MCZ Exclusive Interview with Ghanaian Chef Joseph Odoom winner House of Chefs season 1.

The kitchen ambience is not for the faint-hearted the kitchen professionals can attest to the adrenaline rush that comes with delivering excellent service. The adrenaline rush could also be a great motivating factor that eventually leads to achieving success many who have walked this path keep testifying of staying true to what they believe in this is the story of Ghanaian chef and winner of the maiden edition of House of Chefs a show set in South Africa that featured eight young chefs from across countries in Africa.

Joseph Odoom is an Afro pastry chef and winner of House of Chefs season one. He spoke to My Cookery Zone on his defining moment and how he realized that this was the “right industry” for him. In the interview Joseph spoke on the African palate, how his Ghanaian roots influenced his style of cooking, he spoke about being a contestant on House of Chefs and emerging winner.

Joseph Odoom (House of Chefs Season 1 winner).

MCZ: What was growing up like for you before becoming a chef?

I’ll say I had quite an interesting childhood. My childhood was filled with a lot women from Aunties to cousins to siblings and my mum herself which they all contributed to my childhood food experience.My mother who was and still is adventurous, was  always trying out something new for Sunday lunch and dinners. An all time favourite of hers for me is her tomato jam which amazes me up till date. I believe I get all my craze around food from her and being the last of 5 siblings and in a typical African setting you end up doing chores which allowed me spend lots of time with her in the kitchen.I also grew up on disney animations, euromaxx on DWTV, Business Traveler on CNN and also with tons of vintage recipe books which contributed to me having an imaginative and creative approach to food.

MCZ: From the moment you made your debut in the kitchen and since you developed a passion for food. When and what made you realize that cooking is a path you’ll want to tour?

It was when I worked in a fine dining restaurant and our head Chef was constantly changing the menus and challenging us to come up with creative styles of plating which was pretty much exciting for me and I loved and still love the adrenaline rush that comes with service. I’ll say this is where I knew I was in the right industry.

MCZ: What’s your opinion on the African palate?

The African palate I’ll say is complex, flavourful, sophisticated but yet diverse and unique.

MCZ: Did this realization redefine your thought about food?

This realisation redefined my thought about food especially West African foods. I felt it was about time to put these flavours out there to rest of the world.

MCZ: What did it feel like competing on House of Chefs?

Competing on house of chefs was a a nerve racking yet amazing and exciting experience for me. Getting to meet all these incredible young chefs from across Africa learning and interacting with them even though we were going head to head. That I’ll say is awesome.

MCZ: You do engage in food fusion what inspires your type of fusion food and how do you define your style of cooking?

I do engage in a broad food fusion known as Afro fusion, which I draw most of my inspiration from my West African roots right down to my childhood. I’ll define my style of cooking as Afro Pastry which is a fusion of indigenous African ingredients into desserts. We as Africans especially west Africans have bad dessert culture and there’s no better way to indulge using indigenous ingredients and showing its versatility to africa and the world as a whole.

MCZ: What dish did you make during the competition that caught your fancy and still resonates with you to date?

I believe it should be my Deconstructed Fante Fante, which comprised of poached hake, yam cake crusted in gari panko , a palm oil emulsion, grilled asparagus and pickled beetroot. Which for me payed home age to the Western Region of Ghana where I’m from and that was literally Ghana on a plate.

MCZ: To what length will you say your Ghanaian roots influenced your cooking on the show?

I’ll most definitely say my Ghanaian roots influenced me 100 percent on the show because it wasn’t about wining but about having to put Ghanaian culture out there through food and flavour and in a redefined upscale fine dining perspective.

MCZ: At what point before or during the show did you know you were going to emerge the winner?

I would be lying if I said I knew that I was gonna win. Yo.. the competition was tough  I knew I had potential but the other contestants were equally good!

MCZ: On the continent who are the chefs that inspire you?

Chefs that inspire me on the continent include Dieuveil Malongo, Fatimata Binta and Micheal Elegbede.


Published by My Cookery Zone

My Cookery Zone is a platform where food lovers can read up on food related articles. This initiative started in 2013, an idea to tell food stories not forgetting the people behind the exquisite cuisine and this hasn't changed. We are determined to keep it as authentic as possible and this has made us emerge best in Food Media. MCZ has survived right from day one thanks to the support of readers who value what we do here. To help us continue kindly follow the blog, share our content and donate.

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