Chefs court government

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Mohalenyane Phakela

THE Lesotho Chefs Association (LCA), has pleaded for government support for the culinary arts industry which it says has great potential to boost the country’s tourism sector and the economy through job creation.

The chefs recently treated various government ministers to a mouth-watering dining experience at Dona@Balos Restaurant located at Thetsane Office Park.

In attendance were Deputy Prime Minister Monyane Moleleki along with Minister of Trade Habofanoe Lehana, Minister of Tourism Joang Molapo and the Deputy Education Minister, ‘Maphoka Motoboli.

However, Moleleki left early before he could enjoy the scrumptious meals which were served to his parliamentarian counterparts.

Hospitality outfit owners were also among the guests.

For starters, guests were served Soupa Doupa (flavoured butternut and mushroom soups) and angels on horseback (spicy chicken livers rolled in bacon served in peri peri sauce).

The main course was pepper crusted fillet of amazon beef served with mustard dui and chicken loripop (marinated oven baked chicken drumsticks laced with honey flavoured sauce).

Chocolate infused muse and berry combo sprinkled with chocolate soil was served as the dessert.

The delectable meal was prepared by LCA members alongside their guest chefs Arther Masocha from Zimbabwe and Sizwe Qubekhulu from South Africa, who vowed to continue supporting LCA until Lesotho’s culinary arts profession is taken seriously like back in their home countries.

Relaying their struggle, LCA administrator Chef Mamello Makote said they fail to participate in international contests and host workshops to create awareness therefore need the government’s support to promote the craft.

“The association cannot survive due to lack of offices and financial muscle to host stakeholders’ workshops and participate in international competitions such as the upcoming Ghana competition penned in for September,” Chef Mamello said.

“Currently, LCA is being funded by Chef Donald (Moletsane), who is the president of LCA, from his own pocket and that is only as far as his pocket can take him.

“We seek the cabinet’s assistance in promoting culinary arts in the country and beyond. We acknowledge the presence of Ms Motoboli as our greatest wish is to have this craft as part of the primary school syllabus so that we can groom chefs from a young age.”

Chef Donald was praised for his dedication to promoting culinary arts in the country as well as globally he has travelled as far as the United Arab Emirates where he was one of the judges in a culinary competition in 2017. However, it was said to be a sad case of a prophet who is not recognised in his hometown.

Chef Sizwe, who also addressed the ministers, said that LCA needs support as it cannot flourish on its own, therefore, needs all the support it can get.

“I have been coming to Lesotho for the past three years to assist this association in any way I can because we want to put Lesotho on a better place globally. The South African Chefs Association has over 12 000 members and many may think it is because we come from a privileged country, but I can tell you that it started somewhere.

“This profession is one of the sold-out jobs in the world. I have stayed in Germany and Malaysia through this art. My challenge to you is for you to support culinary arts for them to grow,” Chef Sizwe said.

Chef Arther echoed similar sentiments saying that there is need for African chefs to create a network to take the art to the world.

“We need to partner as African countries to exchange programmes to take on the world. We do not have fancy degrees as chefs but we have travelled the world by just carrying our knives and pans.

“I have known Chef Donald for the past three years and I have seen how much he is dedicated in empowering young chefs. Not all his products get jobs but others start businesses to help the government create jobs.

“We are here to share the skill and we request support to be extended to LCA so that there can be government to government exchange programmes between Zimbabwe, South Africa and Lesotho. If taken seriously, culinary arts can conquer the world,” Chef Arther said.

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