Tag Archives: Frank Louw

Singita opens new School of Cooking in the Serengeti

October 01, 2015 - Community Development,Cuisine,Singita Grumeti


After the success of its cooking school in the Kruger National Park, Singita has announced that it has opened a second school in the Serengeti, Tanzania. The Serengeti School of Cooking, which opened in July, promises to give students the best education in the art of food (and wine).

As the hospitality and tourism industries in Tanzania continue to grow, so too does the demand for qualified chefs. The aim of the cooking school is not only to bridge this widening gap, but also to promote cheffing as a highly skilled occupation that offers great prospects for employment.

Sabora Day 2

The course load will cover topics such as professional cookery, food production, catering, as well as communication skills, customer care and computer literacy. It will also offer practical training, with students getting the opportunity to put their knowledge to the test as members of the staff canteen and lodge kitchen teams.


Pioneering this exciting project is Singita Serengeti Executive Chef, Frank Louw, who has been with the company for nearly 10 years. “I’m eager to not only share my passion for food with the students, but do my bit to positively impact the lives of the communities within the Serengeti and surrounding Bunda districts”, Louw says. “I hope that what we’ve started here will make a real difference in the lives of the students and their families”.

Graduates from the Serengeti School of Cooking will gain a nationally recognised Professional Cookery qualification, after which they can commence work at a Commis Chef level within a Singita lodge kitchen, or any other lodge or hotel within Tanzania.

Singita Sasakwa Lodge, Tanzania

Singita Sasakwa Lodge, Tanzania

Along with environmental sustainability, the support and upliftment of local communities is a key part of Singita’s role in preserving the wilderness areas of which it is a guardian. Other projects at Singita Grumeti in Tanzania include an Environmental Education Centre, a scholarship fund for local students and small business development programmes that teach agricultural skills.

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Art on a Plate: Food Design at Singita Grumeti & Singita Lamai

March 03, 2015 - Cuisine,Experience,Lodges and Camps,Singita Explore,Singita Faru Faru Lodge,Singita Grumeti,Singita Mara River Tented Camp,Singita Sabora Tented Camp,Singita Sasakwa Lodge,Singita Serengeti House

Singita has six different camps and lodges in Tanzania with a common design philosophy but each with a unique style which is complemented by the food design. From the cool neutral palette of Singita Serengeti House and contemporary, organic style of Singita Faru Faru Lodge to the nostalgic tented interiors of Singita Explore, the food at each property reflects the aesthetic of its location.

Food at Singita's lodges in Tanzania

Keeping all of these food styles in mind, we pride ourselves on serving only the best quality food and try to make each dining experience the best possible. The remote and relatively isolated nature of the Grumeti Reserves poses a considerable challenge to our chefs but with some imagination and ingenuity, every plate is a sensory delight. Executive Chef Frank Louw describes how these plates differ from lodge to lodge:

Food at Singita's lodges in Tanzania

Singita Sasakwa Lodge
The turn-of-the-century manor house and private cottages are decorated with a blend of authentic European style and East African influences. This translates to a classic and sophisticated approach to food, without complicating the plating or style of the dishes. Traditional cooking methods are given a new approach by experimenting with texture, feel and taste. Daily pickings from the kitchen garden and local ingredients are showcased on our daily menus.

Food at Singita's lodges in Tanzania

Singita Sabora Tented Camp
The intimate 1920s-style explorer’s camp is permeated by a sense of sentimental adventure. At Singita Sabora Tented Camp we try to keep the style of food uncomplicated, designing elegant menus that feature old-time favourites given a stylish twist. Guests can also choose to sample dishes from a special Swahili menu to experience the local cuisine. Copper, silver and crystal bowls are used to set the perfect dining scene.

Food at Singita's lodges in Tanzania

Singita Faru Faru Lodge
This contemporary riverine lodge lends itself to a modern elegant cuisine without any unnecessary complications. Fresh, healthy and vibrant are just some of the words that best describe the food served here, that reflects a sense of “barefoot elegance”. With a true island feel, the kitchen at Singita Faru Faru Lodge also makes use of wonderful Zanzibari flavours and oceanic offerings, including fresh seafood and vibrant spices.

Food at Singita's lodges in Tanzania

Singita Explore
Singita Explore, always on the move, offers wholesome, hearty food with a campfire ambiance; the smoky aromas capturing the essence of nature. Fires are a priority at every meal, and thus, be it breakfast, lunch or dinner nearly all the food on the menu is prepared on the open fire. The unique experience and flavours that result from this cooking method is one of the things that makes this mobile camp so unique.

Food at Singita's lodges in Tanzania

Singita Mara River Tented Camp
Laid-back luxury and bohemian glamour is at the heart of this incredible eco-lodge build at the northern-most tip of the Serengeti National Park. Along with everything else at the camp, power for the kitchen is generated by a custom designed solar system and operates entirely “off the grid”. This sensitivity is extended to the food that is prepared here so that guests enjoy a balanced menu offering modern bistro fare made with plenty of local produce.

Food at Singita's lodges in Tanzania

Singita Serengeti House
There is only one way to describe the feeling of stepping into this exclusive-use retreat: Home away from home. The property is specifically designed to welcome families and friends and create an environment of total relaxation for a carefree stay. The food is therefore simple and homely, and the meals are shared together at the table. Wholesome, family-style food is prepared by your own private chef which offers guests even more flexibility, as they are able to collaborate on a menu to suit every palate.

