Maria Bradford Kitchen

Maria Bradford Kitchen

Maria Bradford started cooking when she was just nine years old. Although she continued to love cooking for friends and family, she’d never actually considered this as a serious career. She says, "When I was growing up in Sierra Leone, the dominant career advice was to become an accountant. Until my early twenties, I even convinced myself that this was the only realistic career path for me. I studied an accounting degree and even gained employment in accounting roles. I was unhappy and unfulfilled working in roles I didn’t enjoy. However, every time I cooked for people they loved it and were very complimentary. For ten years I thought they were just polite."

She remembers that her ‘ah ha moment’ occurred when her cousin asked Maria to cater for her baby shower. "Everyone loved it so much that I decided to follow my instinct and go for it by turning my passion into a business."

From this point onwards, Maria had found her calling: bringing delicious West African dishes to a broader audience. Now she regularly hold dinner parties, corporate events and weddings in Sierra Leone, Liberia, and the UK; and she's a regular fixture at farmers' markets and food festivals within Kent with her growing product line of drinks and chilli sauces.

Maria says, "I love creating new dishes, and I want to be an ambassador for African ingredients and African food, all inspired by my Sierra Leonean heritage. I am a proud African, who is extremely fortunate to be able to promote my culture and heritage through food."

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