A lot of miles separate Tanzania and San Sebastián, but this month, their cultures collided. Charles, the chairman here at Mimo, befriended a man named Michael on a trip to Tanzania. Michael’s story is fairy tale, sprinkled with hard work and elbow grease instead of magic dust.
The story was featured in the Diario Vasco this weekend:
Michael was born in 1981 in a remote village close to the Serengeti national park. He helped his family on the farm until his mother died in 2002. He was alone to look after seven siblings and made a meagre living selling chickens and eggs in his village.
In 2003, Michael got a job at the Singita Sasakwa Lodge as a gardener and maintenance worker. This is when michael became curious and passionate about food. He spent his first year in the kitchen washing dishes, until an executive chef recognised his talent and drive and took him under his wing, sent him to school to learn english and he eventually became his sous chef.
A year later, Michael entered the best chef of Tanzania competition and was awarded the accolade. He was then made executive chef for the Singita Sabora tented camp the first time a Tanzanian citizen had reached such heights.
Charles and Mimo invited him to experience all the tours, classes, and knowledge that Mimo offers visitors to San Sebastián.
Michael Matera said a “hasta luego” and not a final goodbye to San Sebastian as he hopes to return next time not as student but as a professor.