Simply Sophisticated – Londolozi Game Reserve’s Culinary Culture 

by Sandy Salle on July 22, 2015

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Article written by Amanda Evans, Hills of Africa Travel’s CEO

I know it’s hard to imagine sipping fine French champagne under a cloudless sky while a 5-star 5-course meal is prepared for you over open flame in the African bush.  But I assure you it’s possible! Especially at Londolozi, one of Hills of Africa’s (and my personal) favorite camps.

A fine dining experience for me consists of three important elements – 1.  amazing and carefully prepared food (duh!) 2.  a beautiful setting and environment and 3.  great company.  Londolozi hits the trifecta every time and it’s because of their incredible head chef – Anna Ridgewell.  Funny how small the world is, but Chef Anna is actually old schoolmates with Sandy’s sister (Sandy is the founder of Hills of Africa Travel)!

On my latest visit to Londolozi I had the pleasure of being Anna’s guest for three nights. The meal highlights included the housemade muesli for breakfast (I have the recipe and I’m NOT sharing!  You must go to Londolozi and taste for yourself to get it!), lightly breaded and slightly sweet chicken tenders (yes, the BEST chicken tenders I’ve ever had in my life), and grilled vegetables, and a perfectly prepared tender filet of beef.

But the highlight had to be the incredible wine tastings and appetizers under the stars.

For my sister’s 41st birthday, Chef Anna pulled out all the stops.  On our way back to camp from an amazing game drive, we pulled up to a small clearing where we started to see the twinkle of lights . . . Soon, we came across an array of lanterns, scattered about the ground and in the trees. The brilliant display outlined a beautiful cheeseboard full of gooey deliciousness, homemade biltong (South African beef jerky), and housemade smoked dry sausages with veggies, bread, and dips.

Then, as if that weren’t enough, we were guided through a 5-course wine tasting, each expertly paired with a treat from the table.  All the while enjoying the incredible African sky full of stars with my most favorite people on earth – my family.  Chef Anna sat with us and talked and relaxed like we had been friends for years.  It was so perfect and such a treat to get to know her beyond her food.  So, we had good food – check, a beautiful setting – check check, and great company – a million checks.

Because of the fabulous experience I had with Chef Anna and her team I couldn’t leave Londolozi without sneaking in a few questions for her about what inspires her and sets apart the food at Londolozi from all the rest.  Check out what Chef Anna shared in our exclusive interview with her and see behind the scenes at the Londolozi kitchen in the video below:

You may also view the video on YouTube at https://youtu.be/DH_jMQa1Xz0

Contact Hills of Africa Travel to learn more about planning an unforgettable journey to Londolozi!

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