One of my most important considerations when developing recipes in the Upper Zambezi Valley is the weather. For nine months of the year it’s hot, with October being the hottest month of all.
The wonder of a garden
Trusting the first warmth of spring
Until its black infinity of cells
Becomes charged with dream;
Then the silent, slow nurture
Of the seed’s self, coaxing it
To trust the act of death.
The wild edibles and indigenous food with which I create my bush gourmet cuisine is a bridge into a Zambia few are fortunate to witness. It’s a bridge to understanding both Zambia’s people and its terroir.
We’ve had the wettest summer since I arrived in Livingstone four years ago. More rain fell in January than the whole of the green season last year.
The Elephant Café wins Best New Restaurant Award + Recipe: Munkoyo Panna Cotta with Seasonal Strawberries & Baby Meringues
The nomination came as such a surprise. I’d neither heard of the Zambia Hospitality Awards (ZHA), nor expected any sort of recognition for The Elephant Café because we were still so new.
When I’m introduced to a new indigenous ingredient, I experience a similar reaction to that of a prospector unearthing a new mineral deposit. My eyes alight. I examine and prod and my fingertips tingle.