Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Col. Sanders vs. Chef Ali


Col. Sanders got it all wrong – but more on him later. Chef Ali works for Speke Resort Munyonyo and I have known him for 15 years. In that time, he has struggled to come to terms with understanding the way my palette works. It’s not a difficult palette, a palette that say thrives on soufflés, escargots or mahi-mahi (do the Google-ling yourselves).

Rather, my palette thrives on slabs of meat, the backbone of every African diet and further, I am not fussed whether its pork, beef or lamb. As long as it’s meat, I am good to go. Chef Ali knows this that whenever I am in Munyonyo, he goes out of his way to accommodate my easy-to-accomplish demands.

Last year and over Christmas lunch, Chef Ali didn’t disappoint for he laid on a lunch buffet that had enough meat to bring a smile to my face. Okay yes, there were other non meat dishes, but my focus was on the meats. A guest who I presume was a doctor stopped me as I heaped my plate with carcasses of red meat and the conversation went along these lines.

Doctor: “Young man, you have to watch your red meat intake.”

TB: (Under my breath) “Why don’t you p*ss off and leave me alone?”

Doctor: Perhaps I can give you my card and you call on me in my clinic after Christmas and we talk about your diet.”

TB: (Again under my breath) “Look here old man, if you want to spend your Christmas lunch eating a plate of leaves because you think it gives you a healthy lifestyle, then be my guest. I am going to eat my red meat - you with me!?”

With that, I sat down to my carcasses of meat and two weeks since that lunch, I am as fit as a fiddle and yes, Chef Ali still makes sure I get my fill of meat whenever I am in Munyonyo. So what was the old man fussing on about?

Now back to Col. Sanders who got it wrong and this time we are not talking about Col. Besigye. Towards the end of last year, the aged Col. Sanders from America set up camp in the new mall in Bugolobi – Village Mall that is.

Col. Sanders, is not here to peddle guns, tanks or aircraft to the UPDF but of all things, it’s chicken. And Kampala went wild at the thought of eating his chicken and I too, was one of them.

For those of you who don’t know Col. Sanders, he has a chain of successful chicken eateries dotted all over the world and his KFC brand, is a well recognized brand name.

But the chicken he fries in Uganda is not the same and does not have the same kind of flavour as that in the UK, SA or the States. Anus and I tried it out a few weeks ago and it was lacking. The skin was coarse – almost brittle that it left lacerations on the inside of our mouths and while they got the length and width of the fries right, they were not as crispy as the ones sold abroad.

And that got me thinking. In Uganda today, we have many foreign companies and franchises – banks, telecom companies to restaurants and as soon as they hit town we make noise and embrace them as ‘the best thing to happen to Uganda’ but in reality, we get a raw deal because often, the services they bring to here are substandard. So to hell with the American Col. Sanders for I am going to stick to my home grown Chef Ali at Munyonyo who knows what he is doing.