How to stock and run a commercial kitchen in Central Africa

Here is a photo-tour that I posted in 2009, explaining in general terms how a hotel (Hotel Club du Lac Tanganyika) in the middle of Africa buys its meat and fresh produce, stores and prepares it, cooks, and serves. Everything in this part of the world is from ‘scratch’.

The only real change has been purchasing meat from an Italian butcher who has opened a butchery in Bujumbura.  He’s very accommodating and prepares speciality cuts and so forth at demand.

Beginning with the meat: In order to assure healthy meat,  until last year, The hotel bought ‘on the hoof’, at the main slaughter-house, where it is vet-examined, butchered and then brought back to the hotel:

Half-beefs, arriving at the Hotel

Newly slaughtered beef, arriving at the Hotel

Meat is then hung in the cold room and aged a bit:

Goats and sheep in the meat storage.  Sometimes I arrange goats to be purchased from farmers in the nearby village, which they must bring live and then they are paid to slaughter them on site.

Goats and sheep in the meat storage. Sometimes I arrange goats to be purchased from farmers in the nearby village, which must be brought live and then they are slaughtered on site.

Examining aging beef

Examining aging beef

In the butcher room it is cut up, some being ground, and lots of bones for good soup broth.

Rolling lamb

Rolling lamb

Preparing goat brochettes - these wil be marinated and grilled over charcoal

Preparing goat brochettes - these will be marinated and grilled over charcoal in the grilling room, at the back

Fresh produce is bought in bulk; nothing is over 24 hours old (from the field) and as much as possible, it is purchased from the nearby village so that it is even fresher.

Fresh produce is delivered by different dealers three or four times a week.  Here, it is weighed and sorted

Fresh produce is delivered by different dealers three or four times a week. Here, it is weighed and sorted

Richard and the vegetable supplier (seated) jointly weigh the items.  Poor quality items are rejected.

Richard and the vegetable supplier (seated) jointly weigh the items. Poor quality items are rejected.

Produce is then stored in the veggie cold room:

Produce is arranged in the veggie coldroom

Produce is arranged in the veggie cold room

Items that will be used immediately, or that don't do well being referigerated, are stored outside the coldroom

Items that will be used immediately, or that don't do well-being refrigerated, are stored outside the cold room

Dishes  are prepared here, in the main kitchen:

Preparing green beans for a large dinner

Preparing green beans for a large dinner

The salad chefs

The salad chefs

Main stoves area

Main stoves area

Preparing an Indian (actually, Swahili) dinner

Preparing an Indian (actually, Swahili) dinner

Can't forget the potato peelers!

Can't forget the potato peelers!

And desserts are prepared here:

Fresh strawberry tarts, for Sunday International Bufferìy

Fresh strawberry tarts, for Sunday International Buffet

Special occasion cake, by pastry chef Arnold

Special occasion cake, by pastry chef Arnold

Serving a special-occasion buffet

Serving a special occasion buffet

Buffet served in the main diningroom

Buffet served in the main diningroom

A gret Congolese group that entertains in the restaurant  with mellow tunes

A great Congolese group that entertains in the restaurant with mellow tunes

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About dianabuja

With a group of BaTwa (pygmy) women potters, with whom we've worked to enhance production and sales of their wonderful pots - fantastic for cooking and serving. To see the 2 blogs on this work enter 'batwa pots' into the search engine located just above this picture. Blog entries throughout this site are about Africa, as well as about the Middle East and life in general - reflecting over 35 years of work and research in Africa and the Middle East – Come and join me!
This entry was posted in Africa-Central, Agriculture, Burundi, Cuisine, Hotel Club du Lac Tanganyika2, Living here, Recipes and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to How to stock and run a commercial kitchen in Central Africa

  1. Pingback: Halloween Special – African Beef Stew with sweet potatoes and mangoes, cooked and served in a Pumpkin | DIANABUJA'S BLOG: Africa, The Middle East, Agriculture, History and Culture

  2. Karen says:

    Beautiful food and wonderful kitchen!

    Like

  3. dianabuja says:

    Thanks, Maria. Food and cuisine here are so totally ‘fresh’ – it is sometimes difficult for me to remember the awful ‘square’ tomatoes and other dreadful produce in northern hemisphere supermarkets!

    Of course, the ‘down’ side is that there are very few convenience foods, if one wants a quick meal…

    Like

  4. maria v says:

    absolutely brilliant photographic journey diana – as for all things being from scratch, that’s the best way – i dont do any baking, but i can imagine if i werent at work, i would bake my own bread too

    Like

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