In the hilly neighbourhood of Rebero in Kigali, there's a restaurant and hangout spot that's been embracing a culinary concept with deep historical roots – the Kamado Experience. This do-it-yourself (DIY) approach to dining has been captivating locals and visitors alike, providing a unique and interactive way to enjoy a meal. As our photographer, Dan Kwizera, and I ventured to The Rock Cocktail and Bistro on a Saturday, November 18, we were greeted by an atmosphere buzzing with the clinks of utensils and sizzling sounds. The wooden tables adorned with rectangle boards and hot stones hinted at the main attraction – cooking our own meat. ALSO READ: Falling for food, fulfilment, and displaying Rwandan cuisine: Chef Emma’s journey Before delving into the culinary adventure, I sat down with Hussein Kayitare, one of the staff members overseeing our Kamado Experience. He shed light on the history and philosophy behind this ancient cooking method. The Kamado experience is not a new concept. It has been there for over 3,000 years, Kayitare explained. It was invented by the Chinese, adopted by the Japanese, and later modified by Americans, known as the Big Green Egg. It's a grill that you use to bake, grill, and cook. It's not a typical grill; it's about slow cooking, imparting a unique flavour to the food. Named Jen and Janine, the two Kamado grills at The Rock are at the heart of the experience. The slow-cooking process enhances the taste, turning a simple meal into a flavorful feast. The names, Kayitare shared, add a personal touch, making the grills more than just cooking appliances. ALSO READ: Shema on introducing a new food tradition in Rwanda The perception of the clients now is positive. We introduced it like two months ago, and clients love it. It's not about money; it's a bonding activity between groups. Companies, especially those looking for retreats or team-building activities, find the Kamado experience ideal, he continued. As we delved into the culinary experience, our group—comprising myself, a friend, and another pair of guests—engaged in grilling chicken, pork sausages, and beef on the Kamado grill. The restaurant facilitated the process by providing pre-seasoned bowls of chicken, pork sausages, and beef fillet, complemented by an assortment of sides such as rice, fries, and salads. While I may not consider myself a cooking enthusiast, the Kamado Experience brought a different dimension. Grilling our own meat allowed us to engage in a hands-on culinary activity, turning temperatures and ensuring the perfect sear. The camaraderie deepened as we engaged in conversations with our fellow grillers, where our conversations ranged from current affairs to more complex topics like Artificial Intelligence and Blockchain. ALSO READ: Choma’d: The new age grill As Hussein Kayitare mentioned, this DIY concept challenges the traditional expectation of going to a restaurant and having the food prepared for you. The Kamado Experience not only offers a unique culinary adventure but also acts as a social catalyst, bringing people together over a shared cooking and dining experience. Rwanda, like many places, witnesses a constant culture evolution shaped by the diverse array of people from across the globe who visit the country. This phenomenon introduces a unique facet that can be likened to 'gentrification'—not in the sense of sweeping transformations to neighbourhoods but rather in the manner Rwanda warmly embraces individuals from diverse backgrounds. The collective efforts of the people ensures that everyone, regardless of their origin, can savour a taste of their homeland. During my time at the restaurant, it became evident that while the majority of guests were foreigners, there was a notable presence of Rwandans, an inclusive spirit that defines the nation's cultural landscape.