Eugenie has a passion. A passion for food. In a country not known for its creative cuisine, Eugenie is a woman on a mission to change Rwanda’s tastes and expand its horizons.
Eugenie Nyirambonigaba was just 13 years old and in her second year of secondary school when the 1994 genocide in Rwanda carried off her parents and siblings. She was left to care for her five-year-old brother in a country wracked by war and grief. Today, she is a successful chef and entrepreneur with a growing client list and big dreams.
Years of hard work as a housekeeper paid off when she went to work in the home of a pair of British expats, who spotted her talent in the kitchen and encouraged her to return to school. With their support, she graduated in the top 10 of her class at Esther’s Aid School, where she studied culinary art, food science and hygiene, IT, business skills, and more.
She completed a three-month internship at Zen, a well-known Asian restaurant in Kigali and, with the couples’ support, went into business for herself. Now, married and juggling family life with her company, Home Appétit, she’s determined to expand her business even further. Along the way, she aims to open Rwanda’s eyes to the wonderful world of cuisine.