Joseph Seeletso: The First Black Professional TV Chef in Poland.

3 May


I love discovering and meeting Africans who are living their passions and dreams, so it is no surprise that todays blog is dedicated to a brother from Botswana who studied in London and has established himself as a chef in Poland.

Joseph “Józek” Seeletso was born in Botswana. He comes from a Royal family of Sekgoma I, the King of Botswana and Joseph’s third great-grandfather.

I had the opportunity of meeting with him and chatting to him about his past, his passion and his love for the continent. Joseph was brought up in Botswana and was influenced by his tradition and culture as well as the British way of life, as the country was colonised by British at the time of him growing up.
Josephs father worked as a chef in a hotel in Gaborone. His childhood memories include the traditional British steak, Sunday roast and Yorkshire pudding. This obviously fused with the traditional local African food in the countryside, at his grandparents’ house. There they grew 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.

Joseph then decided to move to London to acquire his professional skills and enrolled at the prestigious Westminster College, where he worked towards becoming a professional chef. Joseph understood that in this job not only culinary skills matter but also the personality. He said: “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”.


As in most beautiful life stories, Joseph met an amazing Polish lady, Karolina and they decided to get married and moved back to her home country. They moved to Krakow. 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 worked various restaurants, such as Wentzl, Metropolitan and Balzac.

The couple then moved to Botswana, for a brief time where they worked at the luxury Phakalane Golf Estate Hotel Resort. Whilst on the continent he had the opportunity to travel across South Africa and meeting winery owners. This 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.

After their time in Africa, the couple moved back to Poland. At that time they 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 Jospeh 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).


Jospeh is also the brand ambassador for UNCLE BEN’S RICE and SIEMENS Kitchen Home Appliances, he also supports the BOSCH & GAGANEAU brands.


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