Joseph Odoom, a Ghanaian Pastry Chef, was adjudged as the winner of the maiden edition of Honey TV’s African-grown cooking show, House of Chefs.
The cooking reality show, which featured Uganda’s Sheilah Gashumba as the host and South African celebrity chef, Siba Mtongana as the renowned host judge, started on August 13, 2021, with eight young trainee chefs from Ghana, Rwanda, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, and Zambia.
Going into the show, Chef Odoom was very confident of emerging as the winner, and he did well to impress Chef Siba with his skill, wit and creativity in the kitchen, ensuring that his goal was attained.
However, it was his brilliant work in the kitchen during the finale that earned him the victory.
The 26-year-old beat competition from the other finalists to win the ultimate cash prize of $5,000 and a coveted internship at Chef Siba’s self-titled restaurant.
The victory meal
The theme for the finale was ‘A Modern Africa’ which required finalists to create a three-course meal portraying the theme in each course, which was in three stages – starter course round, main course round and dessert course round – where a finalist was eliminated after each round.
In the starter round, Joseph made a millet cappuccino soup with sesame cracker and dollops of ricotta cream. His main course was a deconstructed ‘fante fante’, yam cake, grilled asparagus and pickled beetroot.
The dessert round was the deciding dish for the win since it was a tie at the main course round. Chef Odoom, however, impressed the judge with his dessert course which was fudge mint brownie, salted caramel gari crumble, caramel popcorn, spun sugar, candied spaghetti, strawberry mousse and glazed strawberries, to be adjudged the winner.
“All the ingredients in my dish portrayed and celebrated indigenous African ingredients and its versatility,” he told Kuulpeeps.com.
He described the main course as one of the best dishes he made during the competition, in addition to “the humble ‘bofrot’ I elevated to fine dining standard and also the ever nostalgic ‘mpotompoto’ which I also elevated to fine dining standards.”
Experiences and next step
Chef Odoom further revealed that his best experience was the opportunity to be able to connect with different young chefs from different parts of the continent.
“I was able to connect with all these other young chefs from Africa learning and sharing ideas and the fact that we connected through food and also how we all have different names we called a particular food and ingredient. That’s true Africanacity.”
Aside from undertaking an internship at Chef Siba’s restaurant at The Table Bay Hotel, Chef Odoom is looking forward to hosting Afro-fusion inspired pop-ups, private fine dining experiences, and work towards putting Ghana on the map with his dishes.
Chef Odoom is an alumnus of Takoradi Technical University (TTU), where he studied Hospitality Administration and Management.
He started his Pastry Chef career at Holiday Inn as an Intern. He later became a Demi Pastry Chef at Villamonticello Boutique Hotel, and then an Executive Chef at Puffs Gh.
Inspired by local African indigenous ingredients, cuisine and culture, he works as a freelance Pastry Chef and Sous Chef.
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