The Joy of Cooking with Others ~ A Zambezi Collaboration

| Tamlin Wightman

muchingachinga, mongu, mungongo and other marvels

will.i.am. is quoted as saying, “If you are a chef, no matter how good a chef you are, it’s not good cooking for yourself; the joy is in cooking for others – it’s the same with music.”

Beyond simply cooking for others, great joy is also found in cooking with others. With a team, with new people – from different countries and backgrounds. As such, we’ve embarked on an exciting collaboration between award-winning Chef Peter Tempelhoff, Chef Bea Malherbe and our team at the lodge.

It’s a coming-together of Relais & Châteaux chefs from two wholly different worlds – from the city of Cape Town to our remote riverbank in Zambia. Our mission was to inspire each other and create something truly amazing for our guests. The result has been not only new menus, but new friendships and a continued journey of discovery.

Peter’s guidance brings with it his unique experience, passion and knowledge as a celebrated member of Relais & Châteaux’s World Culinary Council and Culinary Director at Ellerman House, and previously Executive Chef at The Cellars-Hohenort and the greater Liz McGrath Collection.

Chef Bea has worked in kitchens such as that of Greenhouse at The Cellars-Hohenort, before visiting us on the Zambezi. Below she shares a few words on the new menus they have been creating with our chefs at Royal Chundu. Read on for a fresh taste of the Zambezi.

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Bea Says

Under the guidance of Chef Peter T and Head Chef George Nalisa, the lodge menus have been compiled with dishes that travellers will know and love – while embracing ingredients local to Zambia.

We started by visiting local markets, villages and small scale farmers to see what produce was available. Ingredients were revealed that I have never worked with, and what a privilege it was: muchingachinga berry, mongu rice, kalembula, impwa, baobab, mungongo nuts – and not to mention what the mighty Zambezi provides us: bream, crayfish, Parrot fish, kapenta.

Zambia’s soil is so giving, most produce is available all year round due to the climate and an ample supply of water from the Zambezi

It’s so inspiring to work here, to see how local and sustainable the lodge kitchen operates – compared to other kitchens I’ve been in. Being here has shown me that the options are endless, there is always a substitute available for any ingredient.

The menus are still a work in progress and are changing constantly.

We didn’t have a fixed goal when we came to Royal Chundu – because we didn’t know what to expect. But you could say our hope was to try and source as local as possible. Cut down on supermarket chains such as Shoprite!

Personally I came to learn, and I came to teach. It was a great learning curve for me, working with the local ingredients and in this unique environment.

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