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Sa-far-i-way from home by Kevin Barron Part 7 Executive Chef Ole Sereni Hotel Kenya


Kevin Barron is Executive Chef at Ole Sereni Hotel Kenya, Kevin shares his overseas journey, offering a Chefs' eye view, of the life of an Ex-Pat in Kenya.

PART 7 (Part 6 can be viewed HERE),so I resign and spend a few meetings with the Directors asking why im leaving, will I stay, reasons etc etc and I can't lie but I'm not totally honest with everyone, I figure it's easier that way I'm not happy doing it it's not my style but pressure makes me tell them im going back to the UK.

I can't sit there and criticize the GM can I?

So the day pass and more meetings why am I going stay longer they will help me out even an offer of going to the UK one week per month to sort out my "issues" there.

I then get a call from India from Mr Bakaya, asking me can anything be done, I'm starting to feel shitty and realize I have handled this all very badly but I have to do what is best for Me, Ania and Kasia so it has to be Good-Bye.

So I am asked by the new GM of my new role and the Owners if I can fly out to Zanzibar and look through some projects, have some meetings and set the ball rolling, so one sunny Sunday I board the plane to Zanzi flying right next to the snow peak of Mt Kilimanjaro a truly awesome sight to behold, if I want so unfit I would give climbing it a bash!!!

I'm picked up by the GM and driven to the Hotel I meet the new F&B Manager who I actually knew already from here he was the pre-opening F&B at Ole-Sereni!! We talk have meetings and look around the kitchen checking what is needed before I arrive, things are looking good, the beach and sea looks amazing and I'm happy knowing Ania and our little girl will have a very good life and Kasia can grow up on the beach and the sea, happy thoughts so far BUT I have a funny feeling about something which will hit me like a punch from Mike Tyson, what the hell is it??????

I would know soon enough!!

I'm only there for a day and fly back early evening, I'm on the plane and it hits me in such a way the mass panic I have I don't mind saying has me in tears, I think I'm shit scared and im making a really big mistake, I get back to Ania and I'm in a right state, she freaks out asking me what is wrong so I tell her"¦"¦"¦"¦"¦"¦..

I think I/we are making a big mistake leaving, oh dear really shitty times!!!

I think I called Steve to ask him what the chuff I should do now, but deep down I know I cant leave just yet something is telling me I need to see the project through still so so much to be done, so an hour later I SMS all the Directors late that Sunday, telling them I'm sorry but I have not been totally honest and could we sit down as soon as, so there I am no job to go to and a job I have im due to leave in around 3-4 weeks I have really ballsed it all up eh??!!  so much for living the dream!!

One of my Directors calls me straight back, asking whats up? I tell him I'm really sorry I have not been 100% honest and I think I am about to make the biggest mistake in my cooking career  right up there with giving a Michelin Inspector a tomato rose garnish!    (I didn't really)

We are due to meet at 3 the next day I didn't get a wink of sleep that night my Daughter is barely 6 months old and I'm about to throw her future and ours down the swanny.

They all arrive and I'm called into the Boardroom minus the GM, I spend the next half hour or so telling them exactly my thoughts and the REAL reasons why I want to leave, they don't say too much but one of them comments yes, we knew were going to Zanzibar (to this day I have no idea how they knew)

So they then ask me to leave the room oh shit I have really screwed it now I call Ania and tell her I'm in trouble she may as well start packing,

I'm called back in to be told something very surprising which I never saw coming"¦"¦. Honestly!!

We will soon be having a new GM and if I would they would love me to stay and finish what we had started with the new man!!!!!!!!!!!!!


I'm over-bloody-joyed I tell you and hugs all round I leave the boardroom very emotional and call Ania its going to be ok Hon I haven't screwed things up for our young family.

Then I call the team and tell them im not going anywhere ( as I'm writing this I can feel the emotion again) they are overjoyed, some in tears, some not so happy, I decide there and then to get my head back down, push this hotel hard and forward fast oh and to do a little housekeeping on some of the team who lest say are not 100% behind me and the good of the hotel, that's part and parcel of the African mentality but let's just say I'm going to show them some of the UK way, don't stab anyone in the back it will always come back to you and with me ten fold.

Kevin Barron Executive Chef | Ole Sereni Hotel

Nairobi | KENYA

Kevins Blog