Namibia’s New Chefs | DocFilm | DW | 11.02.2016
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Namibia’s New Chefs

Young people from remote villages in Namibia are cooking their way to a better life in exclusive lodges. They’re learning how to satisfy the palates of their international guests.

26.01.2016 DW Doku Namibias neue Köche 1

A brand new life for the young Namibian chefs.

Traditional dishes from Namibia’s Herero tribe don’t often feature sage, fennel or rocket. But 26-year old Uerihepura Mbuende, or “Uerii”, now works with them daily. He had to learn a lot in order to accommodate the needs of his international diners. But now he heads an entire kitchen. The Namibian Institute of Culinary Education (N.I.C.E.) produced a new generation of exceptional chefs. A budding German chef is also among the trainees. They have no trouble finding work after the program because Namibia’s tourism industry is constantly on the lookout for new staff in the lodges.

26.01.2016 DW Doku Namibias neue Köche 2

Hendrin was offered a job in the exclusive Wolwedans Resort.

Hendrin (30) is just one of these sought-after chefs. She’s been offered a job in the exclusive Wolwedans resort among some of Namibia’s most spectacular scenery, a six-hour drive from Windhoek. The resort belongs to the founder of the chef school, Stephan Brückner. He always found himself short of qualified chefs, often having to recruit from South Africa. This prompted him to launch a chef school. Partly for his own gains, but Brückner also had a vision. He wanted to provide people with good vocational training to put them on track for a better life. So far, 200 people have passed through the school successfully and virtually all of them have jobs. Including Uerii, who comes from a small village where his grandfather raises cattle. He often goes back for visits but he has no intention of returning to live.

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