Zimbabwe, Zambia

Kariba & Middle Zambezi

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There’s a new flavour in town

There’s a new flavour in town

New chef Carlos da Graça brings tasty food to the  bustling city of Tete
New chef Carlos da Graça brings tasty food to the bustling city of Tete
RHONA DE FREITAS

 

Well-known Mozambican chef, Carlos da Graça is heading up the kitchen at Park Inn by Radisson, Tete, which has just celebrated its second anniversary. New GM, Swedish born Johan Klang, says he will make the Park Inn the best hotel in the region, and proudly welcomed the new chef with his wealth of experience to the team.

 

Food and cooking have always been part of Chef Carlos’s life. His early years were spent helping in his father’s restaurant, and his mother still owns a traditional Mozambican restaurant in the Feira district of Maputo. Chef Carlos has cooked for many esteemed guests - including Jackie Chan, Brazilian singer Roberto Carlos and the late Nelson Mandela. “My food is different, I like to take special care, but also to make the guests feel that they are eating their Mama’s food when away from home,” he says with a mischievous smile.

 

Chef Carlos was sent at a young age to Portugal to further his culinary education and subsequently spent much of his professional career abroad in Portugal, Macau, Malaysia, Hong Kong and South Africa. He is enthusiastic about his new post, saying that the progressive management style of his Park Inn employers gives him ample space to create unique and varied dishes. “Our menus should balance the traditions of Mozambique and Tete as well as meeting the demands of international hotel guests,” he said.

 

This theme of melding international expectation with local flavour can be seen in the hotel garden, which features a great baobab tree encircled by the pool and outdoor bar area. The baobab tree is endemic to this region and Chef Carlos includes a yoghurt, called malambe - made from the baobab fruit - on the breakfast buffet. Other traditional Mozambican dishes include matapa – young cassava leaves, spiced and cooked with peanuts, cashews or coconut milk; chicken or beef stew with peanut sauce; and grilled chicken Zambiana – chicken grilled over charcoal with a coconut milk marinade.

 

The hotel restaurant offers breakfast and lunch buffets, and culturally themed - Italian, Portuguese, Asian, and Mozambican - evening buffets. Weekends kick off with a buffet on Friday evenings; a barbecue by the pool on Saturdays; and on Sundays a relaxed brunch buffet. There is also an a la carte menu and a bar menu available daily.

 

More from this issue:

Zambezi Traveller (September 2014)