I am Stephen Onyadi and I am a professional chef in my last semester of a B.A in Hospitality Management at University of Nairobi, Kenya. I warmly want to thank Amahoro Community team who offered me this beautiful chance of sponsoring me for this degree course that has brought this big dream to reality. I love to share knowledge and my dream has always been to become a culinary educator.
What were you doing before you went to Chef school?
I grew up in a large family of 11 kids. I was raised by a mother who never attended any school and a father who never made it to secondary school. My parents did substance farming to try and earn money to pay for their children’s school. I worked to help pay for my education, including working for a priest as a house helper and this is when I realized I wanted to get a degree in hotel management. After a while the priest was not able to employ me anymore, so I unfortunately I then had to drop out of school.
When I found work again, I was able to go back to school and get closer to earning my diploma. Those were hard years where I often worked until 1am after a school day so I could keep earning the money to pay for my degree. I made it through a couple of years, but it was not sustainable.
Then I met Caleb and Peace from the Amahoro Children’s Home. Caleb and Peace employed me to be cook for the ACCT when they traveled to the Entebbe Guest House. I remember Dr. Chris was jolly and friendly and it made me want to share with him a little of my dream of going back to school so that could teach more youths in the future.
What has your sponsorship helped you accomplish?
The sponsorship I received from Amahoro has helped me achieve many things. I have trained over 500 professional chefs in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania and Rwanda. I was elected general secretary for the East African Chef’s Association in 2019. I was also invited to develop education curriculum for non-formal education to support those who have dropped out of school in 2020. I am particularly proud of this curriculum, because these chefs remind me of my story.
I am also proud of the opportunities I have had to give back. I volunteer as a part time tutor with the YMCA, with Impact chefs and hospitality academy in Nairobi, and with the culinary school Uganda. When colleges closed due to COVID-19 I volunteered with Nile International Hospital. I opened up a kitchen for the hospital, developed a menu for patients and staff, and then recruited and trained staff who am so proud off.
I started a program with a local company in Uganda called Bringo to help minimize food waste. This program educates farmers on how to minimize waste during harvest and also it educates hotel chefs using every item left in one’s fridge before another purchase.
All the above opportunities have only come up because of this access to sponsorship for a degree I am accomplishing through the kind help from Amahoro Community team.
What do you want to do now?
This year I will complete my degree, but I am still working toward my life goals. My dream is to own a modern kitchen where I will be able to offer practical training classes to street kids and orphans who can’t afford further education but have attitude and ability to learn a hands-on skill. I will also help these students find internships in hotels to help ensure a successful career.
At this point in time, the Ugandan hospitality education sector is more of theory. People from Kenya are still running hotels and kitchens in Uganda, which is another reason I am excited to bring my expertise back to my country. I am proud to already be one of the most accomplished chefs in Uganda.
What are your favorite things to cook?
Now, I can cook 7 different cuisines. While most local chefs only know 2 cuisines, today I can brag of being able to cook French, continental, Indian, Italian and a couple of African cuisines. My signature dish is a Kenyan specialty called chicken and beef dialogue which you can see in the photo below
I cook a version of a dish the Americans who come to visit love to eat called Rolex, which involves wrapping a protein like meat or eggs in Chapatti, which is a flat bread.
Another dish I love to cook is Pork Ribs and Chapatti, which I will share with you now to help you remember Uganda.
RECIPE FOR PORK SPARE RIBS
Pork Ribs. 1kg
Soya sauce (dark) 1 tbsp.
Red Onions I hd ( roughly chopped)
Spring Onions 1 stk (roughly chopped)
Carrots 1 pc (roughly chopped)
Fresh Dhania 2 stalks
Salt 0.5 tsp
Water 2 ltrs
Barbeque sauce 500 gms for after margination.
Add all the above ingredients in a stock pot and bring to boil till the pork ribs become tender.
Strain off the ribs from the stock and leave it to cool for about 10 mins.
Put the ready ribs in a bowl and marinate the with the barbeque sauce.
Cover them up tight and keep in the chiller for over night.
Grill them on an average heat of 160c while applying the remains of the bbq sauce.
The ribs will be soft and tender falling of the born.
Serve this with steamed vegetables of ur choice and a chapatti.
Baking flour 0.5 kg
Eggs 1 pc
Milk 0.5 ltrs
Butter 20 gms
Red onion 1 finely grated
Carrots ½ finely grated.
Salt to taste
Vegetable oil for frying.
Add milk (loop warm), egg, butter, grated onions, grated onions and salt in a bowl. Teste the salt to your level of intake.
Add baking flour and knead with hands. Making sure the dough is moderately soft to hard.
Allow the dough 10 mins rest and then measure 50 gms balls and roll them wide to around 7 inch.
Heat the pan on fire, spray the pan with vegetable frying oil. Add the 7-inch-wide dough to the pan. Fry each till ready adding frying little frying oil till golden brown.
NB. To maintain softness turn your chapatti from side to side and time to time.
I look forward to seeing the photos for both the recipes.
Thank You All.
With Lots of Love,
Chef Stephen Onyadi