Lilllian Elidah Daka-Mumba is a professional chef . She was born in Lusaka ,Zambia, raised in Sweden, studied in Switzerland, and worked in France .

She has working experience in Sweden,Zambia, France and Switzerland.

She is a Foundation Degree holder in Culinary Arts established at Cesar Ritz Culinary Arts Academy. she got a Membership certificate from the French association “Devoir du champignon”

 

KAPA187: What made you want to be a professional chef instead of a more traditional career such as a doctor or lawyer?

Lillian: I grew up in Sweden and through my three years of college, I got to do law, and such subjects, but they never quite fascinated me. After I graduated from college, I took time off to decide what I really wanted to become and realized that I love cooking and I can make a living out of it.

 KAPA187: Has your family always been in support of your decision?

Lillian: my mother at first was quite doubtful that” Why do you want to become a chef? You can be an economist, or anything because of your good grades”, but it is something that I decided to do and become and like everything else I do, I make the best out of it and do my best. I managed to persuade her. Through my actions and determination

 KAPA187: What do you think is the biggest misconception of professional chefs?

Lillian: That question depends where you come from. In Europe and the western world, being a chef is just like any other profession and we obtain the respect because here they understand the value of a chef, the amount of work and strain it has and this is due to that eating in restaurants and out has been a culture for so many decades.

In Africa, they are a few chefs, most of them are cooks and that’s where the difference is. In Africa being a chef is considered low educated and not such a good option and I can’t blame them, they are not so many culinary schools, great hospitality schools either and eating out in restaurants has just gotten popular recently, before people would not go out that much.

 KAPA187: What is your favorite food to eat and favorite to cook, why?

Lillian: I am quite picky with foods, but I love the classical Italian, Pasta Bolognese, Lasagna also baby pork ribs and delele, ifishashi, Swedish meatballs, smoked salmon , . I love a bit of all the foods; it represents me because I have a bit of every country.

 KAPA187: How important is it to have a good education before becoming a chef.

Lillian: Being a chef requires an education! I obtained my higher Swiss Diploma and foundation degree in Culinary Arts at the Cesar Ritz Colleges in Switzerland. That is the difference between a chef and a cook, Cooks rarely need to go to school but chefs do. I have had to learn marketing, people skills, certificates in hygiene, nutrition, law, and service. Nowadays few establishments will hire you if you do not have a culinary education. Culinary is the academic word for cooking. There are different types of chefs, pastry chefs, cold kitchen chefs and etc. People normally mistake being a chef means being a baker, pastry chef and chocolatier, no it is not. They all have quite the same foundation but you will always need experience or education to obtain the needed skill to work within the part of the kitchen you want.

 KAPA187: Give an example of a menu that you would prepare for this particular season in Zambia .

Lillian: Given that it is the beginning of the year and in Zambia we have a lot greens I would prepare

Amuse Bouche

Air dried ham with dried Zambian mango chutney.

Appetizer

Bruschetta of tomato, onions and basil, topped with Mozzarella cheese

Main Course

Pork with wild mushroom sauce and roasted potatoes

Dessert

Poached pear with mango ice-cream

KAPA187: What do you do to stay educated about new trends?

Lillian: Read hospitality magazines look at what other chefs are doing, Ask my readers and supporters on what they would love to read about and have recipes on. I also observe the growth of the cultural populations and influences in our society

 KAPA187: What do you do to insure the quality of the food going out to customers?

Lillian: have a well prepared menu with good working personnel. Detailed upon last minute, food served and held at the right temperature. Using fresh and seasonal ingredients. Great food presentation and a smiling service team.

 KAPA187: Having worked in many countries, how do you feel professional zambian chefs compare with the rest of the world.

Lillian: I do have the highest respect for any Zambian, or African chef no matter the education because I know it is not easy and it takes a lot of courage and heart to do what we do. Zambian chefs are not on the world map yet and cannot compete with the other international chefs, and that is not their problem it is because the hospitality education does not have that form of education for chefs and also even looking at restaurants in Zambia we are not there yet but we are getting there.

 KAPA187: What have been your best and worst moments in your career.

Lillian: There are a few moments, When I started writing for one of the biggest newspaper in Zambia, I was 19 years then, the youngest author and now I am a bit grown and still writing. The whole nation has gotten to see the other way of my cooking.

My graduation, and when I opened my own catering company, Twaala Catering.

Worst. The moments that I cried because it was either too difficult or I got underestimated for being a woman but now I have learned, never ever cry.

