Case study of a passionate chefApril 11th, 2012 by Susan Reynard | Categories: hotels, industry, people, restaurants, tourism
Executive chef at Vaalnest Boutique Hotel, Alfred Mohami, has made a name for himself at this hotel by preparing dishes that have been described as “exquisite and satisfying”. His signature dishes are lamb shank and lamb curry.
The hotel’s general manager, Keith Attwell, says Mohami is highly skilled and confident in the kitchen and knows how to surpass clients’ greatest expectations. Hard work, dedication, education and experience have empowered him to excel.
Mohami has worked at top hotels around South Africa, including Mount Grace Country House and Spa. His ethic of hard work and dedication, coupled with his passion for cooking have been a winning recipe.
His career began during his Matric year while working in the scullery at The Flying Saucer restaurant. One night while removing the refuse, he saw a cooking magazine in the dustbin and decided to take a look. The chefs profiled in the magazine inspired him to follow a culinary career. He approached the restaurant owner and head chef, who encouraged his studies by enrolling him at Intec College where he completed a Gourmet Cooking Course.
During his years in industry, Mohami has had many role models who have played important parts in his life and career. He says the best advice he has received is to work for what he wants and to never allow his emotions to stand in the way of making the right choices for his future.
He has been working hard to follow his dreams ever since. His advice to aspiring chefs is that they should remember that the higher they want to go in life, the deeper and stronger their foundation needs to be.
”My father didn’t leave me a chef’s jacket when he died. I had to earn it,” he says.
Vaalnest Boutique Hotel is located on the banks of the Vaal Dam in the town of Vaal Marina. It opened in March 2008 and features 12 guest rooms; two function rooms (The Kormorant Hall caters for up to 250 people and The Pelican Hall for 50 to 120 people); a 17-seater boardroom; fine-dining restaurant; and swimming pool.
The property also offers beauty treatments, as well as guided bird walks, golf, water sports, bicycling, paintball and other adventure activities.
The hotel is popular for events such as conferences, workshops and weddings and its owners, husband and wife team Keith and Everlona Attwell, take a committed approach towards uplifting and transforming the local community, as well as staff.