The Team


'A South African restaurant operator and a Swedish lawyer’

On the 1st of March 2011, South African restaurant operator Son Vengetsamy and Swedish lawyer Hanna Ershammar, took over as the new owners of the Karambezi Café. With a clear set goal of where they wanted their restaurant to be in the next year, their immediate pursuit to introduce and maintain high quality products, excellent food, great service and a new fresh design begun. Already they have successfully transformed many parts of the business, but there are still many exciting changes to look forward to.

 The finished product is the goal, but the journey of transformation is great one.


 ‘With passion and respect for the trade’

A new addition to the Karambezi Cafe team is the leader of the kitchen, award winning executive chef Brendan Speed. Being born in Australia but having travelled all over the world, Brendan has picked up influences and learned the secrets of many rich food cultures. His amazing career has taken him to places like Istanbul, Belfast, Sydney, London and Dar es Salaam. Before Brendan joined the Karambezi Cafe he ran the renowned restaurant Zuma in Istanbul as well as the award winning Crown Plaza in London. He also holds a prestigious place in the Oriental Restaurant Hall of Fame and has led several of his restaurants to gold medals in international cooking competitions. “We are very blessed and happy to have him in our team” says Karambezi Cafe owner Son Vengetsamy.

Brendan’s way of cooking is the same as when he leads his team in the kitchen. With genuine passion and respect for the trade. Having years of chef experience as well as having held classes in chef master cooking, education and motivation, wine and food matching, team building techniques and community based education for the Australian indigenous people, Brendan knows about the importance of leadership and how to motivate people. The quality and authenticity of his dishes shines through every meal by his usage of original recipes and the utilization of solely fresh, high quality food products. In his kitchen there is a clear sense and presence of a constant focus. All surfaces and equipment are clean and every staff member is working with a clear purpose. If a guest would like to come and visit the kitchen they are always very welcome to at Karambezi Café.

An important step in knowing the quality of products is knowing their origin. Having worked in Tanzania before back in 2006, then at the Movenpick Hotel, Brendan has got a fundamental knowledge of the working climate in Tanzania. Here to stay for good this time, he moved here with his wife and 2 children in May this year. Having love for this country makes Brendan also work with an aim towards being environmentally friendly, as well as helping the small producers on the market. ‘You don’t have to be the biggest to carry the best products, and that is what I care about’ says Brendan Speed, or ‘Chef Haraka’ as his kitchen team calls him. Visiting local fish markets before dawn to get the best pieces, meeting with local farmers as well as growing your own berries and vegetables, is nothing out of the ordinary for this unordinary chef.


 ‘Esthetics and genuine excellent taste goes hand in hand’

The latest addition to the Karambezi Café team is executive pastry chef Bilal Bajouk. Being brought up in a family full of professional bakers and pastry chefs, the art of pastry design and baking early became a natural part of his life, that later grew into his true passion. This passion has taken Bilal to 5-star hotels all over the world, where he has learned not only the detailed art of making pastry, but also about leadership, how to manage a kitchen and motivate his staff.

 Bilal has previously worked in luxury hotels in countries like Dubai, France, Lebanon, Tanzania and Djibouti. Having particular training and knowledge in Arabic sweets, chocolate making, French bakery and ice cream, he is able to make and create dishes suitable for everyone at every occasion. He enjoys mixing traditional knowledge and ways of preparation, with new and fresh recepies and ideas. Developing something new from a traditional dessert, adding a personal touch of flavour and elegance.
Bilal, as a proper pastry chef, believes that the dessert is the high light of every meal. “A meal is not fully complete without it”,Bilal says. He works solely from the principle that a dessert is not made to purely satisfy the taste buds. To reach true perfection it also needs to be visually appealing to the guest. Esthetic and genuine excellent taste goes hand in hand when it comes to the art of creating desserts.
Get ready for new levels of sweet gastronomic experiences in Dar es Salaam!