Nestled in the middle of Gaborone’s Block3 residential area is Travel Lodge Hotel.It is here where you will meet RaphaelChauma, the resident chef who boasts of fi fteenyears experience as a professional chef.“I have always had a passion for food and art,that is the reason why I still do what I do. I love tobe creative with food,” he tells Time Out. Chaumais a man of many talents and is well versedin cooking cuisine from a wide variety of culturesincluding Indian, Chinese and Mexican. “I enjoymulti-tasking and making different food dishes. Iwould get bored if I restricted myself to only onecuisine,” he says.
Asked what his favorite dish was, the Zimbabweanborn said “of all the dishes I have made,seswaa will always be my favorite. When I fi rstcame to Botswana from Zim, my fi rst meal inFrancistown was pap and seswaa and at the time,I didn’t know what it was. Since then it has beenmy favorite dish.”To show off his skills, Chauma whipped fi vespecial dishes for Time Out which he then servedat the Hotel’s back garden. The décor’s gardenwhich resembles a tropical paradise allows thesimplistic beauty of the food to really shine.The fi ve dishes he prepared included the HakeRibbons and Basmati.
This dish is reallya work of art and the fi sh tastes asgood as it looks, tender and juicy andit goes down well paired with Basmatirice or creamy pasta and an ice colddrink.Next on the menu was the Salmoninlaid. This is a nice one for thosewho love fi sh. The salmon is rolled inpancakes and cream cheese and is theperfect dish to order if you are lookingfor something light to munch on in theafternoon.The Beef surprise is a delicious beeffi llet stuffed with chicken mousse. Itis the perfect dish to try especially ifyou are looking to have both beef andchicken.Another tasty fi sh meal served upwas the Herbed fi llet.
Its differentspices introduced a cocktail of fl avorsto the palate. It is fi ling and it is perfectwith red wine.For his fi nale, Chauma preparedChicken Tandoori. This one is marinatedin lemon, tandoori and plain yoghurt.It may not be advisable for thosewho do not like the strong tandoorispice or are allergic to dairy products.