We tend to forget that sometimes, you needn’t travel too far out of Kampala to kick-back and relax. There are a plenty of ways to relax and enjoy after a tedious week at work. Being a weekend, Hege, Sebastian, Tonje and I planned to do just that at the Sheraton Kampala.
We got to chill by the pool, but could not swim as it was being prepped for a wedding reception the following day.
We also caught the beautiful Kampala sun set, as we built up an appetite for dinner at the Seven Seas.
Meet Chef Aleksandar. As Chef de Cuisine at the Sheraton in their Seven Seas fine dining restaurant, he is in charge of the kitchen staff, designs their a’la carte menu, and organizes special dinners and functions for the hotel. He describes his role as one that is fast-paced, where new ideas are being worked on all the time. “Happy customers are my target and each of them is my happiness. I try to surprise our guests by making them meals they have never tried before, and I never try to copy any other chefs or to make their food. I always make meals with my signature from my head and heart. ”
His love for cooking started at age 6, when he tried to make Penne with cheese and pancakes with chocolate cream. It was funny to watch, but from then on all he could talk about was becoming a Chef. Later, he went on to chef school, where he saw his true potential and his love for cooking and the kitchen grew strong. Now he describes each day enjoyable with a smile, as he has found his passion.
Favorite dish to prepare for Seven Seas guests and Ugandan ingredients to use
There are several favorite dishes, but for sure one of the top ones is “Parmesan Crusted Salmon” or “Veal Chicks braised in soya”. I’m the biggest fan of food which is cooked very long, because that way, we get the best taste out of either meat or fish.
Uganda has amazing fruits and vegetables, which are vital when you want to prepare good meal. The best thing is, here the food is very natural, not grown with lots chemicals. For me one of the best ingredients is Sweet Potato “Lumonde” and also very famous Bananas “Matooke”. With these we can make a lot different meals by combining different type of meats.
I love when guests keep coming back, ask us to prepare them something new that we recommend. We receive a lot of special requests which requires my team to be creative each time to deliver meals on time as well. We try to be fast and creative. We need think very quickly, show our experience and the guest likes that. First they can feel that energy we have, plus they feel at home. I really enjoy it…
Chef Aleksandar’s Experience
I never thought I’d come to Africa before I was offered this job at the Sheraton Kampala. At 24, I’m lucky to have this position as a Chef de Cuisine is not typical for most people. I am deeply grateful to the Sheraton team and Executive Chef Dhanushka Kumara who believed in me, and continues to support me.
I’ve gotten to experience the amazing Ugandan culture, different people with very good hearts, and whilst working at the Sheraton Kampala where I work alongside a lot international chefs each of us sharing different ideas.
For my 3 beautiful friends from Norway, he suggested we combine something from their country with something from Uganda.
For the starter, we opted for fresh homemade ravioli, one with goat cheese and other with onion and backed bell peppers.
For the main course, we ordered the fresh Norwegian Salmon, Local Nile Perch, Lobster, Tuna and Jumbo Prawns. All this, was amazingly combined using different ingredients like banana leaves, bell peppers, mango, parmesan and some wine.
We all loved this Banana leaf nile pearch (fried noodles, curry sauce, mango chutney)
Finally for dessert, we went with a combination of cherry chocolate cake, vanilla ice cream and a cheese platter
*Smiles It truly was a wonderful dining experience, which we enjoyed to the fullest. A huge thank you to Tendo, the Manager at Seven Seas, Gloria and everyone that made us feel welcome. It was a pleasure chatting with Chef Aleksandar who is as passionate as he is talented!
Have a relaxed weekend,