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Meet Chef Gordon Ementono – a Roman holiday

We walk into Feaston’s kitchen, opposite the now demolished Ukay Centre, ready to be shown how to make a few signature dishes from the restaurant’s Italian and Indian menu. Chef Gordon Ementono, our host for the day, is as charming as he is adept at his job.

He is the pizza specialty and pasta chef, and is more than willing to show us how to make pizza. For some of us who roll dough into an oblong shape rather than Chef Gordon’s perfect circle, he has nothing but sympathy, as he cannot identify.

Chef Gordon has been working professionally as a chef for over four years. Before moving to the newly opened Feaston, he had worked for two years at Artcaffe and for another two years at Big Elephant Café as the pizza and pastry chef. His favourite dish to partake is pizza – we laughed about whether he is the proverbial case of a seller indulging in his own wares.

He always wanted to be a chef. Even as a child, he was more than willing to watch and help out around the kitchen. He believes that cooking is not effeminate, and it is something anyone can do if they put in the time. However, he challenges wannabe chefs to know that there is a lot of work and stress that goes on, from when a client orders a meal to when it is beautifully presented to them.

“When people order food, they expect it to be served after a specific time, regardless of how many people might have ordered before them. This means that the chef should deliver high quality food even under pressure – especially under pressure,” the chef explains.

Sure enough, the vegetarian and Roman Holliday (meaty) pizza are perfect in taste and texture, and are testament to the fact that he indeed practises what he preaches.

He happily gives us the recipe for the Roman Holliday pizza, with the instructions to have fun and to come back to the restaurant for more perfect pizzas, just in case we bungle it. We will not, not bungle it. Haha!

Ingredients

Rolled chapati dough

Tomato paste

Cheese (grated)

Onions, leeks, carrots and your choice of toppings, including meat(s)

Salt and spices to season

Method

• Put the flat rolled chapati-like dough on the baking pan.

• Smear some tomato paste on it.

• Sprinkle the cheese all over it.

• Add the toppings of choice (vegetables, meats or both, depending on your preference).

• Add your seasoning of choice.

• Top it all off with more cheese.

• Put it in the oven to bake at 300 degrees Celsius for 15 minutes.

• Serve while hot.

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