Food Story – Interview with Frank Lusumbili, Head Chef at Eastwood Hall
What made you want to be a chef and when did your love of food first start?
I have been passionate about food since early age but it was only when I visited my brother who was an F&B manager in the Hilton Nairobi that I realised this is what I wanted to do. I still remember this day as he was having a meeting with the Chef and as a young boy seeing how smart and immaculate his uniform was I just knew that I wanted to be just like him one day.
Do you have any stand out dishes or packages which are popular with corporate guests? What can they expect to eat when attending an event at your venue?
Guests just love our hog roast as it is not something you can see every day but also it is irresistibly tasty. When attending our venue clients should expect high standards delivered by a young, energetic and exciting team who is passionate in delivering excellent food.
What options are available for bigger events such as celebrations, parties and conferences? And how much prep is required for these types of events?
For weddings we offer tailored wedding packages designed to offer brides and grooms the perfect way to celebrate their big day. Our conference packages are designed to cater for groups from early morning starting with delicious snacks right through to lunch where hot & cold buffets are available. We can also cater for banquets with a comprehensive plated menu selection. Our team always ensures that they are one step ahead by staying informed on the business and preparation required.
What can you offer clients looking for a fine-dining experience? How do you make the occasion unique and how do you get the right combination of food and drink?
We are able to tailor a menu to the client’s specifications so we offer something for all tastes. In addition, we offer a tasting beforehand where clients can try some of the dishes and this gives them a better idea of which option to choose. If they are not happy with certain aspect then we can look at alternatives to ensure everything is just as wanted.
Do you use locally sourced ingredients and produce, and does this change seasonally? What would you recommend for a small scale meeting in the summer compared to the winter? Would it vary?
As part of the Compass Group we always endeavour to ensure our menus are packed with seasonal ingredients suitable for that particular time of year. We always try to adapt our menu based on the season which is a great opportunity for us to experiment with number of dishes.
How important a role do you feel food plays in the success of an event and its objectives?
I believe the success of any event is in the food so when clients come to the venue for business one of the biggest priorities is food as to get the food right is often to get the event right. When looking at feedback from events, food is always scoring high up on the topics of discussion. We pride ourselves on the energy, passion and excellence that is reflected on the food we serve.
What three reasons would you give event organisers to choose your venue/hotel for their next event?
I would say our three strengths lie in our excellent food full of choice, our warm and welcoming staff that would ensure your stay is unforgettable but also our beautiful parkland, where food will taste even better.