Sema Jack – Kitchen hand to Chef

Hello my name is Sema Jack and I come from Bunai in the South Coast of Manus. I am a mother of four wonderful children who are all grown up now, and we all love to cook.

My little family and I were living in Madang many years ago and after some time with a few in’s and out’s in our lives we decided to come home to Manus where I opened a new restaurant at a hotel called Kingfisher in Manus.

When the management had put the place on rent I asked if I could do something here and the rest was history with the signing of an agreement.

I started the restaurant just recently in December of 2021, and the last couple of months in operation have been rewarding.

When I was in Madang, I used to run a business there and I worked as a chef at the Ocean restaurant in Madang and at the Madang Club as the Chef. I then later worked for Heli Niugini working as a Chef looking after the pilots and engineers from Australia and New Zealand.

I’ve been in the restaurant business for almost 20 years now starting as a cook in the kitchen and a kitchen hand without so much as a certified piece of paper to stand for my style of cooking, delivery of authentic Asian style recipes and also local and western inspired fusion dishes.

Committing to my passion for the culinary art, I eventually became assistant chef and this was solely from learning the different formats of mouthwatering food.

In my time as a self-starter I gained much of my experience working with Chefs from Australia, Philippines, China and Malaysia learning all I could from them, so when I arrived in Manus I felt that I was capable of running my own restaurant.

I received plenty of support and commendation from hotel guests of different walks of life and tourists for the food prepared from my kitchen, as each recipe is plated from various places and they all tell a story.

Having four children, I knew it was only right that I teach them the art of preparing or making delicious meals that includes my granddaughter who now can make wonderful dishes.

Food is my calling in life and I have been offered great opportunities to run professional kitchens for corporate businesses and the like.

As a kid I have always loved to cook and try new ideas in the kitchen and plate up meals that keep people coming back for more. My dream is to create an avenue or space that can allow me to teach other kids what I have learnt.

Then perhaps create for them an opportunity to make their dreams become a reality.

~ No one is born a great cook, one learns by doing ~

Carol Kidu