If you have been following the updates on the Singita School of Cooking, located at our Staff Village in Singita Kruger National Park, then you will definitely enjoy watching our newest video clip. The clip details the background of the school; some of the success stories; and dreams of what we hope will be coming next. Listen to Oriel Mbowane, previous Sous Chef from Singita Sweni and now Skills Chef Trainer at the School of Cooking, talk about his own inspiring history and dreams for his students in the future.
For more information about Singita School of Cooking, take a look at our website and furthermore a previous blog article about this life-changing community project that has touched our hearts.
Singita Grumeti Kitchen Tales – by Frank Louw, Sasakwa Chef
Summer is still in the air and with all the seasonal produce surrounding us it is only natural to go “fruity”. Mango is one of my favourite fruits and is so versatile. Instead of using it only in desserts or cocktails, try using it in salads or as a salsa with seafood. This is one of my all-time outstanding recipes and I use it often. Great with grilled lobster, slow braised pork belly or roasted chicken.
Mango and Spring Onion Salsa
2 Ripe medium mangos
1 Small bunch of spring onions
1 punnet (200g) cherry tomatoes
Half bunch mint
Half small chilli
Juice of 1 lemon
Juice and zest of 2 limes
1 cm ginger stem
50ml sesame oil
50ml olive oil
(For help with measurement conversions, take a look at http://www.gourmetsleuth.com/cooking-conversions/conversions.aspx)
Cut the mango and tomato into cubes, roughly the same size. If you prefer to deseed the tomato do so at this stage. Slice the spring onion as thinly as possible. Chop the mint, coriander, ginger and chilli very finely and add to the mango mixture. Add the lemon juice, sesame oil and olive oil into a small bowl, whisk well and add to the mango salsa. Place in the fridge for an hour and serve with your grilled lobster…
For more information about our Singita Grumeti Lodges, you may want to read more on our website.
The Singita School of Cooking is located on site at the Staff Village that serves Singita Kruger National Park (Lebombo and Sweni Lodges). It was established with the aim of encouraging the development of culinary skills amongst local youth from our neighbouring communities. Each year, 8 to10 students are selected – based upon clear criteria including showing a real interest in cooking – to participate in an 18 month long training programme.
It was an incredible undertaking initiated by Kurt Abrahams a Senior Sous Chef at Singita Sweni and Jason Trollip the former General Manager of Singita Kruger National Park. Jason and Kurt took up the challenge of taking on young members of the local community who had little or no understanding of what being a chef is all about and training them to the level where they could find employment as skilled trainee chefs at the end of the year long course. Kurt embraced the project wholeheartedly and became the Head of the school sharing his knowledge, exceptional culinary skills and passion for training people. The programme was practical, with the perfect facilities already in existence at the staff village. The first group of students graduated successfully from The Singita School of Cooking (SSC) at the end of 2007.
Year to date the graduating students have all been employed either at a Singita property or by other organisations.
Since opening the SSC has continued to produce well educated, employable trainee chefs and with its reputation now well established we took a decision in 2010 to extend the course to 18 months. The objective now being to take the students to the next level and equip them with Comis Chef level skills, thereby giving them greater earning capability post graduation.
Oriel Mbowane was promoted from Sous Chef Sweni in September to Skills Chef Trainer for the school of cooking. The new course started on 15th September 2010
If you would like more information about sponsoring a Singita School of Cooking student please refer to our Giving Back section on our website.