Testing my Bush Gourmet at the Utopian La Rochelle

The only noise that distracted us during our short stay at La Rochelle Country House in Zimbabwe’s eastern highlands was that made by the birds. Myriad species, mostly unfamiliar to me, trilled us out of bed, welcomed us on walks around the garden, and serenaded our meals on the verandah.

A Wet Seed Wild in the Hot Blind Earth

It’s that time of year. August. Late winter on our edge of the Zambezi escarpment. When the earth heats up; when the seeds go wild. My garden is coming into its annual climax and my heart is happy.

It’s extraordinary how quick the transformation happens in this climate.

Collaborating with Mulberry Mongoose over a Drink

In the short time since I met Kate Wilson, creator of the globally-recognised jewellery brand, Mulberry Mongoose, we’ve come to know one another a little better mostly over drinks, be it under a fading magenta sky beside the South Luangwa river, over a bush gourmet dinner in Chinzombo, or in an ongoing conversation about creating a signature drink for visitors to her showroom.

Vietnamese Pho … with a Bush Gourmet Touch

Before I set about making my first-ever pho, I learned that the depth of flavour, its intense colour and clarity, is all in the making of the broth. According to Vietnamese cookbook author and chef, Charles Phan, the secret is in blanching the bones. “In Vietnam, we generally don’t have ovens, but we still need to make this broth be clear and flavourful. So … we blanch the bone.

Collaborating Through the Language of Food

The language of food echoes through the generations in rural Zambia. Many of the people with whom I’ve worked — men and women from different tribes in the south, the east, the west — repeat stories, or recall memories, about growing or cooking or foraging or preserving wild and indigenous food while growing up in a village far from any urban centre.