Grilled Oriental Pork Chops: Chef Justus Munyao Mulei who worked as the Sous Chef at Tamarind Tree Hotel will show you how to prepare grilled oriental pork chops. Before that, though, let’s learn a bit about Chef Munyao:
How did you become a chef?
I started out as a kitchen steward at Tamarind Mombasa. During my time as the kitchen steward, several key chefs left the hotel in search of greener pastures abroad. The then executive Chef Tim Challen decided to recruit me as a chef. He called me to his office and announced that I had been selected to join the kitchen apprentice programme. From my time in the kitchen, I had developed a liking for matters kitchen. I was particularly impressed at how chefs could mix ingredients and toss food. I saw it as a form of delicate art.
What would you be doing if you were not a chef?
I would be a gospel artist.
Who is your inspiration?
Chef Tim Challen, Chef Robai Wamoto – who is my current executive Chef – and Joseph Gacheru who is my operations director. These three individuals have shaped my career and in the process transformed my life in a way that I could not have imagined possible.
Which celebrity would you like to cook a meal for?
Gordon Ramsay, the British chef, restaurateur, television personality and food critic. His restaurants have been awarded 16 Michelin stars. I am also pleased to say that I have cooked for President Uhuru, DP Ruto, Ex Tanzania Presidents Kikwete and Mkapa.
Describe your style of cuisine.
My style of majors on the infusion of ingredients, and lots of creativity in preparation and presentation of food. I am also a specialist on seafood cuisines.
What local Kenyan ingredients do you love to use in your dishes?
Amaranth, garlic, ginger, onions, black pepper and coriander.
What are three of your most popular dishes with your clients? Describe their ingredients?
Prawns Calypso. The ingredients include: prawns, garlic, butter, tabasco, rum, lime juice, salt and pepper.
Grilled Lamb Chops. The ingredients include: lamb chops, gravy, mint, salt and pepper, kachumbari, and chips.
Halloumi bruschetta. Ingredients include: baguette bread, tomatoes, white onions, garlic, basil pesto, olive oil, halloumi, cheese and red radish.
When you are at home what do you love to eat?
My wife’s mutton pilau with kachumbari. It is finger licking good.
What is the nicest thing a client has said to you?
I once prepared prawns calypso to a guest. He was so impressed that he demanded to see the chef. When I came out to meet him, he shook my hand and said that in all of his international travels and dining’s, mine was the finest prawns calypso meal he had ever tasted.
Share suggestions / tips for teaching Kenyans to cook.
You don’t need a cabinet full of ingredients and spices to make a great meal. You just need to be creative and effective with what you have to produce a meal that is nutritional and delicious.
What distinguishes a good meal from a bad meal?
The technique used to cook, temperature, seasoning and palatability.
How to prepare grilled oriental pork chops
Pork chops: 200gms
Standard marinade: 0.5ml
Ginger processed: 10gm
Garlic processed: 10gm
Chopped green chillies: 10gm
Lemon grass processed: 5gm
Chilli powder: 2gm
Black pepper: pinch
Mixed vegetables: 100gms
In a mixing bowl, mix standard marinade with ginger, garlic, chilies and lemongrass.
Marinade the chops using the mixture for 2 hours.
Adjust seasoning and grill until well cooked.
Present in a plate neatly.
Serve with mixed vegetables and orange infused port wine gravy.
Serve while hot.