Chef Spotlight: Kudakwashe A. Makoni

Deborah Olayiwola
Deborah Olayiwola
Deborah is a content marketing specialist, with a passion for the food niche, she writes engaging content that celebrates the joy of food and its power to bring people together. Having worked on different projects. Her curiosity and creativity shines through in her writing.
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Kudakwashe A. Makoni is a Culinary Arts Management graduate from the prestigious Culinary Institute of America. He also holds degrees in political science biology and an MBA in Corporate Governance and Finance.

AFN: Tell us about yourself!

Kudamakoni:  I am passionate about the culinary arts and hospitality in general, having started as a Front of House team member, cashier, supervisor, Assistant Restaurant Manager, and Restaurant Manager. I have helped set up highly profitable kitchens in the US, UAE, Bahrain, and Zimbabwe and am now a Group Executive Chef for Groupe Sebastien based in Accra, Ghana.

Hardworking and highly systems-oriented and I strongly believe you can always do right with structures and systems in place. My areas of strength are pre-opening activities, menu development, kitchen SOPs, recipe creation, portion control, health & hygiene, team building, engagement, management, and leadership!

I’m people-oriented and strongly believe in fostering ethical corporate culture within organizations, Corporate governance, strategic management, business development, marketing, food and beverage are my go-to areas in business operations.

Kudakwashe A. Makoni

AFN: Why do you cook?

Kudamakoni:  It’s all about passion if not more of an obsession. I have been ‘passionately obsessed’ with cooking since helping my mum out in the kitchen as a six-year-old.

It was inevitable that after my Biology and Political Science studies, I enrolled in culinary school, and from there on, it has been a fantastic journey.

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AFN: What is your favorite memory in the kitchen?
Kudamakoni: The times I spent with my mum, aunt, and grandma in the kitchen. Priceless, but those shaped and molded my love for cooking, creating, and remodifying recipes. Saturday dinners as a teen meant I got to experiment with ‘newfound’ ingredients. There was so much joy and intrigue in these moments.
AFN: What is your biggest cooking fail?
Kudamakoni: When I started my catering business in Zimbabwe a few years ago, I failed to deliver for a high-profile client because I was catering canapes/finger foods. It was for 200 pax, and I completely failed in time management planning.
And ultimately, the whole cooking process was an epic failure. I even got to the event venue hours late. I learned from it, though, a massive learning experience, and I have never looked back on that experience. It’s one of the driving forces I have carried through in all the kitchens I have run from then.
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AFN: What kitchen equipment do you use more and can’t do without? 
Kudamakoni: My Sous vide machine and portable smoker.
AFN: What are your favorite foods to cook and why?
Kudamakoni:  I’m not limited to any particular favorite dishes. I love cooking good food in general.
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AFN: What would you like to share with our audience?
Kudamakoni: Don’t rush the process – trust it! Everyone wants to be super popular, instantly successful, and become the next big thing.
The reality is that most people don’t; in those moments, you could lose out on your authentic essence and calling. Eventually, time will tell, but you stay obsessed with what you do, putting in your best.
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AFN: How can your fans reach you on social media?
Instagram/Twitter/Facebook: @chefkudamakoni
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Deborah Olayiwola
Deborah Olayiwola
Deborah is a content marketing specialist, with a passion for the food niche, she writes engaging content that celebrates the joy of food and its power to bring people together. Having worked on different projects. Her curiosity and creativity shines through in her writing.
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