Repost – Where Ottolenghi meets Bush Gourmet …

I’ve been busy opening a new food production and services company called SavannaBel – Bush Gourmet here in Livingstone, and my first customer happens to be The Elephant Café. 🙂 In celebration of this milestone, I am reposting a short piece I wrote a couple of years ago on how the seasonal garden produce and wild food inspire my recipe development.

Christmas (lima beans) in July

I thought 12 years at boarding school had put me off any sort of bean, except the Heinz baked variety, for the rest of my life. Along with “frogs’ eggs,” a.k.a tapioca, “chameleon guts,” an ersatz, puke-colored jam, beans were near the top of a list of foods I begged my mother to tell the school’s kitchen I was allergic.

Turmeric – the golden goddess, the kitchen queen

My partner Chris is the one who turned me on to fresh turmeric. He had beds of it growing in the garden when I arrived on the farm. A man who seldom lets anything pass his lips that doesn’t benefit his body, it was Chris who educated me about turmeric’s curative capabilities, namely its powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.

Pomegranate Ice Cream

Living in what-at-times can be extreme heat, ice cream is both a blessing and curse: while it’s a delectable frozen treat, especially on a steamy hot day, it’s a challenge to make unless you want to rise before dawn to prepare it.

Pomegranate passion!

Being lucky enough to watch a pomegranate turn from flower to fruit helped me understand why it’s been regarded as a sacred symbol of fertility and rebirth by traditional cultures for millennia. From its Flamenco flowers dancing in the sunlight to its fecund fruit bursting with seed and blood-colored juice, it is a truly wondrous thing.

The inaugural Farm & Food Tour

Fifteen Danish farmers visited us with our partner, Zamag Tours & Safaris, based in Zambia’s capital, Lusaka. Chris led the group around his working farm, later bringing them up to our ‘lodge’ for lunch. I served a lamb tagine and jeweled couscous–all recipes to follow in time–along with a fennel and mixed lettuce leaf salad.