When you’re born and raised in a vibrant country like Zimbabwe, it inspires you to cook with a passion that celebrates people who are resilient, resourceful and creative.
Over a decade of working in the hospitality industry including country clubs, hotels, restaurants and diners both in America and Canada have been my culinary learning environment.
My love of food and cooking was cultivated years before that when as a knee-high little girl, I trailed my talented mother in the kitchen, watching her skillfully prepare the most decadent meals. Years living and travelling in Scandinavia, discovering new dishes in Europe and relishing delicacies in parts of Africa only heightened my desire to create and experiment in the kitchen with newly discovered ingredients.
Eating and cooking should not just be about nourishment and filling bellies but should be exciting, scrumptious and serve to evoke nostalgia, create shared memories, be a never-ending discovery that’s accessible and fun!
A competitive stint on the Food Network television cooking show “Wall of Chefs” brought everything full circle for me. The experience pushed me further than I ever could go. Feedback from world-class celebrity Chefs boosted my confidence and opened doors for me to channel my cooking experiences to different levels of creativity centred around food.
In a quest to bring Zimbabwe’s indigenous ingredients and cooking styles to the forefront, I want to look at the same local foods I ate as a child and explore ways to elevate them in a way that still respects their flavour profile and honours their existence and the people who have been cooking it for years.
Food blogging on https://www.thejoyjungle.com is born from a desire to explore cooking in a very personal way. It is my effort to talk about how big a role food plays in every aspect of our lives. I celebrate a fusion of cuisines. On the blog, you will see sadza in sushi form to inspire and share the joy we can have with food and how you can tailor ingredients to what you enjoy. I also believe that food should not only be accessible, but it should be approachable. I encourage people to explore ingredients in new, fun and innovative ways. As a chef, my biggest joy comes from embracing nostalgic ingredients and utilizing different cooking methods and food pairings. I am excited about the opportunities to collaborate on menu creations for new and soon to come restaurant ventures in Zimbabwe.
The pandemic and changes in conventional dining have allowed me to incorporate my love of interacting with people with formulating personalized menus in a Chef at Home service. I have been able to work closely with families and individuals to plan fresh meal rotations that cater to their dietary needs and food choices while offering them the opportunity to enjoy upscale meals with a restaurant ambience in the comfort of their homes.
A desire to keep learning new cooking techniques and stay on-trend with up-to-date gastronomic styles has inspired me to continue a culinary education at the renowned Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT). NAIT has a unique Chef in Residence Programme.
I embrace opportunities to learn from all resources available. There is so much value in learning from my peers and anyone who loves food and cooking, and it allows me to amplify and continually expand my culinary creations.
We live in a time where all great chefs must not only care about the quality of their produce but also be eco-conscious. I have partnered up with Vitagrow Urban Farms because I am aligned with their innovative, forward-thinking urban farming company that offers a sustainable farm to table concept that has continued to garner popularity all around the world. I am proud that they have brought this futuristic trend to Zimbabwe. Hydroponics allows for freshly harvested varieties of produce to be sourced year-round offering more options and inspiring ingenuity. Vitagrow has the potential to grow a wide array of ingredients that are customised to the needs of avid home cooks, chefs and grocery stores. I am excited to be part of the Vitagrow team by collaborating with them to create fresh, wholesome recipes with big, bold delicious flavours courtesy of the high-quality ingredients they produce.
I have only just begun on this culinary journey. I am excited about collaborating with companies, chefs, creatives, food producers and farmers who want to be at the forefront of an ever-evolving food culture. It is important to me that this all happens at home, in Zimbabwe where I first savoured sun-ripened fruits and salivated at the intoxicating scent of smoke emanating from succulent grilling meat.