Compiled by Marita van Rooyen
Situated in a classic traditional building – which formerly served as prominent businessman Albi Brückner’s residence – and complemented by modern features, Windhoek’s Namibia Institute for Culinary Education (NICE) Restaurant and Bar brings a synergy of culinary elegance and great interiors to the city’s gastronomical scenario.
Encompassing a selection of private dining rooms, stylish lounges, and courtyards, diners are invited to pick their own personalised eating spot. The NICE menu features a diverse range of international cuisine that is summed up as fusion food with an experimental touch, and is infused with Namibian classics and traditional dishes.
Head chef Tinus Adriaanse rules the kitchen here, and trains students from the Wolwedans Foundation when they are doing their practical work at the Institute. Tinus says he derives great pleasure from ‘empowering the people in my kitchen and grooming them to become experts in the culinary field’. He has played an important role in pushing former trainees to greater heights, including Uwe Hanssen, who was selected as the 2013 Namibian Chefs Association’s Under-25 Chef of the Year, and went on to represent Namibia at the Hans-Bueschkens Semi-Finals of the World Global Challenge.
Tinus says the open kitchen at NICE allows eaters to appreciate the chefs’ hard work, which in turn motivates them to work harder. Environmentally aware, NICE recycles all the waste generated in the kitchen, with food leftovers added to the onsite compost heap (complete with earth worms), which in turn is worked back into the organic vegetable and herb garden, rounding off the food cycle and supporting minimal wastage.
The NICE story
As the country’s first and foremost chef’s finishing and training school, NICE produces excellent professional chefs ‘with a fire in their belly’, and employment-ready for the local hospitality industry.
Founded in 2007 in response to a shortage of trained personnel in the Namibian tourism sector, NICE facilitates the curriculum offered by the Namibia Training Authority (NTA).
Taking in groups of between 20 and 40 passionate individuals, NICE works on a joint training programme with the Wolwedans Desert Academy, exposing students to both lodge- and city-based hospitality and restaurant operations. Fully funded by the Namibian leg of the Millennium Challenge Account and the Wolwedans Foundation Trust, students from all backgrounds are given the opportunity to enrich themselves and become professionals in the industry.
Favourite Recipe for the season
by Chef Tinus Adriaanse
CHARGRILLED TUNA STEAK ON A BED OF COUSCOUS ACCOMPANIED BY ORANGE CHILLI SAUCE AND ROCKET SALAD
Couscous: Mix the chopped apricots with the prepared couscous. Add a little hot water and let stand until ready.
Rocket salad: Combine olive oil with balsamic vinegar, garlic and brown sugar in a small container. Place baby rocket, cherry tomatoes and red onions in a salad bowl and toss with olive-oil dressing. Add Parmesan cheese.
Tuna steak: Chargrill the tuna for 2–3 minutes on each side.
Sauce: Wash the chillies, remove any stems and place into a saucepan. Zest the oranges and add zest to the chillies. Juice the oranges and add to the pan. Add vinegar and sugar. Heat and simmer until the chillies are cooked and soft.
Serve and enjoy!