From Silverbacks to Silverchefs! – Diary of a Muzungu

From Silverback Mountain Gorillas to Silverchefs – how meals helps put the Gorilla Highlands of southwestern Uganda, Rwanda and the DRC on the vacationer map.

Gorilla Highlands Silverchef competition. Kigali Marriott Hotel with Odeke Steven
Odeke the journalist meets Odeke the chef
Gorilla Highlands Silverchef Competition Kigali 2018
Chief Decide Professor Wolfgang Thome broadcasts the winners of Gorilla Highlands Silverchef Competitors 2018 held in Kigali
Gorilla Highlands Silverchef Competition Kigali 2018

“You got here all this fashion simply to attend a cooking competitors?”

After a month of residing within the village on posho (maize porridge) and beans, little persuasion was wanted to journey a day and a half to style the creations of sixteen cooks and to benefit from the Kigali Marriott Lodge’s phenomenal breakfast!

How might I resist the lure of meals (that I didn’t have to organize), a keep in a prime worldwide resort, the prospect to be taught extra about hospitality (my first jobs had been in lodges) and to community with tourism colleagues and media from throughout East Africa?  

Most significantly although, I used to be delighted to be invited to assist the work of Gorilla Highlands (the brains behind the Silverchef Competitors), creating constructive tales about this ridiculously lovely nook of the world.

Lake Bunyonyi viewed from Bushara Island
Lake Bunyonyi seen from Bushara Island, southwestern Uganda, a part of the Gorilla Highlands area

And so it was that I discovered myself touring from my present residence close to Fort Portal to Kigali: by boda boda, matatu taxi, bus, personal rent automobile, one other matatu, bus (Jaguar Government Coaches, comme d’habitude) and eventually a moto (the Rwandese phrase for bike or boda boda) from Nyabugogo bus park in downtown Kigali.

What’s the Silverchef Competitors?

“In a spirit of pleasant co-operation” sixteen cooks representing sixteen institutions from Uganda, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo congregated on the Kigali Marriott Lodge for Gorilla Highlands’ Silverchef Competitors 2018.

Gorilla Highlands Silverchef Kigali Marriott
Behind the scene preparations on the Kigali Marriott Lodge. PHOTO Lorna Pasqua

Two shifts of eight cooks took over the 4 kitchens of the Marriott Lodge to organize their dishes. Behind the scenes, the judges watched the cooks’ preparations. Every chef had the identical substances (factors had been deducted for anybody who didn’t stick carefully to the foundations!) Cooks had been judged not just for the style of their meals however the cooks’ presentation expertise, their creativity and their time administration expertise.

sampling Silverchef Competition entries 2018
After the judges’ had sampled the cooks’ creations, it was our flip to strive all of the yummy dishes! PHOTO Panoractu

Speaking in regards to the competitors, Miha Logar of Gorilla Highlands mentioned “It’s good for cooks to get away from their very own atmosphere every now and then. They typically lead a demanding way of life, far-off from their household. We imagine that occasions like this construct a chef’s self-confidence. Having the prospect to journey is a little bit of an journey, whether or not visiting a brand new nation or a distinct a part of their very own nation.”

“I see cooks as ambassadors” says Miha Logar. “They’re a key a part of a terrific tourism expertise.” Pictured right here: Chef Henry Wanyama with Katara Lodge’s Chef Catherine, the one feminine Silverchef entrant

Not solely was 2018 memorable for being Silverchef’s inaugural occasion in Rwanda, the Democratic Republic of Congo additionally joined the competitors for the very first time. (Guess which fortunate journey blogger has an invite to Goma?)

“It’s been a giant determination to work within the DRC and I’d prefer to thank all of the stakeholders within the area who’ve given their enter, ideas and ideas on this topic.” Will subsequent yr’s Silverchef discover us within the DRC? We wait and see.

Silverchef Competition 2017, Birdnest Bunyonyi Resort, Uganda
Cooks from the Kigali Marriott and southwestern Uganda gathered for the Silverchef Competitors 2017, held at Birdnest Bunyonyi Resort, Uganda

Earlier editions of Silverchef have been held in Uganda: in Kisoro, Kabale and Lake Bunyonyi.

What’s journey with out good meals?

