Guest blogger (and award winning journalist) Marita van Rooyen met one of Namibia's top chefs the other night and just had to share:
Worldwide, it was socialiate Paris Hilton who put the Hilton brand on the map, but in Namibia it is Paul Gindra who is unknowingly luring guests to one of Windhoek’s five-star facility’s.
As the Hilton’s Executive Chef, Paul creates out-of-this-world culinary delights, while his other duties include menu design, planning and implementation, and training and managing the kitchen team.
He tries to implement a new menu every quarter, or at least every six months, and recently launched the Ekipa Restaurant’s summer menu. “I always try to source my ingredients locally, and stick with organic, seasonal products to design a menu that’s fitting to the local conditions.”
As a fresh take on the summer menu, expect dishes such as roasted root vegetable salad, cream of tomato soup, char grilled Norwegian salmon (freshly flown in twice a week), and vanilla ice-cream orange coulis, crème brulee and chocolate mouse terrine.
“I believe in returning to basics and cooking uncomplicated dishes that rely on the natural flavours with the best quality ingredients.”
Other fresh, Namibian ingredients include asparagus, venison and fresh line fish, all prepared in simple dishes with lots of flavour. Available since 1 November, the new menu includes local cuisine that is unique to Namibia including a Lamb Potjie that was created in line with local tastes and preferences.
As a bonus, wine master Eldon Kaiyamo is always on hand to pair your meal with an excellent wine. For summertime, he recommends the Haute Cabriére Pinot Noir from Franschhoek in South Africa; a smooth wine that goes well with red meat, fish, or poultry.
The local Hilton legend
Paul, who hails all the way from our neighbouring country of South Africa, left his home soils at the age of 17 to start his apprenticeship in the United Kingdom. Now, some 12 years later, he has worked all over the world at some of the most exclusive hotels. His experience includes having worked as the opening head chef at various 5-star establishments in Ethiopia and South Africa and he was also part of the South African Olympic Culinary Team that won gold in Germany in 2008. Paul is supported in the kitchen by a great team of young, energetic chefs.
The Hilton Windhoek is one of 540 Hilton hotels from 77 countries worldwide. Guests can enjoy the new menu every day from 18:00 until 22:30 at the Ekipa Restaurant. For bookings, call 061 2962666.