Chindikanji Joseph Simukanga (aka chef Chindi) is the head chef of DueSeiZero Food Service in Zambia. (DueSeiZero means 260 in Italian.)
He says: “I am a fusion cuisine chef with no boundaries. My main focus is changing the average palate to a more delicate but intricate taste. I am most comfortable preparing Italian dishes and delicate desserts. In general, my company has been catering for intimate dinners, weddings, small private functions and exclusive occasions.
“My dream is to open an ingredient-focused restaurant that let people appreciate every aspect that goes into cooking and be blown away at the flavour combinations that I can show them.”
Chef Chindi started cooking at the age nine and practised his skill throughout high school and college until he got an internship at Fairview Hotel in Lusaka, as a waiter while studying Hotel Management. A year after that he decided to go and further his studies in Agriculture Business and Economics in China, returning home with two degrees after eight years in the East. He says he did so in order to gain an in-depth understanding of what goes on into the production of raw ingredients.
While studying in China, during the holiday periods, he explored all the intricate tastes and cuisines of most of the neighbouring Asian countries and even did a tour of four European countries, getting involved in slivovitza brewing in Austria, pizza tossing in Milan and taking part in a Goulash Festival in Hradiste, Slovakia.
During his studies, he spent two years as the head chef of a pub called Chokolate Saloon in the city of Shijiazhuang. Upon graduating, chef Chindi returned to Zambia, became a private chef and started the company DueSeiZero, collaborating with other hospitality companies like DOMUS Private Bush Camp.
During the challenging Covid-19 period, his food service company is keeping afloat by doing meal deliveries, for example offering delivery of a three-course spread for six people and more, with four different menus to choose from.
Recipes by chef Chindi:
Porchetta with baby potatoes and rainbow carrots
Paired with Nederburg The Winemasters Riesling
Serves 4 to 6
- 2 kg pork belly
- 1 tsp nutmeg
- 1 tsp fennel seeds
- 1 tbsp black pepper
- 1 tbsp fresh thyme
- 1 tbsp fresh tarragon
- 1 tbsp fresh rosemary
- 4 cloves garlic
- 1 tbsp salt
- 1 kg baby potatoes
- ¼ cup English mustard
- ½ cup yogurt
- ½ cup fresh parsley
- 500 g assorted carrots
- 2 tbsp butter
- Combine fennel seeds, nutmeg, salt, black pepper, rosemary, tarragon, thyme and crushed garlic. Place pork belly onto a large cutting board skin side up. Cut out one third of the skin because that might not cook when rolled up. Using a razor blade, score the skin (not too deep) to create spaces for the fat to render. Then flip the belly over and rub the spices into the flesh using your hands. Roll belly into a log and tie tightly using butcher’s twine. Twine should be evenly spaced about an inch apart. Refrigerate pork belly, uncovered, overnight to ensure the skin dries out so it becomes crispy.
- Pre-heat the oven to 150˚C and place the pork belly seam-side down onto a roasting rack set in a large roasting pan. Roast the pork belly for 2 to 3 hours. Once internal temperature reaches 65˚C, raise the oven temperature to 200˚C and cook for an additional 10 minutes until skin browns and becomes crispy. Rest for 15 minutes before slicing with a serrated knife.
- Boil potatoes in salty water until tender. Preheat a large wok or pan with a drizzle of oil, meanwhile crush the potatoes halfway just enough to crack them open. Brown each side of the potatoes in the hot pan and finish off with the butter. In a bowl combine the mustard, yogurt and parsley. Pour in the potatoes and toss together.
- In a saucepan, bring some salted water to a boil, while you peel and halve the carrots. Once the water is boiling, add the carrots and boil them for 4 minutes. Transfer to a large pan and sauté in the butter just to give it a glaze.
Tomahawk steak with rocket salad
Serves 2 to 4
- 600g Tomahawk steak
- Black Pepper
- Coriander seeds
- Cherry tomatoes
- ¼ red onion
- 1 large red chilli
- ½ lemon
- Olive oil
- Preheat the oven to 180˚C, and a grilling pan on the stove to the highest heat. Generously season the steak with salt, pepper and coriander seeds. Grill the steak for 3 minutes on each side to obtain the char grill marks. Then place the steak into the hot oven for 4 minutes. Serve immediately with salad.
- Combine the lemon juice, a splash of olive oil, salt and pepper in a bowl. Quarter the tomatoes and thinly slice the onion and red chilli. Add all ingredients to a bowl and toss.