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 South Africa
 Kenya Coast

At the age of 22 years I arrived at my first destination, Windhoek, in Namibia-then called South West Africa.

Storm over Windhoek

The plane from Johnnesburg overflew the vast expanses of the Kalahari desert before descending into to the neat, very German looking town surrounded by barren hills.

I started at the Grand Hotel as a cook but was shortly after promoted to head chef, a position I held for nearly three years. At that time, the Grand was the best hotel in Namibia. Two restaurants, outside catering, and continuous functions presented quite a challenge for myself and the kitchen staff of 14.

Serving Franz J.Strauß in the Grand Hotel, Windhoek

Some of the highlights of this job included: catering for 900 guests on the occasion of the opening of the new Windhoek Airport; and catering for the opening of the Halali Tourist Lodge in the Etosha National Park. This task involved providing a luxurious breakfast, lunch buffet, and six course dinner for 250 guest-some 500 kilometres distant from our base-a logistic nightmare, but one that turned out to be a great success.

Camp Cooking

After leaving the" Grand" I joined up with a professional hunter, preparing sumpteous meals in the bush of the Kalahari and in the Okavango delta, for wealthy big game hunters.

Hunting Safari

My talent for improvisation was most useful at that time, cooking over camp fires, days away from the nearest settlements .

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