If you haven’t been on a luxury African safari before, the thought of safari cuisine may conjure up images of Boy Scout food and bitter coffee. After all, how would a safari chef – in the middle of nowhere - be able to supply fresh, delicious meals that could grace the table of a top class restaurant in London or New York? These experienced and highly qualified chefs will amaze you with their artistic flair and tickle your palates with a wonderful fusion of African, Asian and Western cuisine. With careful planning and the use of fresh seasonal ingredients – anything is possible in a basic camp kitchen.
In the more remote reserves, supplies are delivered once a week and there are often some nail biting moments as the chefs wait in anticipation – hoping that the tomatoes arrive in time for your lunch salad. There is no need to panic though as these innovative chefs are very experienced and have a remarkable ability to get the most sublime dishes out on time for every meal. But if you ask a safari chef what his biggest challenge is, he will probably chuckle to himself and answer candidly “the resident wildlife”. And when you look at him a little confused; he will start to elaborate, telling you many animated stories about elephants snatching bags of sugar off a kitchen shelf and how a sly hyena was once seen dashing off with a whole cabbage between its powerful jaws.
However the chef’s real skill is best experienced on a mobile safari. You will sit and watch in wonder as he rustles up the most delicious bread you have ever tasted – using a hole in the ground as an oven and serving sumptuous dinners and bush breakfasts prepared on a metal grill balanced over firewood.
There is never a dull moment in a safari kitchen and a good sense of humour, a great imagination and a calm demeanour is a prerequisite when applying for a chef’s job in an African safari camp.
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