Doctor Who always goes for a jacket potato
Mum of three Kemi Nevins, 45, of Canton, runs Kemi’s at The Flourish, Lloyd George Avenue, Cardiff Bay.
In the 1960s a lot of Nigerians came over to the UK to study and my parents were some of those who did.
“I was fostered to a white British couple and I had an Irish grandmother.
“When I was six I went back to Nigeria for a year but suffered malnutrition because I wouldn’t eat the food, it was really awful, so I came back.
“I still have distant family links in Nigeria but I settled in the UK.
“I’ve always been very interested in food.
“My nan, Mary Anne, was brought up on a farm and always had loads of cookbooks around.
“I lived in London and went to a school in Norfolk where I was the only black girl and we had a wonderful teacher there who used to take a group of us to her home to cook – I think to take her mind off her husband.
“She had two kitchens and really encouraged us to have a go – she was a kind of mentor to me I suppose.
“After school I went into nursing and also did teacher training in Caerleon and then went on to teach health studies at St David’s Sixth Form College in Penylan.
“But I always kept my love of cooking and I like to come up with unusual combinations such as stilton and pear and pomegranate dressing.
“An opportunity came by in 1999 to open my own place on Mill Lane – I was 38.
“We opened on the opening day of the Rugby World Cup – can you imagine what that was like, just the buzz of it?
“It was a positive experience and I was there for three years before I took a job as a national facilitator, building links between the Welsh Assembly and the voluntary sector.
“But I was offered a chance to take over this shop in Cardiff Bay a couple of years ago.
“I thought why not? and kept my job on as well, but I’ve since gone full time – Nigerians, by nature I think, are entrepreneurial.
“Because of the great location we get a lot of familiar faces – some famous.
“Doctor Who has come in quite a few times with his girlfriend but he’s quite boring and always goes for a jacket potato with tuna and sweetcorn.
“But here it’s all about the more unusual ingredients – rose syrup or chilli flakes on new potatoes.
“It’s fun to try different things.”
Signature dish: Salad feast.
To make a booking contact: 029 2045 3335.