MEET

Chef Arnold Safari

Chef Safari started his Career at the age of 10 when his late father was a chef at one of Kenya’s top resorts. Chef Safari knew his career path through working with his dad. After high school, his father enrolled him in the first culinary school in Africa, Kenya Utalii College in Nairobi.

Under the wings of his father, Chef Safari joined Kenya’s culinary team and grew his talent into the world arena. In 2004, Chef Safari was among the young talented chefs who represented Kenya in Erfurt, Germany.

During the show case in Germany, Chef Safari was offered a scholarship by the Swedish Culinary Team to attend Umea University of Culinary Arts for four years. Chef Safari completed his internship training in Sweden with world class chefs.

His first Job offer in Sardinia, Italy led him to Melia Hotels in Barcelona. From there he became Corporate Chef at a chain of Hotels in Zanzibar, before beginning work for the Royal Caribbean Cruise Line where he was the first African Chef in all of the fleet. Chef Safari then moved to Colorado where he was courted by Telluride’s famous restaurant, Cosmo, though he ultimately chose Durango as home and vegan work as Chef at the historic Strater Hotel. His philanthropic work includes his dedication as Culinary Instructor at PCC (pueblo community college culinary program), and was Volunteer Chef of the Year 2014 with a local program for youth called Cooking Matters. 

Chef Safari is a family man with five adorable children and a lovely wife, Lucy. They are all engaged in the Durango community, infusing culture and new perspectives into Southern Colorado. Their smiles are as infectious as Chef Safari’s cooking!

MEET

Chef Arnold Safari

Chef Safari started his Career at the age of 10 when his late father was a chef at one of Kenya’s top resorts. Chef Safari knew his career path through working with his dad. After high school, his father enrolled him in the first culinary school in Africa, Kenya Utalii College in Nairobi.

Under the wings of his father, Chef Safari joined Kenya’s culinary team and grew his talent into the world arena. In 2004, Chef Safari was among the young talented chefs who represented Kenya in Erfurt, Germany.

During the show case in Germany, Chef Safari was offered a scholarship by the Swedish Culinary Team to attend Umea University of Culinary Arts for four years. Chef Safari completed his internship training in Sweden with world class chefs.

His first Job offer in Sardinia, Italy led him to Melia Hotels in Barcelona. From there he became Corporate Chef at a chain of Hotels in Zanzibar, before beginning work for the Royal Caribbean Cruise Line where he was the first African Chef in all of the fleet. Chef Safari then moved to Colorado where he was courted by Telluride’s famous restaurant, Cosmo, though he ultimately chose Durango as home and vegan work as Chef at the historic Strater Hotel. His philanthropic work includes his dedication as Culinary Instructor at PCC (pueblo community college culinary program), and was Volunteer Chef of the Year 2014 with a local program for youth called Cooking Matters. 

Chef Safari is a family man with five adorable children and a lovely wife, Lucy. They are all engaged in the Durango community, infusing culture and new perspectives into Southern Colorado. Their smiles are as infectious as Chef Safari’s cooking!

GUIDING PRINCIPLES

ON MOTIVATION...

“Motivation is what gets me started; habit is what keeps me going. I do not let what I cannot do interfere with what I can do. It takes less time to do the right thing than it does to explain why you did it wrong. I believe in good, better, best. I never let it rest until good is better and better is BEST.”

ON SUCCESS...

“The Fundamentals of my success are my strong beliefs in respect, integrity, ambition, trust, and modesty. You never achieve real success unless you love what you are doing. Ability may get one to the top but it takes character to stay there. Character may be manifested in great moments, but it is built in the small ones. Promise only what you can deliver and then deliver more than you can promise.”

ON FORTITUDE...

“My philosophy is to shoot for the moon and beyond; even if I miss the moon, I’ll land among the stars. In the course of my career, I have learned over and over that in every difficulty, lies an opportunity and in every failure, there is a lesson learned.”

ON PASSION...

“Passion is about giving the best in you, wholeheartedly. It is about creating and delivering an exceptional as well as a memorable dining experience using only the best ingredients. Every meal is imbued with the emotion and character of the chef. Passion turns perfection into art.”

ON EXECUTION & KNOWLEDGE...

“Knowing the job is not enough; one must apply it. Will is not enough; one must take action and deliver it. Well done is better than well said”.

ON TEAMWORK...

