Culinary duels as the kitchen hots up at Club Yugo


MASERU – The culinary industry is verily coming to its feet in the country as hundreds of graduates are being released in to the corporate world from cookery institutions across the country. Notwithstanding, the industry is already facing congestion, and many chefs who would otherwise grace local cafés opt to find jobs across the border.

But not for Tjama Nelson Mohlokaqala and Khotso Loape. The two friends have come together to beat the odds in a food fiesta that will be held at club Yugo as a Chef Challenge. The tow chefs told Life&Style this week of the sad reality of finding space to make a name for oneself in the industry here in Maseru, revealing the hardships of getting recognition locally compared to other countries – even just in the SADC region.

Loape, better known as Chef Kayee, further went on to say that “every year chefs are trained and placed but our country is not in a position to recognize the culinary industry and chefs at large.” “So we created an event, the Chef Challenge, to bring awareness and familiarize the people with the industry.”

The Chef challenge will be held at Club Yugo at Katlehong, in Maseru, where the two chefs will go head to head in a menu challenge where Kayee will be challenging the Club’s resident chef Uncle_T. The event will be held on June 5 with a surprise lineup of performances to refine the event. “We need to challenge ourselves to create a better a place for ourselves, a funny story I always tell people is that in every event in the country the menu is always the same.

Go to weddings, funerals, birthdays…you name them, it’s all the same, and that has to change,” says chef Tjama, adding that “at this event we will be putting food in the forefront and serving people with speed…and this is hopefully the beginning of greater things as we would like to go off location for a different feel in the future or better to take it to the other 10 districts of the country.” he added.

Tim Smith, owner of the successfully delicious Twelves Grill and Cafe in West Grove, in the US, wears many hats, and besides donning the countless hats it takes to run a business, he’s also a husband, proud father, race runner and a chef. And putting on the chef hat is one of his favourite things to do.

“Being a chef is awesome,” he says.

Tim gives five reasons being a chef is awesome, straight from the mind of an awesome chef – first is that a chef becomes the master of his own domain; pursuing one’s passion and using one’s creativity every day; collaborating with farmers to find the best, most inspiring ingredients; working with a team as well as making people happy every single day

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