Culinary tourism is defined as the pursuit of unique and memorable eating and drinking experiences. The phrase “unique and memorable” is key to understanding culinary tourism. Many times people hear “culinary tourism” and they think it means restaurants that have earned 5 stars or better, or high-end wineries. That is not the case, as culinary tourism is not exclusively what is pretentious or exclusive. Culinary Tourism includes a visit to a local pastry shop, an interesting bar on a nameless street that only locals know about, like the pretzel vendor on the streets of New York City, a gelato vendor on a historic street in Italy or a deli with the best cappucinnos in Cape Town. Higher-end experiences fall into a subset of culinary tourism called “Gourmet Tourism“. In fact, wine tourism, beer tourism and spa cuisine are also subsets of culinary tourism.
It is with this in mind that we have put together some fabulous Gourmet Safaris for you to enjoy in Africa. There is so much layered food tradition to experience in Southern Africa, that it was tough to know where to start and what to choose. So we have put together a few highlights packages to tantalize your taste buds. These journeys will take you not only to exciting venues, but also to meet inspirational chefs and get stuck in and learn from them about the local cuisine and customs.
SINGITA GOURMET SAFARIS WITH BRUCE ROBERTSON
Exclusive to Singita Sweni Lodge, Chef Bruce’s delightful Gourmet Safaris are unique to the African continent, a culinary first. A five day and four night experience filled with intrigue, warmth and laughter at the edge of the boma fire.
Singita Game Reserves is offering a rare opportunity to gourmands to experience the magic of the African bush in the company of award-winning Chef and Restaurateur Bruce Robertson. Newly introduced, these delightful Gourmet Safaris are exclusive to Singita Sweni Lodge with its secluded riverside setting along the far eastern reaches of the Kruger National Park – regarded as the most romantic of Singita Game Reserves’ nine iconic lodges in Southern and East Africa.
Uniquely African, this gastronomic bush break offers high-end travelers and food lovers the perfect opportunity to combine a private, world-class bush experience for up to 12 people with an epicurean safari adventure of note, hosted by one of South Africa’s favourite chefs. During the 4-night Gourmet Safari experience guests will enjoy a range of exciting food adventures in a relaxed atmosphere, while stimulating conversation in the company of this flamboyant ‘foodie personality’ will be the order of the day. Itineraries include delicious daytime excursions such as Sparkling Wine Tastings, a bush walk followed by a picnic breakfast, fun-filled Cooking Demonstrations, while evening activities will include Boma Drumming and a mouth-watering Bush Dinner.
Gourmet fine dining will be complemented with pairings of superb wines from Singita’s extensive wine cellar, which boasts a premium selection of wines that includes some of South Africa’s most sought-after private reserves and limited release wines. Best of all, the group will enjoy complete run of the lodge, with its comfortable lounge and dining area boasting views of the river and surrounding bush, while a bar and wine cellar will be at their complete disposal. After a delectable bout of fine dining or a Game Drive through the reserve, the sparkling swimming pool will offer welcome respite from the African heat.
Robertson, a former Head Chef at Singita Boulders Lodge, is the founder and erstwhile Chef-Patron of Cape Town’s acclaimed restaurant ‘The Showroom’, in its time regarded as the benchmark for sophisticated dining in South Africa. He is fondly referred to as ‘the afro-gastronaut’, both for his vibrant personal style and his penchant for pushing the boundaries of conventional food preparation.
Rates: on request
AFRICAN RELISH: REAL FOOD KAROO STYLE
African Relish is a Recreational Cooking School and a member of the ICTA (International Culinary Tourism Association), set in the quaint Karoo town of Prince Albert, South Africa. This is the perfect place to unwind and enjoy small town hospitality and learn all about how to make and savour slow food. The newly built African Relish culinary hall is the only purpose built facility of its kind in this area. Here guests will enjoy luxury accommodation and discover the culinary pulse of South Africa. Various themed courses are on offer throughout the year.
Head Chef Vanie Padayachee will be in charge of daily cooking demonstrations and learning where guests will learn about growing and picking local produce and how to use it in the kitchen to create incredible meals that they will then be able to feast on. Vanie was born and educated in Durban, Kwa-Zulu Natal. Her insatiable interest in food is a result of watching her parents; both great cooks, preparing exotic Indian dishes for family gatherings. She has worked at The Avenue, The Stafford Hotel, Chez Bruce and Stephen Bull in London. Her cuisine is influenced by the rich diversity of cultures found in South Africa. Vanie was named ‘The Five Star Chef’ in October 2004 by Wine Magazine. In 2006 she was invited to be part of the world renowned, Chaîne des Rôtisseurs and holds the title of Maitre Rôtisseur. In 2009 she was named as one of the Top 10 Young chefs by SA Tourism.
Courses on offer: on request
Rates: on request
Includes: luxury accommodation, 3 meals per day, soft drinks, cooking demos and ingredients.
Excludes: alcoholic beverages, tips, personal items