Expeditions cook, Chef & Hiker

Meet Ooja, your traveling chef. Born and grew up in the Mongolian countryside, I moved to Ulaanbaatar in the year 2000. My journey into becoming a Chef started as being an assistant chef (Sous-Chef) at the Seoul Restaurant, located in the South of the Sukhbaatar square in Center Ulaanbaatar.

Until today, I enjoy cooking a large variety of meals, Asian and European based dishes, including my favorite: chicken and beef. At the Seoul Restaurant, I got many opportunities to learn the Korean food culture, with specially fermented and salted Korean foods but not only.

In 2002, I attended a professional culinary course in Mongolia. After 8 years of experience as a cook, I decided to improve try different skills, and preparing meals outdoors was one of them. I tried, therefore, to cook while on a trekking journey with tourists, this over long distances. As I started to like this challenge and new ways of showing my skills, from 2010, I began to cook fully dedicate myself to cooking outdoors for long-distance trekking and horse riding adventures during summertime. I usually bring my own set of knives and other important items and also depending on the tourist's favorite foods and preferences. I can then adapt the meals according to their needs and mood.

After many years of experience, I always cook my own recipes depending on the weather and the preferences of my clients. My favorites are the Mongolian traditional barbeque (heated with hot stones), a mix of shorlog (barbecue on a stick), chicken steaks, khuushuur, buuz, Mongolian noodle soup, Mongolian pancake, or bread. All can be easily cooked in the countryside on location. Now, I'm happily joining the team at Gobi Mountain Lake as the outdoor cook specialist. And it will be my pleasure to provide the best culinary experience to our happy hikers! See you in Mongolia.