DONA@BALOS Chef and Hospitality School has joined forces with Bloemfontein’s Olive Chefs School to introduce an Advanced Diploma in Culinary Arts which to uplifting culinary arts in the country.
The heads of the two institutions, Chef Donald Moletsane and Chef Rinette Enslin, met in Maseru on Thursday and Friday to map the implementation of the course.
On her visit, Chef Rinette also prepared some of her signature dishes whose display and tasting was open to the public. Renowned Chef Ska Moteane was also among the guests at the event on Thursday.
For starters, Chef Rinette had prepared garden of mushrooms (mushroom done in seven different ways), pork fillet wrapped in bacon served with fresh vegetables was her main course while a truffle chocolate cake with berries and meringues were served as the dessert.
Chef Donald told the Xpress People after the meeting that the introduction of an advanced diploma will enable Lesotho’s hospitality sector to have its own qualified human resource.
“At the moment we do not have qualified chefs to manage the kitchens of different hotels who have resorted to sourcing chefs from outside the country,” Chef Donald said.
“Dona@Balos currently produces chefs at junior level who can only qualify to accommodate such positions after gaining five years of experience. The joint venture will enable us to develop our own industry. It will be a great boost for local tourism as we will no longer have to source chefs from outside the country.
“The advanced diploma course will come with international accreditation from City and Guilds and we would like to use that status to make a name for Lesotho’s cuisine. The plan is to be able to make international dishes from our traditional food.”
For her part, Chef Rinette said that Chef Donald studied at her school in 2002 and she was intrigued by the fact that he had opened his own school therefore felt obliged to help her student flourish.
“Bokkie (Chef Donald) was my student 19 years ago and I was so happy to learn that he is doing great here to uplift the culinary arts. We are looking forward to working together to upgrade Dona@Balos by introducing the Advanced Diploma in Culinary Arts which will put it on an international level.
“Olive Chefs School is recognised in over 180 countries around the world and 80 percent of our graduates get employment in overseas countries such as United Arab Emirates, which is what we intend to do with Dona@Balos.
“Culinary arts are a huge industry which can make a lot of money which can transform the country’s economy hence we need to partner with the government. We are ready to start but we are just waiting for the finalisation with the education regulators this side,” Chef Rinette said.
The two chefs also said they would engage in exchange programmes for the students to share skills.