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18 Apr, 2024
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H&S Chef Of The Month: Meet Chef Befrey Musonye Styne

H&S Chef Of The Month: Meet Chef Befrey Musonye Styne

H&S Chef Of The Month

Chef Befrey Musonye Styne
Chef Befrey Musonye Styne

Nationality: Kenyan

Interview With H&S Magazine

Who Is Befrey Musonye Styne?

Commonly referred to as Chef Musonye; I’m a highly motivated and passionate team player, who accepts challenges as opportunities and projects excellence as my mantra. I also have an insatiable quest for knowledge, hence always willing to learn new skills and follow through on new ideas.

 

Type Of Cuisine?

As a Chef, I specialize in a fusion of both hot kitchen dishes and pastry, offering a unique blend of flavours and techniques from a variety of cuisines. This showcases my versatility and creativity in the kitchen.

 

What Inspired You To Become A Chef?

Due to my culinary aptitude, I became highly interested in the kitchen from a young age. One memorable moment was when my dad took me for lunch at Safari Park Hotel & Casino. The adrenaline rush I experienced from hearing the sound of the chopping board meeting the knife was incredible. Cooking and baking, for me, are forms of art, providing an outlet for creativity and self-expression. The ability to craft unique dishes, experiment with flavours and techniques, and constantly push boundaries serves as a significant source of inspiration for me.

The dynamic and fast-paced nature of the kitchen environment is particularly attractive to me. The challenge of working under pressure, constant problem-solving, and collaborating with a team motivated me to pursue a career as a chef. Moreover, the thrill of seeing people come together because of food serves as a powerful motivator.

 

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

One of the biggest challenges I’ve faced is maintaining consistency in the quality of dishes, especially when working with perishable ingredients. Ensuring that every plate leaving the kitchen meets the same high standards can be quite demanding. Factors such as ingredient availability, changing seasons, and variations in produce quality can greatly affect the taste and presentation of a dish.

Consistency also impacts customer satisfaction and builds a chef’s reputation. Achieving consistency requires precise measurements, strict adherence to recipes, and efficient kitchen management. It also entails training and maintaining a skilled and dedicated team that is committed to upholding the set standards.

Another challenge is the continuously evolving trends and ever-changing customer preferences. Chefs often find themselves adapting to new dietary restrictions, seeking innovative techniques, flavours, and catering to diverse cultural palates. Staying ahead of these trends while ensuring consistency can be a delicate balancing act.

 

What’s Your Biggest Achievement In The Culinary Industry?

My experience in culinary arts has enabled me to achieve significant milestones, inspiring me to establish my own business. This endeavour has propelled me to new heights and positively impacted my career trajectory, while also bringing joy and satisfaction to my customers. Additionally, I have received recognition for my work, being featured in East African Chefs, a food infotainment magazine.

 

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

To me, it’s all about achieving a balance between technique, ingredients, and creativity. A skilled chef harmonizes sound techniques to highlight the excellence of high-quality ingredients and draws inspiration from creativity to deliver an exceptional dining experience. It is this equilibrium that can elevate cooking to an art form and create a lasting impression on diners.
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Recipe Of The Week: Chocolate Raspberry Cake

Chocolate Raspberry CakeThe Chocolate Cake

Ingredients:

• 375g all-purpose flour
• 43g unsweetened cocoa powder
• 400g granulated sugar
• 2 tsp baking soda
• 1 tsp salt
• 2 Tbsp white vinegar
• 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
• ⅔ cup light olive oil

The Chocolate Ganache

Ingredients:

• 230 g semi-sweet chocolate
• 1 cup heavy whipping cream

The Raspberry Filling

Ingredients:

• 2 cups fresh or frozen raspberries (best to use frozen)
• ½ cup granulated sugar
• 1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
• 1½ Tbsp water
• 1½ Tbsp cornstarch

 

Preparation: The Chocolate Cake

Preheat oven to 375F (180c). Butter two 9’’ cake pans and line the bottoms with a ring of parchment paper. In a large bowl, whisk together your dry ingredients until there are no more cocoa lumps (a few tiny lumps are OK, it also helps to sift the cocoa before using). In a separate bowl, whisk together your wet ingredients. Now whisk the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients just until they come together. Your batter will be slightly lumpy. Divide equally between the cake pans and bake in a pre-heated oven at 350F for 35 mins then let cool for 15 mins then transfer to a rack to cool completely before frosting.

Preparation: The Chocolate Ganache

In a saucepan, bring the whipping cream just to a simmer on the stovetop, stirring occasionally. Just as soon as you see a simmer, immediately remove from the heat and pour over finely chopped chocolate. Swirl the bowl to be sure all the chocolate is covered. Place a lid on the chocolate to trap the heat. Let it sit without mixing for up to 5 mins, then remove the lid and swirl in the chopped chocolate with a spatula. Start at the centre and work outwards until the mixture is smooth, but be sure not to over mix. Let the ganache sit at room temperature, then cover with a cling film and refrigerate for 2 hours until mousse like texture. Once at mousse texture, you can use as it is or whip to the consistency you desire.

Preparation: The Raspberry Filling

In a bowl, whisk the cornstarch and water until dissolved. Next, combine raspberries with the cornstarch mixture, granulated sugar and lemon juice in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Using a spatula, stir the mixture, mashing the raspberries as they begin to thaw and soften. Bring to a boil for 5 full minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove pan from the heat. Now, allow the raspberry filling to cool at room temperature for 10 -15 mins, then transfer to a bowl and place in the refrigerator for 4 hours (it will continue to thicken up as it chills). Note: the raspberry filling should be completely chilled before using in your cake.

 

Plating

On a cake stand, begin by layering the cake with the mousse and raspberry filling, making sure each layer is well coated, you can garnish with chocolate swirls and raspberries, then chill for about an hour before serving. When serving, ensure to use a warm knife to cut the cake and serve as desired!