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16 Mar, 2023
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Chef Benard Orora

H&S Chef Of The Month: Meet Chef Benard Orora

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: Tiramisu Tart

Tiramisu Tart
Servings: 8, Time: 2hrs

The Crust

Ingredients:

• 2 ¼ cup crushed lady fingers approx 24-26 (alternatively use Graham cracker crumbs)
• 6 Tbsp butter melted
• 2 Tbsp sugar
• ½ tsp instant espresso powder

The Ganache Filling

Ingredients:

• 400 grams dark baking chocolate, chopped (semi-sweet for a sweeter ganache)
• 1 cup heavy whipping cream
• ½ cup Marsala or Kahlua (optional)
• 1 tsp vanilla extract

The Coffee Mascarpone Topping

Ingredients:

• 1 cup mascarpone cheese
• 1 cup heavy whipping cream
• ¼ cup granulated sugar
• 1 tsp espresso powder
• ¼ – ⅓ cup cocoa powder, for dusting

 

Preparation: The Crust

Preheat oven to 350 °F. Next, place the lady fingers in a food processor and pulse until you have coarse crumbs. Next add this to a medium bowl and stir in the instant espresso powder, sugar and then the melted butter. Stir well until fully incorporated, and then transfer to a 9-inch round or 13×30 rectangular baking pan with removable bottom. Firmly and evenly press the crumbs into the base and up the sides of the pan. Bake for 10 minutes then remove from oven and allow it to cool, whilst making the ganache filling.

 

Preparation: The Ganache Filling

Place chopped chocolate, cream, vanilla, and Marsala into a large microwave-safe bowl, stir and microwave for 20 seconds at a time, mixing each time until smooth. Pour over prepared tart and chill for 1-2 hours, or until the filling is set or firms up enough to slice.

 

Preparation: The Mascarpone Topping

Place mascarpone in a large bowl and beat with a mixer for just a few seconds to soften. Then mix in the sugar, espresso powder and drizzle in the cream in a slow stream and add in the vanilla while mixing. Continue mixing on medium speed just until firm peaks form and can hold its shape. Do not over mix or it will get grainy. Pipe the mascarpone topping over ganache with a pastry bag, or just spoon it over and smooth over in one even layer.

 

Plating

Dust cocoa powder on top of your tiramisu tart to finish it off. Slice and place in the centre of a dessert plate and enjoy.

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