One Chef, One Ingredient

For Food for Change with Relais & Châteaux and Slow Food this year, we were excited to present one of our favourite local ingredients, championing for more ethical cooking choices. Using fresh local produce sourced from our own food garden or from neighbouring villages is an essential at Royal Chundu – and a delicious and sustainable way to give guests a genuine taste of Zambia.

Take a look below

as Chef Martin Mushekwa reveals our hero ingredient: the local kalembula, and discusses what makes it so special.


Chef Martin Shares

  1. What is the biggest threat to the food industry?

Dwindling heirloom varieties. As we are heading to a hotter, drier future due to global warming, current crops that have been reduced to a narrow genetic range are becoming harder to grow. During the green revolution, hybridisation transformed commercial agriculture. Due to the dependence on commercial varieties, thousands of heirloom varieties have disappeared. Heirlooms need to be reintroduced, because of climate change. They are resilient against heat, drought, disease and pests.

  1. What ingredient are you defending and why?

I have chosen sweet potato leaves (kalembula), because it is found in every village garden, is very sustainable, grows throughout the year, and it allows us to use a part of the plant that is usually discarded.

  1. Why do you love cooking with it?

It can accompany many different dishes and is very versatile – it can be turned into relishes and purées, for instance.