Dieuveil Malonga loves grandmothers. His interest in cooking in the Congo and those he met across the continent were his own to learn the secrets of African gastronomy from them. The Congolese chef, who has traveled through Germany and France, draws on their traditional knowledge to create his “Afro-Fusion” cuisine that has been noticed in recent years. “I’m going to different countries, I’m learning from my grandmothers, and then I’m taking these old recipes, bringing them to my lab here, working with my chefs to try to bring modernity there,” he told AFP. Just minutes before the shot was fired at his restaurant in Kigali, Rwanda. From his travels in 38 African countries, the 30-year-old chef brings back techniques such as smoking and fermentation, but also brings spices and seasonings. Small peppers from C டிte d’Ivoire, pep nuts from Cameroon and other mbinzo caterpillars from the Congo occupy the entire walls of his restaurant. If afro-fusion had been “too long,” the quiet and prudent Malonga, along with other chefs like Senegalese Pierre Thiam, would have acknowledged that it had contributed to putting Africa on the map of food lovers around the world. “Something is happening in Africa right now, and people are eager to learn more about African cuisine,” assures the co-founder of the “Chefs in Africa” site, regretting that this food is often “rice, muff.” (Chicken) Yassa “.” There is tremendous diversity. Take the example of Nigeria (…), where you can eat more than 20 foods in one day. Dieuveil Malonga was born in the Republic of Congo, near Brazzaville, where, despite the death of his parents, he lived “a very happy childhood in a very united community”, underlining his website. At the age of 13, he was welcomed into the family of a pastor in Germany and joined a prestigious culinary school in Munster. “I like to eat, I always eat,” he explains, laughing. “I come from a family that loves and celebrates food.” Graduated and noticed during competitions, he worked in several German restaurants, including Aqua Wolfsburg starring Triple Michelin, and later at the Intercontinental Hotel in Marseille, France. But something was “missing”, so Malonga set out on a two-year trip to Africa. “The key to what’s happening to me today,” he explains. He fell in love with Rwanda, a mountainous and prosperous country with a mild climate, and will open Mesa Malonga there in 2020. The “Malonga Table” in Kiswahili language attracts comfortable locals, foreigners and tourists alike – the total bill is around 130 euros. On that day, the 10-course menu included sweet potato marinated tuna, cassava powder shrimp and peanut butter coffee espuma. Interested in the products, the chef wants to wander for an hour from Kigali to the alleys of Niyamata Farm, where he stores aromatic herbs and edible flowers. An “opportunity” he did not have in Europe, he tasted a few leaves here and there, and admitted to asking a thousand questions to the owner, Laura Dominie. While she is very proud to see “stars in her eyes” while collecting her products, Laura marvels at the quality of the restaurant where she had the opportunity to dine. “It feels like being in business class,” she laughs, referring to the food and service. By 2023, at the foot of the Virunga Volcanoes and their famous gorillas, Molongo wants to “build something bigger and bigger” by opening a new restaurant in the countryside of Musans (north). Much higher, more expensive, the second Meza Malonga will be both an “experience” and “culinary innovation village” where most food will be produced on site, but not a training center. In Kigali, Malonga works with ten young chefs, mainly Rwandan but also Burundian, Ugandan, Tanzanian, who appreciate his ability to retrieve and “allow to create” when making room or meticulously setting the plates – with tweezers.
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