“I have great empathy for all the positions in Hotel Operations, especially those in the kitchen. It is important to create a work and business environment that nurtures and values people; an environment in which every job and employee is treated with dignity and respect. The formation of a strong, talented and loyal team lies on their shared visions, goals and values."

AWARDS

  • U.S. CHOCOLATE FANTASIA CHEFS’ COMPETITION — 4X Champion
  • DOOR TO DOOR BETTER COOKING — Chef Safari is a Founder of this, as well as several elite culinary organizations in Kenya. His commitment to excellence and hands-on leadership, as well as his remarkable ability to share knowledge and experience, has earned him recognition and respect food industry in Africa.
  • CHEF OF THE YEAR — 2006
  • KENYA SOUS CHEFS’ COMPETITION, Chaîne des Rôtisseurs — National Champion, 2004
  • THE CULINARY ORDER OF MERIT — Swedish Culinary Team, 2008

EXPERIENCE

  • FOUNDEREat Zawadi. Durango, USA
  • EXECUTIVE SOUS CHEF Double Tree, Hilton. USA
  • CHEF DE CUISINE / EXECUTIVE BANQUETTE CHEF  Mahogany Grille. USA
  • EXECUTIVE CHEF The Strater Hotel. USA
  • EXECUTIVE SOUS CHEF Royal Caribbean Cruise Ship. USA
  • EXECUTIVE CHEFBreezes Beach Hotel. Zanzibar
  • SOUS CHEFLeisure Lodge Hotel/Resort. Diani, Kenya
  • CHEF GARDE MANAGER — Mariefred Restaurant. Gripsholms Vardshus, Sweden
  • CHEF DE PARTIE Jadini Beach Hotel. Diani, Kenya
  • DEMI CHEFE DE CUISINE Safari Beach Hotel
  • APPRENTICESHIP Jadini Beach Hotel. Kenya

EDUCATION

  • CULINARY DEGREEEscoffier School of Culinary Arts. USA
  • CERTIFICATION IN CULINARY SCIENCE-CCSUmea University. Sweden
  • PAIE-CERTIFIED (Emergency Assistance) RCCL
  • CMAT-CERTIFIED (Crowd Management) RCCL
  • CERTIFICATION IN FOOD SERVICE MANAGEMENTUmea University. Sweden

AWARDS

  • U.S. CHOCOLATE FANTASIA CHEFS’ COMPETITION — 4X Champion
  • DOOR TO DOOR BETTER COOKING — Chef Safari is a Founder of this, as well as several elite culinary organizations in Kenya. His commitment to excellence and hands-on leadership, as well as his remarkable ability to share knowledge and experience, has earned him recognition and respect food industry in Africa.
  • CHEF OF THE YEAR — 2006
  • KENYA SOUS CHEFS’ COMPETITION, Chaîne des Rôtisseurs — National Champion, 2004
  • THE CULINARY ORDER OF MERIT — Swedish Culinary Team, 2008

EXPERIENCE

  • FOUNDEREat Zawadi. Durango, USA
  • EXECUTIVE SOUS CHEF Double Tree, Hilton. USA
  • CHEF DE CUISINE / EXECUTIVE BANQUETTE CHEF  Mahogany Grille. USA
  • EXECUTIVE CHEF The Strater Hotel. USA
  • EXECUTIVE SOUS CHEF Royal Caribbean Cruise Ship. USA
  • EXECUTIVE CHEFBreezes Beach Hotel. Zanzibar
  • SOUS CHEFLeisure Lodge Hotel/Resort. Diani, Kenya
  • CHEF GARDE MANAGER — Mariefred Restaurant. Gripsholms Vardshus, Sweden
  • CHEF DE PARTIE Jadini Beach Hotel. Diani, Kenya
  • DEMI CHEFE DE CUISINE Safari Beach Hotel
  • APPRENTICESHIP Jadini Beach Hotel. Kenya

EDUCATION

  • CULINARY DEGREEEscoffier School of Culinary Arts. USA
  • CERTIFICATION IN CULINARY SCIENCE-CCSUmea University. Sweden
  • PAIE-CERTIFIED (Emergency Assistance) RCCL
  • CMAT-CERTIFIED (Crowd Management) RCCL
  • CERTIFICATION IN FOOD SERVICE MANAGEMENTUmea University. Sweden

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