / 7:38 pm

    I kept grinning more as this post went on – firstly at how delighted Michel Roux Jnr always looks to be in your company, then at the fact your experience in Qatar is in there and then your grandad’s PhD ceremony!! Soooo cute! Loved this, so many incredible memories xx

  7. February 3, 2018 / 9:11 am

    That’s an amazing award for your Grandad! A really special time to have been in Kenya

  8. February 4, 2018 / 6:53 pm

    Your experience seems to be very amazing.I like your part of volunteering at The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust.Binny, I hope that through these experiences you have a lot of things to remember.

    • binnyjs
      February 4, 2018 / 6:54 pm

      I certainly do 🙂 Thank you so much for reading!

  9. February 4, 2018 / 11:17 pm

    I like this list! It’s almost like a list of gratitude. These seem to be incredible experiences, definitely once in a life time.

  10. February 7, 2018 / 12:30 pm

    You have met the creme de la creme of chefs haven’t you Binny? My favourite has to be James Martin, I love his pudding recipes! Loved ‘An African Love Story’ by Daphne Sheldrick so much, I had to read it twice. They are the most beautiful creatures on earth.

    • binnyjs
      February 7, 2018 / 1:01 pm

      Aren’t they!!! You have got to go visit them in Kenya now!!

  11. February 7, 2018 / 10:04 pm

    Love this list! It put s smile on my face for how rich and beautiful our experiences can be.

  12. Natasha
    February 8, 2018 / 8:24 am

    Amazing experiences! Your grandfather is awesome, such a fab role model for anyone!

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