SVEIN AT TEDX: OUR GRAND PLAN TO SAVE AFRICA’S WILDLIFE
With inspired dishes like Masai Giraffe Swiss Roll and Wilderness Camp Rocky Road Chocolate Cake, Basecamp Head chef Benson Ole Soit has become renowned for his culinary skills. His high standards have set a new paradigm within Basecamp Kitchen. A self-taught chef, Benson’s story is an inspiring one of someone who fought against all odds to follow his passion of becoming a professional Chef.
Benson grew up in Koiyaki sub location in Narok County. Just after completing his primary school level his life took a turn. He was unable to peruse further studies and to make matters worse, his father became ill. Benson’s family used-up most their wealth paying medical bills, leaving them with very little to sustain themselves. As the eldest child in a family of 38 siblings, Benson was therefore forced to take up the responsibility of taking care of his family.
“My father married four wives and I am the first child of the fourth wife in a family with 38 siblings”.
Benson had to take up several menial jobs to sustain the needs of his family and siblings who were still in school. Nevertheless, Benson had to endure working in different positions before achieving any meaningful target. He was able to secure a job as a guard at Basecamp Wilderness Camp.
Although he had done quite a lot in his career, Benson still wanted to peruse his newly acquired passion for cooking. During his free time, he would read through a cookbook titled Kitchen Stories that he carried around the camp. His interest was conspicuous enough and this prompted Annete then a former camp manager to inquire from him why he kept reading the same book.
As fate would have it, Benson went ahead to share with Annete’s his love of cooking. It was not common for Masai men to do kitchen duties and this was an interesting ordeal to both the manager and Benson. He also ensured that he sought for an opportunity to actually see his dream coming true. His plea did not fall on deaf ears as Basecamp Management supportively offered to give him a chance to see his wish fulfilled.
For years Basecamp has continuously supported its staff by offering training opportunities, to develop themselves. Basecamp knows well that employees are a key determinant of a company’s success.
Benson was more than happy to start off as a Kitchen Steward. His determination, passion, hard work and urge to learn from others saw him rise through the ranks to become a Head chef at Eagle View Camp. His success story continued on when was awarded for being the Best Pastry Chef and the Best Chef in 2011/2012.
“My turning point was when Basecamp allowed me to start my journey as a kitchen steward…”
Benson is a self-made success story. He has learned how to cook through experimentation. He has also incorporated a variety of food techniques by picking up some tips here and there from cookbooks and watching cooking shows on YouTube.
“During my culinary journey, I haven’t had a mentor neither have I worked under any famous chef. I have learned from books and different online platforms. This has made me more creative making me the man I am today”
If you are staying at Eagle View for the first time, as you taste your first meal your culinary experience will have no word to describe it. Your taste buds will be in for a real treat. As you enjoy the delicacies of Mara in a relaxed atmosphere we remind you that this is made possible by Head Chef Benson Ole Soit.
To Benson, the ability to mix various ingredients and bring them together in a new and beautiful way is exciting. Having the potential to deliver such unique satisfaction to others through food provides him a level of personal gratification incomparable to any other pursuit.
His interest in food recently made him travel Europe for an exchange program courtesy of Basecamp Spitsbergen family. As they say, there is a first time for everything. Benson flew to Europe for the first time. During his tour, he had the opportunity to visit several places, including different restaurants where he got to taste great meals that were different from what Kenya had to offer. He also had time to explore the fine dining scene in Spitsbergen as well as interact with the best chefs at 78 degrees North.
“During my visit, I did acquire various recipes as well as learned different styles of food presentation that I will definitely try out at Basecamp Kenya.”
At 31 years, Benson is married with two children. He has a vision of publishing a Recipe book with Basecamp signature dishes.
…He is a perfect of example that nothing is impossible if you have the passion…