Chef Edwin: ‘Culinary is very broad, you will all find your way and your corner to fit in.’
From Hurungwe to Harare to be an international kitchen, is the story of Edwin Murwira a Zimbabwe young chef.
My Afrika Magazine, journalist Tapiwanashe Rubaya talks to successful chef Edwin Murwira about his path to a life in the kitchen. During the interview he speaks about what inspires his fusion dishes and what his favourite dish is.
TR: Can you share your bio–Chef Edwin and achievements, education level in the culinary…
EM: My name is Chef Edwin Murwira. I was born from a small family, being the last born in a family of two. Born in Hurungwe and had most of my childhood there. I then migrated to Harare in 2017 and have been staying here since then.
I am chef by profession. I hold a National Certificate in Professional Cookery and a Certificate in Culinary Arts. No greater, achievements in Culinary as of yet but I’m striving to have some in the near future.
TR: How did your journey as a chef began?
EM: My journey as a Chef is quite a funny one actually.
I had a passion in public speaking and politics, during my early years in High school I was a public speaker and I vouched for students right and things in those lines. Then suddenly became interested in cooking. I really felt that it when I did it at home, during my free time I started practising on cakes and pastries. I could do this all at home, wasn’t perfect but I felt it. With the growing passion, I dropped school politics and all the public speaking. I then approached a lady teacher who used to teach the Food & Nutrition subject, wanting to join her class but she refused.
I sat for my exams in 2017. I did not really do well. I managed to pass English language and Literature in English.
My family suggested that I go back to school. I then repeated my Ordinary Level at Masvingo High School.
When I got there, I found out that they had Food and Nutrition subject too. I got at this school second term of 2018, and I was going in the exam class. This is where it gets interesting.
I registered for Food and Nutrition because I really knew what I wanted to do with my life. After registering for the subject then I started attending lessons just like everyone. I worked so hard because this was my introduction to the Food industry in the actual aspect.
I researched and studied so hard that my school mates thought I would pass that subject only. Second term exams I passed the subject with a C. Then we sat for final exams in November and I did well. Passed all my subject including Food and Nutrition that I passed with a good B. Then in 2019 after results I enrolled at a college for my professional cookery certificate at Herentals College Harare CBD.
I did well in that area.
I left an indelible mark at the college. Then in 2020 I enrolled for Culinary Arts certificate at Fine Dining Chefs Academy. Covid came in March. We did most of the stuff online then went back to college in August when lockdowns were lifted, and I graduated with my certificate in Culinary Arts and in 2021 I started my first job.
TR: What is the most satisfying part of your job?
EM: The most satisfying part of my job is when I’m tasked to make pastries. I do it from the heart and it makes me feel real because I’ll be creating something from scratch.
TR: Who is your clientele?
EM: My clientele base are people who understand what hiring a Chef is. Those that value what chefs can do.
TR: Your dishes are mainly a mixture of western and Africa tradition, what inspires your dishes?
EM: Yes. I’m more into the western of things but with me being an African born chef I am able to go back and prepare and cook for my roots. Most of my dishes are inspired by my mum.
She is the greatest chef I have ever known. Funny enough some recipes that I use up to date are from my childhood from what she used to cook for us at home.
TR: What is currently your favourite food book?
EM: My current favourite cookbook is not one. I’m inspired by one lady in South Africa and one in Zimbabwe.
The South African lady is Zanele she has a book called Senidhile Kodwa. Then the Zimbabwean lady is based in Victoria Falls her name is Sarah Lilford and her book is called Dusty Road Township Tastes.
TR: Can you share with us method and recipe of preparing your favourite dish?
EM: My favourite dish is Gango (Meat Deluxe).
It’s a mixture of different types of meat steaks that is beef, chicken, sausage, goat, chicken insides, ox liver, pork
Cook all steaks according to their cooking time and add covo at the end.
I can eat this dish at any given time, from breakfast to dinner to snacking.
TR: December was the busiest month, how did you manage to find time to rest and spend time with family?
EM: December was the busiest of all the Decembers I have seen my whole life. I did not really rest and there was no family to spend time with. My mother was away on holiday, and my elder brother doesn’t stay with us. So, after the work pressure I was still alone. No family.
TR: Tell us more about your journey at the Cookmore challenge show?
EM: My journey at cookmore was quite an interesting one. I loved it. It was the first ever tv show for me. It was interesting and I had fun. It was a great journey. I connected with other chefs, home cooks etc. I did not make it to finals but for me it was enough and was worth the struggle.
TR. Lastly what advise do you have to other young upcoming African chefs.
EM: I’m also young and i believe this will apply to me also however, I just quickly found myself in in the long run of chefs and corporate and culinary.
My advice would be, Strive for greatness, aim higher and know your purpose. Nothing beats determination and focus. Eyes on the price we will all make it. Culinary is very broad you will all find your way and your corner to fit in.
Chef Edwin Murwira (Facebook & Instagram)