Chef Fred Ntare from Sikia fine dining at Crowne Plaza shares his passion for food and his inspiration behind the kitchen!
How long have you been in the culinary field?
I come from a family which believes in hard work, respect for people and the environment, and to put God first in all. I’m told I am an enthusiastic, self-driven person…and I love what I do as a chef. I’ve been in the culinary field for 8 years.
If you weren’t a Chef, what would you be doing?
Honestly, I’ve never thought about what else I could become, but just fell in love with cooking. This started when I was a young boy in Class Four.
What or who inspired you to become a Chef?
When I was young, I loved food so much and ate so much, so I wanted to know how those foods were made. This curiousity made me so keen in my Home Science lessons, and throughout my college levels, and later in my internships in different hotels, and even in casual work. I have met some great chefs, and continue to be inspired by those I meet to date.
What is one item/ingredient that is ALWAYS in your kitchen at home, and why?
Dry and fresh herbs such as rosemary, dhania, thyme. etc. This is because I love the aroma that comes from these wonderful plants that God has blessed us with – Wow. When you use them right, they transform your food into something wonderful.., delicious.., lovely….just name any sweet words that describe food.
What was your worst culinary disaster?
Doing a plated service for 800 guests in an outside catering function. I was on the grill and the guests were ordering from me their steaks cooked to temperature – rare, medium, medium well and well done ! That was quite a disaster for me!
Where do you eat on Chef’s night off? Any hidden gems around Nairobi you’d recommend?
Talisman in Karen. Their salmon is awesome (as is mine here at Crowne Plaza)…
What is your dream culinary destination/country (places you’ve been or would love to go) and why?
I’ve never been outside Kenya, but my dream would be to work alongside Michelin starred chefs in Dubai, UK and France. These chefs are doing things in the culinary field that truly inspire me.
Chef’s are known to work very long hours…what do you do with your limited free time?
In the little time I have, I work out before going back to run the meal services. I also look through the internet and culinary books to research new ideas in order to transform my own creativity.