Executive chef at Mokuti Etosha Lodge Brian Prinz is no stranger to the hospitality industry of Namibia, as well as that of South Africa. With 18 years’ professional cooking experience combined with hotel/restaurant/food and beverage management, both nationally and internationally, alongside top names and popular eateries in the sector, his culinary skills have seen him grow into one of the country’s respected chefs.
The Polytechnic Hotel School (now the Namibia University of Science and Technology) graduate started with an internship at the then Kalahari Sands Hotel under the leadership of chef Gilles Bernard, chef Hubert Gehring and chef Dora Kubas.
His hotel management internship was also done at Kalahari Sands (now Avani Hotel) under the leadership of Ulf Grünewaldt. This saw chef Prinz eventually spread his wings abroad when he started working at the Cape Sun Intercontinental Hotel, where he also had the opportunity to do the prestigious Nederburg wine auction luncheon together with the highly respected chef, Bill Galagher.
Chef Prinz also formed part of the opening team of the Savoy Cabbage restaurant at Heritage Square. His journey in South Africa also included serving at a few events in Johannesburg.
Chef Prinz: “In Windhoek I similarly embarked on a couple of projects. The ones that stand out for me is the Wine Bar, which I transformed from a bar to a fully-fledged restaurant and the transforming of a storeroom into the number one sports bar in Khomasdal – Zee’s Sports Bar, which introduced the house music trend in Namibia.”
Chef Prinz was employed at Mokuti Etosha Lodge from 2007 to 2008 and embarked on a challenge abroad in Dubai and Ajman, followed by his sojourn in Shanghai, China at the World Expo in 2010 and ended up working at the prestigious and exclusive Jin Moa Hotel.
“I went on my own to become a ‘chef on call’ and ended up working at among others, the German Independence celebration with chef Louis Anuszkiewiez; opening and closing of parliament; Namibian budget presentation; State House banquets and was part of the team for the SACU groundbreaking ceremony with my good friend and brother chef Jona Levi. And now I’m back in the bush at Mokuti Etosha Lodge,” he says.
General manager of Mokuti Etosha Lodge Tom Githire is fascinated by Prinz’s creativity and passion for what he does. Githire says: “Brian is an ardent chef, who inspires creativity – an important aspect to the overall dining experience.
“His tremendous passion for food and cooking combined with his keen business sense contributes greatly to one of the O&L strategic areas of focus which is ‘creating amazing experiences that have enduring impact’. It is an absolute pleasure to have him as part of our team.”
Chef Prinz’s love for cooking started at a very young age. “We are 5 brothers and one sister, so I needed to learn how to cook because my parents traveled a lot while doing work for the Church. My father was the Secretary-General of the Council of Churches in Namibia (CCN) and Bishop of the Methodist church while my mother was the coordinator of the CCN Women’s Desk – so we all had to know our way in the kitchen.
“My mom also loved cooking, and feeding her boys gave her so much joy. We all quickly picked up the love for cooking from her and my love for cooking grew stronger. Eventually one day when I saw a series on TV on hotels, it became clearer to me that this is what I want to do.
“I eventually started to learn from reading articles of my food hero, Chef Dora Sithole who has become a friend and is still a great inspiration to me, as she promoted the joy of celebrating local African dishes; which my mom made and also loved,” Prinz said.