Dine with Chef Willard Nengomasha

They always say, fashion and farming have seasons. Did you know that food dishes have seasons as well?

My Afrika Magazine received an invitation from one of Chef Tehillah Zimbabwe’s Chefs, Chef Willard Nengomasha in their kitchens. 

Chef Willard Nengomasha shared his experience as a Chef and provided insights on the methods of some of his favourite dishes. 

We also learn some about some of the trending dishes this summer season and we get an opportunity to prepare some.

Check out the conversation.

TR: Chef Willard Nengomasha thank you for inviting, us to your kitchen?

WNIt’s a great pleasure to have you, thank you so much for finding interest in us, you are much appreciated.

TR: Can you tell us about your brand, Chef Tehillah Zimbabwe?

WN: Chef Tehillah Zimbabwe is a privately owned food business that offers top notch events-catering and fine dining services. 

As a young Chef in Zimbabwe, it is quite difficult for culinary graduates to find employment in the Hospitality Industry and also because culinary education is generally expensive globally, I couldn’t wait to complete school and and seek employment but rather decided to use my gift in the kitchen to generate income which inturn was channeled towards tuition and the purchasing of capital equipment for my kitchen operations – thus Chef Tehillah Zimbabwe came to existence, Tehillah being my third name.

TR: What is your current favourite dish?

WNHonestly, I’m not one to zero in on one specific dish. But as a Fusion Chef, I’m always experimenting with flavours and ingredients from all over and the outcome for me is quite good each time that I can’t say this one is my favourite. Nevertheless, I love Pork, especially sticky ribs served with a light starch such as fries with a nice refreshing garden salad. I think I could have that every day.

TR: Can you share with us methods on preparing the dish?

WNI’ll share with you a slight variant. 

Now instead of using your normal potatoes for the fries try using sweet potato instead. 

Also, for your sticky pork ribs, rather than using BBQ sauce, you can glaze your ribs with reduced real pineapple juice after roasting them in the oven sprinkled with smoked paprika for that smoky flavour. 

To balance the sweetness, prepare a nice watermelon and feta salad. You’ll realize you’re not too busy to cook after preparing this easy but top-class meal which inspires a return to the kitchen.

TR: One might wonder we are in the summer season, what type of dishes would you suggest one to have?

WNFresh salads, fruit desserts, everything off the grill, and frosty cold drinks. Get the recipes that make summer shine.

TR: Yes, I had asked you what is your favorite dish, but what is your African dish that you call it your family dish?

WN: Love my oxtail served with ‘sadza rezviyo riya’ and a nice peanut butter tsunga.

Man, I tell you, traditional never tasted any better. But I’ve since tried beef mixed with okra and I asked myself, ” why have I never tried this before?” because it’s super delicious!

TR: What inspires majority of your dishes?

WN: Our drive at Chef Tehillah Zimbabwe is to prepare and produce high calibre meals that’re delicious but not compromising on health. 

You’ll find out that most diseases are a result of poor diets and eating habits. 

Many people when they hear about healthy eating, they picture dull whole grain foods and unappetizing entrées, but we are here to show you that you can enjoy your food while it is healthy at the same time. 

As such our mantra is “Delicious meals, inspiring health”.

TR: Next month the world is celebrating, World Chef International day. How are you planning to celebrate the day?

WNAt the moment, I’m engaged with a large hospitality establishment and the kitchen gets so busy that I hardly get time to myself.

Nevertheless, I’m sure the team of Chefs I’m working with will make an amazing menu for our guests that day. 

However, I plan on getting a new Chef’s coat I designed myself tailor-made.

TR: Before we concluded the conversation, what is the Golden rule of your kitchen?

WN: Clean as you go!

 I’ve realised how some food personnel work in dirty environments and untidy workstations which results in gloomy kitchens and food contamination.

 Myself I take pride in my vocation and take high regard for food safety standards, as such, I work with a team that understands the importance of a clean food environment and food safety standards at all levels of production. 

You’ll come to appreciate that of all the functions I’ve catered for, no one complained of any food poisoning related complications which shows us that we’ve succeeded in as far as this matter is concerned.

TR: Any advice to upcoming Chefs?

WNI’d encourage versatility. It’s good to be the best saucier or Garde manger but it’s best to be master of all sections in the kitchen. 

One can specialise but first and foremost to be competitive in the commercial kitchens, I highly recommend being fully versed with all sections of production. It also increases your chances of gaining a higher post when seeking employment as a d even feels so good in terms of personal professional development and self-actualisation.

TR: Thank you for your time!!

WNYou’re most welcome, many thanks to you too and the readership for taking time to know more about us.

Instagram: @chef_tehillah_zimbabwe.Bookings and enquiries, WhatsApp on +263 771 415 725.

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