People choose a travel destination for various reasons. Some seek adventure, some crave culture, some want wildlife and some quite simply travel for the love of food, glorious food. Of course, many safari-lovers travel for all four!
The cuisine a guest is presented with can make or break the overall experience they have at a lodge and a lot of it is about managing expectations. At Tongabezi expectations are high….very high. And this is why they have recently welcomed a new Executive Chef to take things to the next level.
“Tongabezi food is as tasty as it is beautiful” claims Chef Simon (Simon Orviss) who arrived at the lodge, chef’s hat in hand, on 11th August. Originally from South Africa and of British descent, Simon is a well-travelled chef that has worked in many different facets of the culinary industry. Educated out of a small Cordon Bleu French cooking school in Cape Town, Simon has not stopped in his pursuit for new food experiences in many corners of the globe. From conducting cooking classes to custom cake design. From tropical island paradises to opening safari kitchens in the bush. From food styling for magazines to private chef for the mega wealthy, Simon’s career has taken him across the world and now luckily for future guests, to Tongabezi Lodge, Zambia, just downstream from the impressive Victoria Falls.
So what’s on the menu I hear you ask! Well here are Simon’s personal favourite top five dishes to temp you. Are you hungry? If not, you will be…
1: Almond Baklava, coconut dark chocolate ganache, caramel crumble, berry jelly and peanut butter ice cream.
2. Eggs benedict with smashed avocado and bacon jam
3. Beer braised chicken sandwich with red cabbage slaw and pickled fennel
4. Creative use of spices in a variety of curry dishes influenced by flavours from all over the world
5. Apple rose tarte tartin and Amarula ice cream
With a very positive team and their true eagerness to learn, Simon has ideas to refine the current menu offerings. Each evening will have a (+/-) 5 course dinner tasting menu highlighting the freshest produce from the on-site gardens and other locally sourced ingredients.
From the photos and the descriptions alone Simon’s passion and enthusiasm jumps out at you. Simon’s goal is to make Tongabezi’s food so memorable that people will talk about it long after they leave. If the food truly is as delicious as it is beautiful then he’s definitely onto something and no doubt it will surpass all expectations for guests at Tongabezi…whatever their motive for travel may be.