THE president of the Lesotho Chefs Association (LCA) Donald Moletsane says they are working to ensure that chefs working in hotels are qualified for their jobs and that they get acceptable wages for their work.
Chef Donald said this at their meeting with the Ministry of Tourism, Environment and Culture on Thursday where they discussed how to synergise for the improvement of the industry.
He said chefs have lost hope of surviving off their careers because dwindling job opportunities and low salary wages.
“In most cases you find that senior chefs get around M1 000 and that is unacceptable,” Chef Donald said.
He said hotels should take their chefs for training to learn about food handling because to avoid food poisoning.
Chef Donald further said the main reason for partnering with the tourism ministry was that they want to make people aware of LCA and how they can benefit from it.
He said they will soon start shooting a video which they will use to teach people how they can use local products and how local food can be plated to look presentable.
“As chefs, we will be traveling all over Lesotho demonstrating how local products can be used, plated and served while also showing people the variety of foods the country has so as to avoid importing foods which are already available in the country,” he said.
Chef Donald said they have been running culinary arts in Lesotho for almost seven years and they want to spread the word that if chefs support and use local products, they will also be assisting the country’s tourism.
For her part the LCA secretary, Mamello Makote, said they were aware that there were qualified chefs, cooks and caters who are not aware of LCA’s existence and the association is ready to welcome them so as to build a better future for the cultural sector of the ministry of tourism.
“We are focusing on the qualified chefs because we want to assist them whenever they face labour related problems and other legal matters,” Makote said.
She said they ask that they are given a platform to inform Basotho what LCA is and how they can benefit from it.
From the Ministry of Tourism’s department of culture, Maneella Lesaoana said they would want to work with the LCA so that they can teach women from the villages how to best prepare and plate traditional food.
She further said the culture department also has a convention with UNESCO on how to protect Basotho culture and were interested in working with the LCA.