Popya with Samantha Lind: One of the youngest chefs

WINDHOEK Samantha Lind (22), is one of the country's youngest chefs currently working at Avani Hotel as a senior chef.

Lind has been at the hotel for about a year and half now. I first started at AVANI in December 2016 doing my six months internship.

While there, I worked in most of the departments and after that I signed my contract to work in the kitchen as one of the pastry chefs, says Lind, adding that she worked as a pastry chef for six months; and became a senior chef and a part of an amazing team that opened up the new restaurant pantry at Avani. My job is to ensure that there are enough cake, pastries and desserts for the day. Each day I need to make a to-do a list of what needs to be done for the day.

She said being the only pastry chef, I need to make sure that there are enough desserts for the whole day and with that, I need to know the amount of bookings we have for the day in order to ensure that there are enough of everything, without making too much which will be wasted.

The young chef adds that her job does not only include baking, but coaching as well, she has to give daily training to all the chefs, which can include knife safety courses or training them on which cutting boards they have to work on. Bbeing a chef has never really been a career path that she had considered. I have always wanted to become a bio kinetics or a therapist, and in the final school year, we had to do job shadowing and it was not for me. After talking to a lot of people about possible career paths, I had no idea about what I wanted to do and decided to take a gap year. After that I did short courses in hospitality management, says Lind, adding that she then fell in love with hospitality and knew that it was something that she wanted to do.

I motivate myself by being competitive. I always strive to be the best in what I do and thus do a lot of research to see what the trends are, what the next big flavour is and how I can improve my skills in order to be at the top. Born in Walvis Bay and growing up in Windhoek, she started her primary education at the Suiderhof Primary School, and later moved to the Windhoek Gymnasium Private School where she completed. Lind has various qualifications in hospitality, including a Certificate in Preliminary Wine Course (Cape Wine Academy); Certificate in Wines of the World Course (Cape Wine Academy); Diploma in International Hospitality Management (The American Hospitality Academy); Higher Certificate in Hospitality Management (The Private Hotel School); Advance Certificate in Hospitality Management, Certificate in Professional Baking and Pastry all from The Private Hotel School in Stellenbosch. She graduated last month.

Her goals for the next ten years is to get extra training in France, to learn more about their cuisine as well as fine dining and then go to Germany to learn more about the art of bread making. The hospitality industry is not for everyone. You need to have a strong personality and to be able to work with all types of guests. However, the hospitality industry is one of the best careers one can choose, if not the best. You get to work with different people from all over the world and get to experience different cultures, she said.

Source: New Era Newspaper Namibia