Cooking Show is a video series documenting the preparation of a single dish. From professional chefs to home cooks and everyone in between, we are peeking into Pittsburgh kitchens to watch local experts at work. Watch more in this series here.
Partially hidden under the Trib Total Media digital banner on Grant Street in downtown Pittsburgh sits the unassuming Lydiah’s Coffee House, which owner and chef Lydiah Wanyoike opened in 2013 to “bring a taste of Kenya to Pittsburgh,” she said.
“It’s my passion,” Wanyoike told me during a recent visit. “We owned a restaurant in Kenya, my dad and my mom. They also came from a background of cooking where my grandfather was a chef, too. My sister owns a guesthouse, and she cooks there. I think it is just in our blood.”
Despite a tiny kitchen, Wanyoike’s cooking packs gigantic flavor, often thanks to a combination of multiple curry powders that creates a unique, spicy taste. Lydiah’s offers a daily special—the only meal available on any given day, in fact. A customer favorite is Thursday’s curry spaghetti with pork ribs.
We filmed this latest Cooking Show segment on a Monday, when the menu advertised a surprise traditional Kenyan meal. Watch as Wanyoike prepares curry ribs with greens, rice, and ugali, an East African grits-like dish made from white cornmeal. And, as a bonus, she finishes with a chai.