Chef Kat on becoming the Godfather of Modern Zambian Cuisine

– News Article

Katatala Ryan Nkole, also known as chef Katatala or chef Kat, is a professional chef with a grande diploma in culinary arts and wine, as well as a certificate in wines of the world and South African wines from the Cape Wine Academy.

A mere 29 years old, chef Kat is trained in classic French, Italian and Pan-African cuisine. He obtained these qualifications from the Prue Leith Chef’s Academy, now known as the Prue Leith Culinary Institute, in South Africa. What’s more, he’s the 2018 Mastercook Zambia cooking competition champion!

Chef Kat explains his journey: “I’ve been cooking from the age of nine. As cliché as it sounds, I have been cooking since I was a child but I did not always love it. It was not until I stumbled upon the BBC Food Channel that I actually fell in love with cooking. You could say it was an arranged marriage! My love grew stronger every year. Fast forward to 2012. I had a conversation with my dad and opened up a canteen serving almost 200 people a day. By 2013/2014 I decided to enrol into culinary school, graduated and worked for an amazing restaurant called Coins in Parkhurst, Johannesburg, and then decided to come back home to Zambia.”

He’s achieved much thus far. Apart from winning Mastercook Zambia in 2018, he started Zambia’s first food market, collaborating with some of the country’s most talented young chefs, to create The Culinary Collective. Together they have set out to change how people perceive food, to start a food revolution. They consult to trendy restaurants in a quest to firmly establish their dream of contemporary Zambian cuisine. “I want to revolutionise Zambian cuisine and dining, I want Zambia to be a culinary hub, maybe get a Michelin star just to prove to myself I can, make people dine for enjoyment and not just for sustenance, make a meal so good someone stops eating because they want to be stuck in that culinary moment forever. I want to achieve the status of being the Zambian godfather of modern Zambian cuisine,” he explains.

Recipes by chef Kat:

Confit duck leg, fondant potatoes, curried beans and lentils

Paired with Nederburg The Winemasters Cabernet Sauvignon

Serves 2

Ingredients

  • Duck leg
  • Potatoes
  • Butter beans and lentils
  • Coconut milk
  • Orange marmalade
  • Butter
  • Chicken stock
  • Curry powder
  • Salt and pepper
  • Thyme
  • Garlic
  • Olive oil
  • Onion
  • Tomatoes
  • Coriander

Method

  1. Peel potatoes and shape, fry off in a mix of butter and olive oil, garlic and thyme until golden. Place in a baking tray, fill with chicken stock and place in the oven at 180˚C for 20 minutes.
  2. For the curried beans, you can use the canned version for quicker method. Alternatively, drain the lentils and beans and set aside. In a pan on medium heat fry the onion and some garlic until transparent. Add the tomatoes and curry powder and cook it down, add the beans, loosen with stock, add chopped coriander and coconut milk and cook down.
  3. For the duck leg, add duck fat or butter to a hot pan and fry until browned. Add some marmalade and coat till well glazed.

Bourguignon braised beef rib, carrot purée and sweet potato

Paired with Nederburg 56Hundred Pinot Noir

Serves 4 to 6

Ingredients

  • Carrots
  • Onion
  • Mushrooms
  • Thyme
  • Bacon
  • Beef rib
  • Sweet potato
  • Nederburg 56Hundred Pinot Noir (one cup)
  • Beef stock

Method

  1. Fry off the bacon, onion, carrots and thyme. Add beef rib and deglaze with half the wine. Add all ingredients to a baking pan with the rest of the wine and cover with beef stock. Cook for approximately 2 hours. Cut and blanch the sweet potatoes and carrots. Purée the carrots and season. Toss sweet potato in some butter and plate up when the meat is ready.