My story

Botswana: childhood tastes and first culinary intuitions Joseph “Józek” Seeletso was born in Botswana, a country situated in the south of Africa, bordering with the Republic of South Africa, Namibia and Zimbabwe. He comes from a Royal family of Sekgoma I, the King of Botswana and Joseph’s third great-grandfather. An important person and a role model for Józek was his father, who worked as a chef in a hotel in Gaborone, the capital of Botswana. Therefore, Joseph’s childhood memories include the traditional British steak, Sunday roast and Yorkshire pudding. Joseph got acquainted with traditional local African food in the countryside, at his grandparents’ house. They were growing watermelons, maize, marrows, pumpkins, beans and raised cattle on a small farm by the house. That is where Joseph could watch the vegetables and fruit grow, he tried wild berries or succulents and he learned about various tastes, from sweet to bitter ones. One of his early duties was to milk the goats. His aunts, cherishing local traditions, added goat milk to tea and bread traditionally baked in ashes. That is where his culinary tastes were formed and where he started his first culinary intuitions. London: acquiring professional skills Another step was London and prestigious Westminster College, where he moved to turn his culinary intuition into the education of a professional chef. That is London that made him a pro. Joseph understood that in this job not only culinary skills matter but also the personality. A chef should be universal, creative in his approach to work and should have an open mind and good communication skills to talk to his guests. London – Krakow – Gaborone and further experience The curiosity of new experiences and inborn openness turned out to be an advantage when Józek, maybe even a bit unexpectedly for himself, moved to Krakow. He got married to a Polish woman, Karolina. That is when his life got interesting by meeting the new culture, language and people – musicians and society connected with Teatr Stary and Piwnica pod Baranami.  He was working in the following restaurants: Wentzl, Metropolitan and Balzac. Botswana – South Africa and new fascinations Joseph and Karolina went to Gaborone, where they worked in a luxury Phakalane Golf Estate Hotel Resort. Travelling all over South Africa and meeting winery owners made Joseph understand the meaning of wine expertise to a chef. It requires time and willingness to develop the taste sense in order to learn to recognise the grape varieties, regions of wine origin, to know the meaning of the wine colour and to be able to determine the wine age. All of that has always been Joseph’s passion, starting from his early childhood. Africa – Poland and the first years of author’s cuisine Rich in new experience, Joseph came back to Poland. This time he moved to Warsaw as a chef in a restaurant and bar by “Centrum Wina”. That is where his author’s cuisine started to emerge: he experimented and had fun with wine and dishes matching. That is also when he started working for TVN channel, where he was live cooking in “Dzień dobry TVN” morning television programme and then also in TVP2 channel in “Pytanie na śniadanie”. In December 2009 he was approved as a member of the Poland Chefs’ Club. In 2011 Joseph was invited by CNN channel to participate in a TV commercial promoting Poland in the world in the company of, among others, Norman Davies. In 2012 Joseph was talking about Poland, Warsaw and Polish cuisine to Britishers in “Blue Peter” BBC programme broadcast before Euro 2012. Warsaw – “Joseph’s Wine & Food” and “Joseph’s Culinary Studio” From December 2010 to January 2013 Joseph was working as a chef in “Joseph’s Wine & Food” restaurant in Warsaw, at 3, Duchnicka street. It was his second project connected with creating and running a wine bar in Poland, which turned out to be a great success. The venue was awarded in the Insider Warsaw’s “Best of Warsaw 2012” survey the 1st place in Wine Bar category. The natural development of the need of cooking as a social activity is the author’s studio, Joseph’s Culinary Studio, launched in 2012, where classes, shows and social cooking and food tasking take place. Joseph is also a dad of two great sons, David Sekgoma (6) and Stanisław Fredrick (4).