So for many – this title would be obvious – Food on Safari.
For me- it conjures up so much more that just the Food you would eat whilst on Safari. It means Safari supply towns. Safari logistics. Safari camp stock management. Safari camp store rooms. Safari camp cold rooms. Safari kitchens. And (my favourite) – Safari Chefs. Well honestly these are all some of my “favourite things” – and they’re all quite unique and different from your “run-of-the-mill” restaurant or hotel type set ups in more urban spaces…. But , if you follow me on Instagram @collaborate_food – you will have seen me chat about the sometime stressful, mostly interesting and wonderful aspects of how bringing food into the bush and preparing delicious and delightful food for guests on safari is so much more challenging and rewarding than cooking in urban spaces. It requires advance planning, brilliant relationships with suppliers, on the ground fixers and pickers or collection people that can check quality and make decisions about ingredients without being a chef. It relies on people that understand – how important the difference between green, yellow or even vaguely ripe bananas can be to critical stress levels. It means hard avos, individually wrapped (in old newspaper preferably) pineapples or pawpaw’s packed carefully for transport. The list goes on and on ….
Food on Safari also instantly conjures up memories of sunrise coffees with a little homemade treat enjoyed from a tiffin tin, dinners under starry skies, drinks around roaring boma fires, or bush dinner festivities with the sounds of roaring lions or cackling hyenas in the air. For most, a safari includes at least a bush breakfast enjoyed under the shade of a lovely tree, or picnics had alongside might rivers or shallow dams where we have the privledge of watching the natural world just BE.
To me- its not just food that we eat on safari. Its a critical component of our sensory memory of that time. It can make or break a stay as far as I am concerned. Which is why I try keep it simple. Keep it relevant to the place and the flavours of the land or people enjoying the food.
This Covid-19 Crisis has grounded us all. The hospitality industry being one of the hardest hit – and the most painful thing to experience (and witness my clients and other operators) hanging on tight trying to remain positive without knowing the end – if there will be one. With all this anxiety and uncertainty – I dream of Safari. I dream and plan and make menus and develop recipes to pull me into the future when the world begins to trust travel and most importantly adventure, explore and go on delicious and delightful safaris again soon because Food on Safari – Safari Food brings life to so many people – guests- chefs- communities and even me.
Take care and stay healthy.
The arrival of food supply in Okavango Delta, Botswana – via small aircraft that gets loaded onto a vehicle and has to travel another 1.5 hours. The joy of bringing delicious food into the wild.