Though at first look the purpose of the Silverchef Competitors is to win the prized silver chef’s hat, the occasion is a part of an even bigger strategic initiative. On the coronary heart of the Gorilla Highlands’ philosophy is the assumption that tourism is usually a main device for improvement. Tourism creates much-needed jobs and alternatives to coach. With little native trade or manufacturing, tourism is the very best guess for bringing income. Monetary funding is essential, however coaching, alternative, innovation and self-confidence are additionally essential.

Cooks carry their supporters and managers to Silverchef. Some resort managers journey to the occasion in search of new workers. For lodge workers, tour operators and the broader tourism trade, the weekend of the annual Gorilla Highlands Silverchef Competitors is an opportunity to work together, community and be taught – about cooking, regional tourism and hospitality, and what tourism within the area must develop and flourish.

Silverchef 2018 judges, Kigali Marriott Hotel
Silverchef 2018 judges, Kigali Marriott Lodge

This yr’s Silverchef judges had been (from left): final yr’s Silverchef winner Allan Mukasa, Sylvia Kalembe of Uganda Tourism Board, Chief Decide Professor Wolfgang Thome, Yves Ok. Ngenzi of Rwanda Growth Board and Andre Ngoja-Ngoja from HORECA the Affiliation for Hoteliers, Eating places and Cafes in North Lake Kivu, DRC. The incomparable compere was Nash Barrett, Co-Founder SafeMotos.

all-day hike Bwindi Impenetrable Forest. Gorilla Highlands
An all-day hike with Gorilla Highlands three years in the past took us throughout Bwindi Impenetrable Forest. We began in Buhoma and led to Nkuringo – pure magic from begin to end!

What’s Gorilla Highlands?

Many vacationers come to this space of East Africa due to the gorillas, however there’s a lot extra to discover within the area: mountaineering volcanoes, staying the night time in a group homestay, experiencing one of many area’s cultures and consuming good meals after all!

So who had been the winners of Gorilla Highlands’ Silverchef 2018?

In line with Miha, “in our e book, all of the competing cooks are winners. They’ve dedicated to participating within the competitors and we’re grateful for that.” That mentioned, right here’s the checklist of High quality Cooking Certificates winners:

  • Chef “Rama” Ramadhan Sindayigaya, Marriott, Kigali (Rwanda) – Gorilla Highlands Silverchef 2018 and finest Rwandese chef.
  • Mukungu Akimu, Grand Legacy Lodge, Jinja (Uganda) – finest Ugandan chef
  • Manishimwe Jean Bosco, Lake Kivu Serena Lodge, Gisenyi (Rwanda)
  • Musasa Marcellin Tshite, Virunga Lodge, Volcanoes Nationwide Park (Rwanda)
  • Odeke Silver, Cephas Inn, Kabale (Uganda)
  • Jean Bosco Birindwa, Ihusi Lodge, Goma (DR Congo) – finest Congolese chef
  • Otim Amos, Protea Lodge, Kampala (Uganda)
  • Emmanuel Murwanashyaka, ParkInn by Radisson, Kigali (Rwanda)
  • Sam Mbabazi, Bunyonyi Overland Resort, Kabale (Uganda)
  • Paul Mulyampiti, BirdNest Resort – Lake Bunyonyi (Uganda)

One of the best Rwandan chef additionally obtained a prize from Rwanda Growth Board: a visit to Volcanoes Nationwide Park to monitor the gorillas! The profitable chef from Uganda received a visit to monitor the gorillas in Uganda, courtesy of the Uganda Tourism Board and Uganda Wildlife Authority.

Go to the Gorilla Highlands website online to be taught extra about journey in southwestern Uganda, Rwanda and the DR Congo.

… If you happen to like it … share it! 😉

Related Stories


The right way to Select the Greatest Automotive Workshop...

Selecting the perfect automobile service middle could be difficult, particularly when your prized...

Weekend Break in Liverpool: The Good 2-Day Itinerary

A weekend break in Liverpool is a must-do, regardless of your pursuits. Crammed...

Why Extra & Extra Digital Nomads Are Wanting For...

Being a digital nomad is superb. Nevertheless, there’s a cause why increasingly more...

The Affect of Thai Spices: A Flavorful Information to...

Thanks for publishing this data in your web site. You could find the...

Copenhagen approves vacationer tax | Journey Information

Guests to Denmark’s capital might quickly pay a vacationer tax after it was...

12 Most Lovely Locations in Taipei to Go to

4 This put up might have affiliate hyperlinks, the place I obtain a fee...

Popular Categories



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here