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01 Apr, 2023
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Herbed Salmon & Quinoa Salad by Chef Benard Orora, H&S Chef Of The Month

Herbed Salmon & Quinoa Salad by Chef Benard Orora, H&S Chef Of The Month

H&S Chef Of The Month

Chef Benard Orora
Chef Benard Orora

Nationality: Kenyan

Interview With H&S Magazine

Who Is Benard Orora?

I established my passion for food as a child, eating and experiencing restaurant food, as well as home cooked foods by Mum and Grand mum, I got a kick out of recreating it for my family in the home kitchen. Food was definitely my future. I studied in the best locations to excel in my career from Kenya to Switzerland, experiences through Europe and then Australia I mastered in Culinary and Pâtisserie cuisines. I have created a home base in Sydney to which I spent 4 years during my studies, working for different high-end restaurants and hotel chains; this gave me a view of different styles within the area and what to incorporate in my own business.

From all my experience I implemented my dream and I now run my own Private Chef service to which I attend clients homes and complete a bespoke menu to cater anything from a small intimate dinner for 2, right up to events that service in the hundreds.

Proudly Kenyan born, Benard Orora, I am Chef Ben, a Private Chef who wishes to have the world experience my creations 🙂


Type Of Cuisine?

Fusion Cuisine. I like the ability of taking different cuisines and infusing them into one combined menu, giving a client the tastes of the world. I would say my most desired and well complimented fusion would be African and Italian.


What Inspired You To Become A Chef?

As cliché as it might sound, the hit TV series Master Chef Australia, inspired me to become a professional Chef. From a very young age, probably 10–12 years, I just had a love for food, my family acknowledged my passion, they pushed and supported me in the kitchen to be creative – I knew food was a good hobby, but watching Master Chef was where I saw – cooking could be so much more. I got excited at the thought, that I could create and serve my creations to everyone, not just family and that’s where the determination, along with travel began to become what I hope one day to be – A MASTER CHEF.


What Is The Biggest Challenge You Have Faced In The Culinary Industry?

The usual answer in today’s world – COVID!! This really impacted the hospitality industry (As all industries), even now it is difficult to find staff – and experience is so limited.

Australia locked its doors and we were unable to work, we were not allowed to go into other people’s homes. It was challenging.

However, I can happily say, it further developed the business and incorporated “Chef on the go” – we (my partner and I) utilized ideas for families to have the chef experience as a takeaway, we delivered full menus to families, we created picnics for the home, and grazing boards for all occasions. The challenge that I thought would send me back to start again – extended what I could achieve and forced me to look & think outside the box. This challenge increased my opportunities and has found repeat clientele not only for ‘On the go’ but seeking ‘the Chef Ben Experience’ as a Private Chef now that the doors are back open 🙂


What’s Your Biggest Achievement In The Culinary Industry?

My education has always been a highlight for me – completing my Diploma, Bachelor & Masters in Culinary, followed by my degree in Pâtisserie, plus Molecular Gastronomy and finally my Masters in International Hospitality, Business Management.


When It comes To Cooking, What Is More Important To You, The Technique, The Ingredients Or The Creativity?

Hands down, ‘Technique’. I am always amazed to see how people with the same ingredients create different, unique and delicious creations; this is only possible by technique. Everything from understanding your ingredients, knowing the creativity behind what to do and most importantly performing the technique to achieve your outcome, makes a good dish stand out. ‘Technique’ becomes a competitive advantage for individuals and companies, as it helps challenge the status-quo and current processes to find new and exciting ways of doing things.


Recipe Of The Week: Herbed Salmon & Quinoa Salad

Herbed Salmon & Quinoa Salad by Chef Benard Orora, H&S Chef Of The Month
Servings: 4, Time: 50 Mins

The Herbed Salmon


• 4 salmon fillets, about 125g each
• Salt to taste
• Ground white pepper to taste
• Olive/Sunflower oil

The Quinoa


• 1 cup quinoa, rinsed
• 1 ¾ cups of water

The Sauce Vierge


• 1 garlic clove, minced
• 2 tomatoes
• 8 tbsp of fresh basil, finely chopped
• 3 tbsp of fresh chervil, finely chopped
• 3 tbsp of flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
• 6 coriander seeds, finely crushed
• 200ml of olive oil
• 1 lemon, juiced


Preparation: The Herbed Salmon

Just before serving, place a large frying pan over a medium heat and add a good dash of sunflower or olive oil. Add the salmon fillets, skin-side down, and cook for about 5 minutes. Flip salmon over and cook the other side for another 5 minutes, or until both sides are golden brown. Season the fish lightly while still in the pan.


Preparation: The Quinoa

In a pot, bring water to a boil and steam quinoa for 15 mins. Remove from heat and let set it sit, covered, for 10 mins. Lastly, fluff with a fork.


Preparation: The Sauce Vierge

To make the sauce, first plunge the tomatoes into boiling water for a few seconds, then drain and refresh in a bowl of iced water. Peel, deseed and finely chop the tomatoes. Next, place in a bowl with the garlic, chopped herbs and crushed coriander seeds. Mix in the olive oil and lemon juice, then season to taste with salt and white pepper. The sauce can be served straight away, or made ahead and reserved until ready to serve. The flavours will improve if left for a few hours or if warmed through slightly before serving.


Plating & Garnish

In a serving plate, spoon some sauce and quinoa and top with cooked salmon fillets then serve.

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