Womba Mufundi, multi-skilled and ready to tip the Scales of the Zambian Culinary Industry

– News Article

Born and raised in Mongu in the Western part of Zambia, Womba (aka chef Womzi or Womz Nomz) is a young chef with a love for cooking and baking, ensued at the tender age of eight. Growing up in a home filled with passionate cooks, her culinary journey set off.

Her childhood was characterised with visits to various cities around the world that ignited her interest in street food, culture and fine dining, further flaring up her passion for cooking and replicating different cuisines from around the world.

Womba has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Physiotherapy from the University of Zambia and holds a Certificate in Cake Baking, Decorating and Food Production from Fairview College in Zambia.

In 2017, she participated in the second season of Zambia’s first cooking competition, Mastercook, in which she was selected and won the title of ‘Zambia’s Best Amateur Chef’.

She is currently working independently as a private chef, professional baker with a thriving cake business and is part of The Culinary Collective, an enterprising crew of young chefs collaborating to change the Zambian culinary industry by providing a blend of street, local and international cuisine. The team have successfully held monthly food markets attracting various cooperating local partners, meat suppliers, farmers and hundreds of foodies, over the last two years.

Womba has successfully launched an organic chili pickle brand called Pickle Me, that comes in two amazing flavors, Killer Cucumber and Pepper Punch. It’s been a sensational hit in many households and among several foodies. She is also brand ambassador for Biene Donne Farms who are among the leading producers of breeding stock, quail and pecking duck in Zambia. She has also reigned as brand ambassador for Whirlpool Zambia. She has been invited in her personal capacity to oversee catering for an official launch of one of the leading private hotels in the heart of the Copperbelt Province of Zambia that caters to over 100 guests. She has been hosted on local radio stations to talk about food and she tweets passionately about food as part of her mission to enlighten as many Zambians as possible about food and the culinary industry. She has also been featured in various online magazines.

As a female in a typically male dominated industry, Womba would like to see more female chefs and bakers rise to the occasion and tip the scales of the culinary industry. She has her eyes set on growing her brand by involving female influencers, celebrities and international chefs in live culinary shows that are aimed at empowering women.

Womba is also working at building capacity to enable her set up her own restaurant line with a brand that shows off the scintillating fusion of Zambian ingredients in international dishes, as well as to establish a renowned culinary training institute in Zambia that will attract international collaborations.

Her goal is to be ultimately known for her passion, incredible resilience and hard work in the culinary world. Her culinary gift is one that certainly takes people on a journey of vast flavours, evoking an unforgettable array of emotions in the process as she creates a spectrum of beautiful mouthwatering memories.

Womba is not just a brand, but an experience that leaves your soul with a newfound love for food diversity and harmonisation.

Recipes by chef Womzi:

Mabisi brown bread

Paired with Nederburg The Winemasters Chardonnay

Serves 2 to 4

Ingredients

  • 3 cups brown flour
  • 2 Tbsp sugar
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 sachet dry yeast
  • 1 egg
  • ½ cup warm masibi (lukewarm sour milk)
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • ¼ cup warm water

Method

  1. Warm the mabisi/sour milk with the butter in the microwave for 30 to 45 seconds. Mix the dry ingredients in a mixing bowl. Make a well and add the egg in the centre. Pour in the mabisi/sour milk and butter and start to mix inside the well. Add the warm water and combine well. If the dough is too sticky, add flour a bit at a time until you get a soft dough. Knead for 10 minutes until smooth. Oil a bowl, add the dough and cover with cling film. Let it rise for 2 hours, or overnight. After it has risen, beat the dough and knead again to let the air out. Shape to your desire and allow to rise again for 1 hour. Then bake in a preheated oven at 180˚C for 25 to 30 minutes.

Peri-peri quails

Paired with Nederburg The Winemasters Shiraz

Serves 2 to 4

Ingredients

  • 4 quails
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 dash of coriander powder
  • 2 Tbsp chopped parsley
  • 2 cloves of crushed garlic
  • 1 tsp dry chillies
  • ½ tsp cayenne pepper
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • 1 Tbsp yogurt
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp mayonnaise
  • Juice of 1 lemon

Method

  1. Cut the quails in the centre through the breast. Mix all the marinade ingredients and marinate the quails overnight or for at least 2 hours. Preheat the oven to 200˚C. Place the quails in a roasting pan with the backs facing up. Bake for 20 minutes and serve immediately.