South Africa is home to many internationally acclaimed Executive Chefs who weave their magic in their 5-star kitchen’s domain producing delectable dishes amidst teams of white clad sous chefs, pastry chefs, sauciers, poissoniers, entremetiers and rotisseurs. Here the Executive chef is maestro of his cuisine castle where streams of expectant patrons around the city gather for a focus on the ‘dining experience’.
Shift your focus a few hundred kilometers out of the administrative order of the city to where the green hills and wild canyons of Nature lay claim to the rule of order; and it is the Safari Chef whose culinary acclaim comes to the fore, one much more daring, certainly ruggedly challenging and not for those with ‘soft feet’.
With 20 years’ of hosting corporate VIPs, royalty and Hollywood’s rich and famous, Hayward’s Grand Safari Company – celebrated as Africa’s top mobile tented safari lodge by the World Travel Awards – has been serving international standards of cuisine for up to 200 adventure-minded guests who visit southern Africa’s most pristine and naturally breath-taking safari destinations.
To add to the pure luxury of it all… the Chef doesn’t dare to dictate what you will eat; rather each group is consulted regarding their particular palate’s proclivity to the type of top cuisine they wish to savour while enjoying all this raw beauty. It’s a bespoke affair. Indeed, why should only the King of the Jungle get to have his favourite morsels delivered to him when and where he wants it.
Five-star safari fare as a standard. delivers its highly-privileged guests 8-course silver service repasts not accompanied to softly piped music (although your wish is your command) but rather to the call of the purple breasted roller bird in mating prime; the pitched chorus of cicadas at sunset; the lurching howl of the hyena under blood moon skies, all topped off with world-class whiskies, brandies and cigars around the embracing glow of the fireside.
Most culinary highlights experienced in a London salon, New York brassiere or Michelin-starred eatery can be matched in the Hayward’s #GrandSafari kitchen strategically set up in exotic wildlife destinations – definitely with no public access – for every bespoke safari group within their chosen safari destination. Put the map of southern Africa in your mind and think Kruger National Park, the Okavango Delta, the Sahara Desert, the Cedarberg mountains near Cape Town, the world heritage site of sprawling iSimangaliso marine and wildlife park in the province of KwaZulu-Natal. The list goes on and you get to choose.
Spoilt with so much choice, guests are thoughtfully guided with a variety of menu suggestions which are available to be studied before-hand and often to match the accompanying theme of each evening’s activities.
Once the culinary diary and its matching sommelier’s wine and spirit parings have been decided; each days plays out flawlessly in a precision of early morning majesty of breakfast at dawn presented at the watering hole; tea and three-layer cakes in the lull of mid morning, al fresco lunch served on a dry river bed; or its banks if the river is roaring from summer rains. Dining is a safari camp affair where safari Askari escort you from your tented home to the great dining tent where the grand piano and sunset aperitifs prepare you for dining whites and themed glamour with dancing into the night.
The safari kitchen is prepped and prepared, transported and built well before you have even left to travel to your wild safari destination of choice. The Hayward’s Grand Safari team are not just chefs and preppers; they are safari-fit and 24-hour-ready mobile-fare warriors trained to bring you every luxury, every detail as declared by you, for your bespoke safari affair in deepest, most beautiful Africa. Think it and its yours – from oysters and French champagne in the Namib desert to baked Alaska on the beaches of Mozambique. Welcome to the 5-star Safari kitchen of a luxury mobile tented safari camp.
Some memorable menu choices of past bespoke safari guests include:
Twice cooked lamb, watermelon & feta,
topped with baby rocket & cucumber dill dressing
Spanish seafood salad with chili prawns, cured mussels,
fresh coriander, red onions & cucumber
Classic Caesar salad with grilled Chicken Breast, croutons,
anchovy’s, Parmesan shavings, pickled Quail eggs & Caesar dressing
Strawberry, avocado, bocconcini & walnuts,
drizzled with a cranberry dressing (V)
Fusilli Pasta salad with peppadew, broccoli, cheddar cubes,
spring onion & mayo dressing (V)
Cous-cous with roasted aubergine & red onion, pickled radishes,
roasted walnuts, broccoli
with a cumin & tomato dressing (Vegan)
African Traders Dinner
Peri-peri fire-grilled prawns
with mango chili sauce
marinated in sweet wine with lots of rosemary & grilled on an open fire
Grilled pineapples skewers
with cayenne pepper and served with a light yogurt dressing
Smoked springbok carpaccio salad
with bobotie springroll, port reduction, apricot coulis &
mixed fruit chutney
Served to the table
Braise pork belly in apple cider & finished on an open fire
Served with a cumin tomato chutney served with crispy potatoes
From the fire
Lamb on the spit
Served with baby onions & roasted baby potatoes
Peri peri baby chickens done on the fire
Served with spiced rice
Kudu steaks marinated in garlic, red wine & fresh herbs
Served with sweet potatoes done in cinnamon & butter
White Wine Suggestions
Alvi’s Drift Signature Chenin Blanc
Light straw in colour, the Chenin blanc is full bodied yet elegant.
The wine is very viscous, giving it a wonderful mouthfeel & texture.
The acid is well integrated & balanced resulting in a palate
that shows great length & fullness for an unwooded wine.
Primary fruit flavours of white peaches & nectarine dominate
the nose & palate.
White peach & other stone fruit dominate the nose
with nuances of spice & fresh lemon.
Hints of biscotti & honeycomb add to the complexity & palate weight,
with a crisp acidity ensuring balance.
Red Wine Suggestions
Dieu Donné Merlot
A full bodied Merlot with minerally, dark berry fruit flavours
with a soft broad tannin structure.
Lyngrove Shiraz / Pinotage
Vibrant cherry notes & ripe plum on the nose.
Medium bodied wine with clove & cinnamon spice on palate.
Fruit is balanced by toasty character derived from oak maturation.
Clean textured & velvety finish.
Muesli & yoghurt shots topped with berry coulis
Seasonal fruit skewers
Selection of toast
Homemade muffins & Danish pastries
Homemade scones with cream & strawberries
Crispy fried bacon
Beef chipolata sausages
Spicy chicken livers
Butter fried mushrooms
Grilled tomatoes topped with cheddar
Please note that menus depend on the client’s preference; the season and what’s available, as well as budget. Dietary requirements also play a huge role in creating bespoke safari menus as well as the theme of each safari dining night.