 KAPA187: What 3 things do you consider to be your strengths.

Lillian: My academic skills because it is EVERYTHING one needs to obtain, academic wise in one package. I have always been taught to be humble and to respect people. Discipline is my biggest strength because as a chef we have three addictions. Alcoholic, drug or workaholic and I have seen people do drugs, drink at work but I never ever done this, but I can say that I am indeed a workaholic. I got one addiction.

 KAPA187: Tell me something you would like to learn or improve upon.

Lillian: I would love to improve my speed, work with more chefs and become extremely detail orientated and more patience.

 KAPA187: You know 8 international languages, which ones are they and how has that helped you in your career.

Lillian: Bemba, Soli, Nyanja, Swedish, French, Spanish, English, Norwegian (The last ones are a bit similar to each other) It has helped me tremendously. When I started working in Switzerland and France our dishwasher spoke Spanish and he helped me with the language barrier. I can speak when I’m home in Zambia. Swedish helps with German as well. It has helped me a lot to connect and socialize with people. I can now work and communicate with one of the best chefs in the world which happened to be French.

 KAPA187: Do you have any hidden talents?

Lillian: I love writing and photography. I am an artist…culinary artist. I love being creative and this has helped me with my other passions and also ventured into other businesses.

 KAPA187: What advice would you give someone who wants to begin a career in culinary arts?

Lillian: You have to love what you’ll do and know what you want. It will be long hours, exhaustion ,be ready for that. Be open-minded, and courageous. It is not a competition with others, always compete with you and strive to become better and greater. I wish you all the best and hoping to work with you very soon and if you have any questions visit my Facebook page.: http://www.facebook.com/#!/LillianElidah

Here is some of the food you can expect from her:

Nshima and beef stew

Chicken salad in pesto sauce

Mashed potatoes and fried mince beef

Chicken skewers

Home made Kapenta with cumin and lime

New York Cheesecake

Lillian is an inspiration to other young women , she is multi talented and apart from being a chef she is also :

  • the executive producer for the cookshow ” Cooking with LillianElidah.”
  • Food Writer for The Post, Zambia.
  • Managing Director for EZM magazine
  • C.E.O and founder for L.E.D.M, a fast growing management and consultancy agency with over three companies.
  • Executive chef and supervior for Twaala Catering and events.

 

BY KAPA187

 

 

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49 COMMENTS

  1. Great lady great food. Hope it tastes as great too. She is hardworking unlike other women who just cry and complain all the time. I am not talking about… I end here!

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  2. There’re a lot of Zambian talented hardworking women out there, try the women who break stones for a living or the rural woman who still looks good in her natural color despite fetching firewood, drawing water, cultivating the land under the sun , those are my Diva heros. Don’t consentrate on those born with a silver spoon in their mouths!

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    • Please learn to give credit where it’s due. And by the way I don’t think  breaking stones, fetching firewood etc are talents. They are just ways of earning a living (work). People do such work because of lack of different descent alternatives or other reasons most of them genuine.
      You also mention of this lady being born with a silver spoon in her mouth. That does not matter as long as she utilizes this opportunity in a positive way unlike others like the late Castro Chilubas who did not take the chance of being sons of the president to better their lives.

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  3. This is what we want from Zambian women, i have enjoyed this interview and keep it Mumba. You are definately a respected lady unlike monsters who talk about soft bums all the time and busy plundering national resources.

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  4. That’s one Hell of a combination not only is she a looker but she cooks up a storm,Ladies(ZAMBIAN CHICKS)apa its step you game UP ama standards have gone up!!!

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  5. “Executive chef and supervior for Twaala Catering…”.

    ‘EXECUTIVE chef’?? ‘SUPERVIOR’?? Honestly I dont know what these tittles mean. Only Kapenta looks appetizing to me, not cheesecake, nor the 4-weeks old chicken, nshilya ifi!!!

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  6. That food looks tasty but like #12 said western food is grown in a hurry ( 4-weeks old chicken) and to make it tasty and edible you have to apply too many additives. Anyway we are now used to it. Here in this part of the world chefs are highly respected and recognised just like any other professionals such as doctors, economists, etc….Congratulations to you Daka-Mumba, you are a shining example to thousands of young Zambians. By the way since when did Zambians adopt hyphened names?

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  7. Why cant we stick to the career and not the looks? The bible says if you look at woman lustifully, you have commited adultery. How many of you have do so so far?

    Great career, i look the kapenta menu, can you post the recepe?

