Mr. David Khegl is the General Manager , Federal Palace Hotel and Casino, Lagos. He has lived and worked in various parts of South Africa, China and various parts of the world and in all aspects of hospitality and leisure industries.He is our guest in this edition of Celebrity Tummy Talk. He speaks on his specialties and other interesting issues on food.
How is your food in-take?
My food in-take is not on
the salty side and in Nigeria, I enjoy the pepper soup and my favourite dishes is chicken which I take as breakfast.
Chicken has lots of flavours and it is presentable and affordable. I find it difficult to prepare red meat because it is very expensive and so I think, chicken has quality product and I enjoy cooking it.
…And growing up?
Growing up as a child, I enjoyed a different dishes. From oranges, lemon, chicken, beef, pasta, fish and all varieties.
Do you still take time out on these foods?
I still take fish and chicken as it is taken as breakfast. As much as I don’t eat heavy breakfast, I could guarantee the rest of the meals. My eating habit is to eat like a king in the morning, and like a pauper in the evening.
How much of Nigerian foods you like?
I take some pepper soups especially chicken.
How long have you been doing that?
Since, four years ago.
Can you explain why there is no Nigerian dish that is internationally recognised?
The only Nigerian food that is well recognised is the pepper soups. I believe others are starchy.
Your hotel celebrates with families, why?
Families stand as a brightening gap and a strength of any society. People have problem in spending quality time with their families after the day’s work and it is easy for us to use the medium to bring families together. It also serves to familirise with the media around to showcase the level of decency in the hotel environment. The symbolism of the World Food Day, “African tour” is to give back to the country.
How much of the African dishes do we have today?
All the dishes today have been African flavour and ingredients. We have special dishes from Morocco, Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, and we try to keep indigenous foods as much as possible especially for African continent. There is dessert which could be Europeans, American.
Why did you decide to focus on African dishes?
We are in African country and we have a large portion of our clients especially businesswomen and men all over Africa.
There is food scarcity, how do you cope with high cost of food and scarcity?
It is difficult and complex issue for a number of reasons. For effective operation, there is need for effective agricultural capacity and distribution networks. And with the challenges facing Nigeria with agriculture, electricity, it is very difficult to get quality produce from the farm lands to the cities. So, we try and buy as much as local produces within the immediate areas. For instance in Kwara State, there is a good poultry farming and we try and make use of that product. Distribution is an important companion to this services.
Don’t you import foods
We do but to a certain quantity because it is difficult to obtain the quantity in the quality of some items that we require because there are no suitable alternatives. Although, it is not our preference. We try as much as possible to prepare everything rightly.
How do you treat left-overs?
We are careful at what we do. We know how many people are coming and we know the requirement to minimise leaf-overs. We are particular about wastage.