‘Chef Oros at your service’

By Rosalia David

LUCAS Ashipala known as Chef Lucas Oros Ashipala is taking the food industry by storm through offering cooking services to clients in the comfort of their own homes.

The chef who is also recognised as a radio personality and disc jockey owns the Funky Lab Pizzaria and Shawarma by Chef Oros situated along Independence Avenue in Windhoek.

Speaking to Confidente recently, Ashipala shared the highs and lows of being a private chef in Namibia.

“The good thing about being a private chef and only cooking on request is the most amazing experience and I don’t regret taking this route. I tell people that there is no curfew to eating which makes my work so much easier,” he said.

Ashipala who started his culinary career at the tender age of eight, and was mentored by the late Chef Talamondjila Moongo said he does not regret pursuing his cooking career as his hard work is finally starting to pay off.

“I have been a private chef for two years now and towards last year when I started being booked by musician Yessonia, I started getting more clients. Just in January I had 15 bookings already because sometimes I can be booked three times in a day,” he added.

Ashipala described his prices as affordable with a breakfast booking fee ranging from N$1 500 for one to eight people.

“I can make a buffet or serve per dish. It doesn’t matter it all depends on the client’s request but for the same package all I do is take my client’s tastes and dietary constraints into consideration and create a customised menu.”

He further credits his Swedish stepfather for introducing him to the kitchen. “My stepfather exposed me to cooking around 2005 and after he passed, the cooking continued with a family friend and one of the best chefs in the country the late Moongo, who continued inspiring me to take cooking seriously,” recalled Ashipala.

He added that, throughout his cooking journey, he also met entrepreneur Loide Zaaruka who saw the potential in him and decided to rope him in when she set up Oshana Mall.

“Zaaruka invested in me because of the passion I had and still have for cooking.”

Ashipala has so far trained and worked at restaurants such as Debonairs, Fishaways, Steers, Wizzy’s Kapana, Bakehouse Pizzaria Walvis Bay, SOS Club Oshakati, Jeli Deli Cafe and LI Lounge.

Apart from loving the kitchen, Ashipala is also a DJ who is currently working towards releasing a seven-track EP featuring several musicians such as his brother, dancehall sensation Don Kamati.

“On the music side, I am scouting for talent and beautiful voices to feature on my upcoming Amapiano EP that will be coming out this year. If you know how to sing, hit me up. I want unknown talented people on it,” he said.

Asked on how he found interest in music, Ashipala said, he always loved blues and jazz and wanted to utilise the opportunity of recording since his brother owned a studio.

“One day, I downloaded virtual DJ and started playing music and when Don heard it, he said the music sounded good, it tastes like Oros and he loved Oros so much at that time and that’s how the name Oros came about.