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  8. ANYONE WITH INFORMATION SHE CAN MAKE A GOOD WIFE.ALL THE GIRLS HAVE DATED THEY DON’T KNOW HOW TO DO THE KITCHEN THING……….PLEASE PLEASE A LADY WITH SUCH QUALITIES WANTED URGENTLY FOR MARRIAGE CONTACT DETAILS 0977462……

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  9. Congrats Lillian. These are the kind of stories we need to hear of Zambian women and not those of women being caught with drugs in Pakistani, Thailand and China etc

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  10. Chilya nachi advance in age(nakota) elyo abaice balewaminako, damit! Kuntu waiyubula nge nsato. Jealous down, mwaice ba Jehoviah bali posanko amano paku kuchita create.

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  11. @15 Iwe chi Mabvuto,are you saying you can’t have quality time with someone during the day?
    Why do u mystify even the free gifts of life. Pure African mind I guess.

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  12. It seems this particular interviewer is more interested in talking about eating food than the lady’s career…I have friends in the industry and they start from somewhere in the kitchen.. what background did she start as; ie as Pastry Chef or Sous Chef. Ask which hotels she has worked in Or the Michelin star restaurants she has practised her culinary skills. You can tell a great chef by the influence of chefs they have worked under eg; Gordon Ramsay under Marco Pierre White. Has she lead a kitchen brigade as a Head Chef.
    All in all good interview from an entrepreneur point of view.

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  13. I choose her over the food she prepares! Why? Because the food vanishes no matter how tasty, but she would be there all the time.

    Sorry, you are cute, no jealous.

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  14. ZAMBIANS, have pride for one another and every Zambian who achieves something. Let’s not have the bring Him or Her Down Syndrome. It’s a bad disease. Honestly people that write negative about fellow citizens, are a sign of Jealousy because they are failures.
    Well done young Girl. May the lord bless you in all your Endeavors? Don’t be selfish; contribute to Zambian Communities by sharing your knowledge with other Young Zambians. VIVA ZAMBIA

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  15. Zambians need to lose their obsession with believing everything foreign is better! So what if she was raised in Sweden? Does that all of the sudden qualify her to get the spotlight as top chef? 3 years of college = no bachelors degree in culinary arts to talk all, no real experience as a chef but hey she was raised in Sweden and has hips so she must be plastered on the internet at the expense of real issues.

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  16. @ 31 iwe ka Fragrante Delicto, manje ufuna chigololo chamuzuba monga ni bana ba skulu? ka lillian kalefwikwa pu ngwe mpaka uluchelo kamboni ni ntanda 

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  17. inspiring to see people making a career out of what they love despite what people may say/think. keep it up lillian

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  18. @34 SHEIKH

    Don’t get me wrong…I worked in the professional kitchen as an Entremetier chef (Vegetable Chef) as well once upon a time and it can be very stressful and fun at the same time. Its also a alpha male dominated sector, and majority of women in this industry have to be thick skinned or tom boys. I have seen girls reduced to tears on their first day at work…if our girl here really grafted and slaved worked her way up the ladder in a professional kitchen she would have highlighted this issue, when asked to give advice to people especially women wanting to take up a career in Food and Beverage sector.
    How would we know her experience if her age hasn’t been provided or the number of years she worked in the kitchen before going it alone in business.

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  19. LT if you want to profile people professionally take a leave from Forbes and Fortune Magazines, this type of lazy profiling reminds me of that gossip Kachepa 360 that existed not so long ago!!   

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  20. Wow, Lillian has a page on FB called “Lillian Elidah Fan Club” lets support our local chick!!!
    More food ad pics there…
    facebook.com/LillianElidah

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  21. my comment in respect to this , is that she has done very wall and that let her keep it up. may God bless her.

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  22. LOOKING GOOD,MY DAUGHTER LOVES YOU,AND MY SON IS WONDERING WHETHER YOU WANTED TO KILL YTHE GHOST WITH THOSE KNIVES

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  23. this is quite good and very interesting,this girl she may be good and i think she is that good,but one thing i noticed me being a chef also is that,she lacks some stance in kitchen, what i mean is that she may have all those good backgrounds but she still need to build up herself,she dont really know how to go about menu planing as i saw in her pictures and even the presentation is not that professional,for example the presentation of that MINI CHICKEN KEBABS it can tell alot about herself,
    she might be the kitchen supervisor but not to read the kitchen as in food production and and food garnishing,she need to to present herself in a professional   way that even when you dont have appetite to dig in to that food,something inside you has to come publicly (that dig in man) …

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