Food for thought

Konrad Jetschko, the catering coordinator at Pick n Pay Namibia, loves food and the cultural experiences it offers.

08 November 2019 | Others

Mariselle Stofberg

An Irish proverb says that laughter is brightest in the place where there is food and Konrad Jetschko’s passion for food ignites his soul.

If you love what you do, they say you will never work a day in your life, and this captures the essence of this passionate and driven chef that has cooked around the world and celebrated numerous dishes and cuisines.

Once he matriculated, he was accepted at the Silwood Kitchen Cordon Bleu Culinary Academy in Cape Town.

At the end of his studies there, he was lucky again to be accepted as an apprentice under a brilliant Austrian chef named Thomas Sinn.

“I then quickly worked my way up to senior sous chef at his prestigious Blue Danube restaurant. From there I had a liking for the trendy tapas, cocktail bars and restaurants popping up in Cape Town and then found myself opening and co-managing the amazing Asoka, Son of Dharma cocktail bar and restaurant.”

Another great opportunity came and Jetschko accepted the offer to be the chef on a classic super yacht named My Istros, cruising the Mediterranean and making frequent visits to Mykonos, San Tropez and Dubrovnik.

“I am very close to my family, so I then decided that I have had enough of the ‘livin’ la vida loca’, as many Namibians do. I then decided to come back home to our lovely country. Since then I have worked as a chef on a few lodges until I recently joined the O&L Pick n Pay team.”

Konrad Jetschko is the catering coordinator at Pick n Pay Namibia. Working as a catering coordinator is quite similar to working in restaurants and hotels and Jetschko believes that is the reason he enjoys it so much. His team caters for various functions like year-end functions, weddings, platters for meetings and do food stalls as well.

“We are quite famous for our spit braais that we prepare at your venue. I get to work with food and people and that’s my passion. Almost every function or event we do is quite unique, so no boring desk job for me. And I have a brilliant management and staff team,” Jetschko says.

“I have enjoyed every second on this journey and I am continuously challenged to perform my outmost best.”

Jetschko has first-hand experience in the challenging environment of catering. “The hospitality, and as I have recently learned the retail industry as well, is quite demanding and challenging at times, but when things come together, the rewards, both personal and professional, are immense.”

Jetschko has had some great successes with projects they undertook the past year, and believes the greatest feeling is to be commended and rewarded so much by O&L, which makes all the sacrifice and hard work all the more worthwhile.

“To form part of such a well-established group of companies is just a massive privilege. The culture and values within the group have become a way of living and place where I feel I belong.”

Food is a daily inspiration for Jetschko, and he finds the culinary art very romantic and inspiring. “All my after-work hobbies also include some aspect of food.”

Even though Jetschko has prepared numerous complicated and sophisticated meals, he still values the simple things in life. “Even chefs enjoy simple food like spaghetti Bolognese or fish spread on toast.”

For Jetschko, food is an intricate part of his life. “Food is like music and it can tame even the most savage beast,” Jetschko jokingly added.

“My motto I live by every day is simple: Just keep your eyes on the stars and your feet on the ground.”

Captions

Photo 1: Konrad Jetschko is the catering coordinator at Pick n Pay Namibia.

Photo 2: Even though Jetschko has prepared numerous complicated and sophisticated meals, he still values the simple things in life.

PHOTOS CONTRIBUTED

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