Imagine a gourmet restaurant complete with fine clinking china and white table cloth offering scrumscious, finger-licking meals in Ghana. That is the vision of two brothers who are on a journey to change the Ghanaian culinary scene.
Samuel Owusu with brother and teammate Albert Owusu are the new self-made chefs in Ghana. I chanced upon the enthusiastic brothers often cooking something in the kitchen and displaying their work of art in plating and garnishing dishes on social media. It was a complete revelation for me to find out that they practically learnt how to cook through cook books and online videos.
- RAW Africa: How did it all begin and what instruments did you use to learn how to cook since you didn’t have any prior culinary practice.
- Sam: I got intrigued to learn how to cook via online videos and books. And it all began when i developed a new found love for fitness. As I begun to exercise and frequent the gym to keep fit, I realised there was a need to have a complete nutritional and healthy meal to aid in my muscles development.
- RAW Africa: Why the name Big Sam’s Kitchen?
- Sam: My exploit in body building led me to discover the art of cooking and I attained the name “Big Sam’s Kitchen” for my enterprise through my physique as “Big”, then included my name Sam so “Big Sam”.
- RAW Africa: How long has Big Sam’s Kitchen been in existence and how many dishes can you boast of preparing during that period?
- Sam: It has been just a year, yet I have cooked many dishes which I have lost count but can boast of making recipes such as Mozzarella potato stuck-up, beef curry sauce, parfait, mango gazpacho, cheese cake with strawberry sauce, Avocado crostini, our popular fried rice and chicken, Greek salad, Potato puree with baby lamp, local dishes such as palm-nut and groundnut soup, boiled yam and plantain, and the list goes on and on.
- RAW Africa: What are some of your achievements reached with this talent?
- Sam: As a successful self-made chef I have organised three pop-up dinning assisted by Albert within a year. The first being ‘Garden of Recipes’ where 20 friends were invited to taste some of our gourmet dishes and desserts with an array of wine and champagne in a beautifully decorated garden with good music. The second pop up dinning was ‘April Showers, May Flowers’, which was a free dining to celebrate women who have achieved great success and helped people in the society. This saw the likes of Nadia Gyimah CEO of Hair Senta, Joyce Ababio founder of Joyce Ababio College of Creative Design, Fiona of Fiona Foods, Debrah Jane of Think Mahogany and owners of Cup Cake Boutique. And the recent dinning dubbed ‘Sundowns and Champagne’ sponsored by Luc Belaire Ghana.
- RAW Africa: What are some of the habits you picked up in order to improve your cooking skills?
- Sam: From having my first meal being successful and encouraging as a beginner, I pushed further to learn more by researching, learning from the expert in culinary and consistent practice.
- RAW Africa: Every business is faced with challenges, what has been some challenges in your case?
- Sam: There are challenges with funding, getting a meal to perfection and finding the right ingredients to buy in Ghana. But, I have been able to accommodate these frustrations to better myself in culinary and become the best I can be.
- RAW Africa: Who inspires you in Ghana to learn more about the art of cooking?
- Sam: I draw inspiration from Fred Appalu and Fiona for helping me in my transition to culinary.
- RAW Africa: What are your expectations in becoming a full-time chef in Ghana?
- Sam: As a lover of art, I am intrigued to challenge myself to make new recipes and upgrade local recipes to make it ‘fancier’. I have also developed passion in Gastronomy and have high hopes of learning more in addition to my degree in Business Administration from University of Professional Studies (UPSA).