Running a kitchen in Africa is really exciting, because you get really fresh and untreated products from the sea and the land; but also unknown products you will find, for which you have to first figure out what it’s good for at all. The big benefit of a family-run lodge here is, that if we have new unidentified products, we try them ourselves – until now everybody is still alive 🙂 and you get an honest feedback as the chef.
But there are also lots of difficulties that you have to face (in Germany certain things are working, but not here), like the humidity, which makes you bake some stuff just on time, but also the wildlife (little tiny ants), which force you to work extremely clean and fast.
Also good and exquisite products are possible to afford without going bankrupt, like lobster for example. On the other hand many products are not always available, so that as a chef you have to be very creative and organized with your stock – you don’t get the supplies delivered to your door (ok, besides the fish and the seafood coming right from the ocean). And you also have to be very careful with your resources like water and electricity since Tembo Kijani is a self-sufficient lodge and these are very limited resources and don’t just “come out of the tap or plug” like in Europe, but it definitely makes you appreciate them more.
All in all it’s great to cook in Africa if you know the basics in the kitchen, because you have to make everything by yourself – bread, gnocci, parfait, where in most other places you would take the shortcut and just order it, but I hope you’ll feel the difference when enjoying your next dinner at Tembo Kijani.