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Kudakwashe Makoni | Zimbabwe, USA & Ghana | Carry Your Victories With Humility

Culinary Consultant | Head Chef | Owner - Entrepreneur


Once upon a time, in the vibrant streets of Accra, Ghana, there lived a chef with an extraordinary passion for cooking that ignited when he was just six years old. Kudakwashe A. Makoni, known to many as Chef Kuda or The Black Chef, embarked on a culinary adventure that took him from Zimbabwe to the USA, and across the globe. Kuda’s culinary journey started at the front of the house (FOH), where he served as a cashier, supervisor, assistant restaurant manager, and eventually a restaurant manager. His love for food and hospitality saw him running and setting up highly profitable kitchens in the UAE, Bahrain, and Zimbabwe. In 2018, he became the Group Executive Chef at Groupe Sebastien, a leading hospitality group in Accra, Ghana, overseeing five culinary units.

With a degree in Culinary Arts Management, Kuda has honed his skills in menu development, kitchen SOPs, recipe creation, portion control, health and hygiene, team building, and leadership. He believes in the power of structures and systems to achieve excellence in the kitchen.

His career has been adorned with stints at prestigious organizations such as Radisson Blu, Starbucks (USA), The Coffee Club (UAE), IHG, Innscor, News Cafe, and Cafe Nush (Zimbabwe).

Kuda is not just a culinary wizard; he is also an academic powerhouse. He holds degrees in Political Science (UC Berkeley), Molecular, Cellular & Development Biology (CSU Fresno), and an MBA in Finance & Corporate Governance (University of Gloucestershire).

His broad knowledge base enriches his strategic management, business development, marketing, and food and beverage operations expertise.

Kuda’s culinary prowess has been celebrated globally. He has been featured in the New York Times, BBC Africa, Travel Essence Magazine, and various US, UK, German, Zimbabwean, Dutch, and Ghanaian media platforms.

He was named one of the Top 100 Food Influencers in Africa, a prestigious list that only two Zimbabweans made. Additionally, he was the sole Zimbabwean featured in Alexander Smalls' iconic culinary cookbook, "The Contemporary African Kitchen."

Kuda has a profound love for Pan African and Afro-fusion cuisine. He enjoys merging the lesser-known cuisines of Southern Africa, especially from his native Zimbabwe, with the more visible flavors of West, North, and East Africa.

His culinary creations tell stories of ingredients that transcend borders, weaving together tales of people, culture, art, fashion, music, and history.

Kuda’s dream materialized into Kandiro by Kuda Makoni, a traveling restaurant and pop-up initiative promoting Zimbabwean gastronomy, ingredients, and culture.

Using re-imagined techniques and presentation styles, Kuda showcases traditional Zimbabwean flavors, each dish narrating a personal story of his life’s challenges and triumphs. Kandiro stands on three core values: Community, Cause, and Culture.

With aspirations to open a brick-and-mortar Kandiro restaurant, Kuda envisions a space where Zimbabwean and Afro-fusion cuisine can shine on the global stage. He also dreams of publishing multiple cookbooks to celebrate and document Zimbabwean gastronomy and ingredients.

Kuda’s journey is a testament to the power of passion, resilience, and innovation. He is not just a chef; he is a storyteller, a cultural ambassador, and a visionary leader in the culinary world. His story continues to inspire and pave the way for future generations of chefs and food enthusiasts around the globe.

And so, the tale of Kudakwashe Makoni, The Black Chef, unfolds—a tale rich in flavor, culture, and an unwavering pursuit of culinary excellence.





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