WILL SHE? Yummy writer Charlotte Beauvoisin visits Yujo Restaurant in Nakasero, a traditional Japanese restaurant with a Californian twist and had a chat with Chef Jeffrey Pandolfe. Today, I am intrigued to find out what an American Chef is doing in Kampala making Japanese food. Not only is this afternoon’s Top Chef interview an opportunity to learn Chef Jeff’s story, it also gives me a chance to educate myself about Japanese cuisine. I’ve seen and heard the Yujo name many times, but it’s my first visit. I sense that this reformed
vegetarian’s proclamation of ‘I’m not sure if I like sushi’ is just the kind of challenge Chef Jeff likes. It certainly doesn’t diminish his cheerful, enthusiastic welcome. It’s late afternoon and the restaurant is filled with bright sunshine. Yujo Restaurant is open on two sides, with a large veranda that overlooks a small green garden.
Up-tempo music fills the air and the wooden floor bounces gently as the waitresses walk between the kitchen and the customers seated at small square tables. Just two weeks in-country, Chef Jeff has thrown himself into the deep end and is already reporting positive results from his kitchen colleagues. “I want to learn, Chef,” they tell him.
“I’m very excited about exploring Uganda’s fresh ingredients. The sesame seeds here are so fresh! They make the most delicious dipping sauce. Yellowfin tuna that is found here in Kampala is of a superior quality compared to what we have in the States”. Yujo has personal fishers on the Kenyan coast who catch tuna and snapper and truck it to the