Food at Singita's lodges in Tanzania

Our chefs work closely with local farmers to grow everything from potatoes to passion fruit for use in the kitchens, and in so doing supporting the nearby communities and helping these suppliers to expand their businesses. We also run a dedicated training programme at the Singita School of Cooking to teach culinary skills to the local youth. You can find out more about Singita’s community projects here.

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The People of Singita: An Update on Michael Matera

November 14, 2014 - People of Singita,Singita Grumeti,Singita Sabora Tented Camp

Singita Sabora Tented Camp, Tanzania

Towards the end of last year, we kicked off a series of profiles on some of the members of our team. These #SingitaStories introduced blog readers to the amazing women who run Singita Sweni Lodge, an ex-poacher who became a pastry chef and one of the most respected wildlife trackers in the world.

Dining al fresco at Singita Sabora Tented Camp

The first in this series was the story of Michael Matera, then Senior Sous Chef at Singita Sasakwa Lodge. Michael worked his way up from the position of Grounds Attendant at Singita Sabora Tented Camp to assisting in the staff kitchen, where he learned the basic cooking skills that would set him up for a career as a chef. After many long hours at the stove, lots of extra lessons and taking an English course to improve his language competency, Michael was promoted to the main guest kitchen. He flourished here and was subsequently named Tanzanian Chef of the Year, and Senior Sous Chef under Executive Chef, Frank Louw.

Michael Matera and Frank Louw

Michael Matera and Frank Louw

We are very proud to report that Michael continues to be an asset to the team at Singita Grumeti. After another year of hard work and dedication, he was recently promoted to the role of Chef at Singita Sabora Tented Camp. This is especially significant as Michael is the first Tanzanian to hold this position, and as Frank remarks, “makes him an inspiration to so many other young Tanzanians wanting to make a change in their lives.”

The cuisine at Singita Sabora Tented Camp

Michael’s experiences have inspired him to pass on the knowledge and enthusiasm he has developed for cooking over the past ten years. He says: “Training is my passion. I love seeing staff growing in front of me and knowing that I had a small contribution to their new future”. This philanthropic attitude is a striking reminder of one of Singita’s core principles; to make a tangible difference in the lives of the people living and working in and around its lodges.

Michael Matera and his kitchen team at Singita Sabora Tented Camp, Tanzania

Michael Matera and his kitchen team at Singita Sabora Tented Camp, Tanzania

Warm congratulations to Michael for this wonderful achievement! We’ll be sure to keep you up to date on his progress at the lodge. You can read all the “People of Singita” blog posts here, and also watch the #SingitaStories videos on our Vimeo channel.

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Al Fresco Dining: Banana and Date Loaf

August 22, 2013 - Cuisine,Experience,Singita Grumeti,Singita Sabora Tented Camp

Dining Al Fresco at Singita Grumeti | Singita Sabora Tented Camp

The Serengeti is a vast and precious wilderness, spanning 12 000 square miles of seemingly endless grassland. The Great Migration makes its way across these plains, passing through Singita Grumeti, a private wildlife reserve established to protect the indigenous biodiversity of this important ecosystem.

Dining Al Fresco at Singita Grumeti | Singita Sabora Tented Camp

Singita Sabora Tented Camp is one of five Singita properties in the reserve and is designed as a nostalgic, 1920s-style explorer’s camp. The accommodation is full of character, offering a surprisingly luxurious and enchanting safari in the rugged terrain of the surrounding savannah. The elegant simplicity and laid-back romance of the camp is apparent in every moment of our guest’s experience, including meal times which often take place in the open.

Dining Al Fresco at Singita Grumeti | Singita Sabora Tented Camp

It’s difficult to describe the feeling of being seated at a dining table in the shade of an acacia tree in the middle of the Serengeti. The whir of nearby grasshoppers vibrates in the air as the sun rises through the African sky, and you’re handed a cooling glass of homemade iced tea while a herd of zebra casually graze in the distance. Executive Chef, Frank Louw, and his team help to make such moments at Singita Grumeti possible and here he shares a popular recipe for banana and date loaf.

Dining Al Fresco at Singita Grumeti | Singita Sabora Tented Camp

Dining Al Fresco at Singita Grumeti | Singita Sabora Tented Camp


Ingredients – what you’ll need:
2 cups (300g) self-raising flour
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp ground nutmeg
1 tsp ground cinnamon
125g pitted dates, chopped (substitute with dark chocolate if you like)
1/2 cup (115g) caster sugar
1 cup (250ml) milk
2 eggs
1 cup mashed banana (about 2 large, or three small)
80g cinnamon sugar (optional)
Butter, to serve (optional)

Method – what to do:
Preheat oven to 180°C and line a 24 x 13.5cm loaf pan with non-stick baking paper.
Sift the flour, bicarbonate of soda and nutmeg into a large bowl.
Stir through the dates and sugar.
Combine the milk, eggs and banana in a separate bowl.
Fold into the date mixture until well combined and pour into the loaf pan.
Sprinkle cinnamon sugar on top and bake for 45-50 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre of the loaf comes out clean.
Cool for 5 minutes and then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
Slice and serve with butter if desired.

Check back soon for more snapshots of al fresco dining at Singita’s lodges and camps. If you need to adjust the metric measurements, here’s a handy online volume converter.

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Ravishing Relish

January 25, 2011 - Cuisine

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

Bunch coriander

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.

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Darling Buds of Spring

October 26, 2010 - Cuisine,Events,Experience

Singita Grumeti Kitchen Tales

The greenhouse has been a long standing project here at Singita Grumeti Reserves, so much so that it seemed like it was always going to be a dream.

This year with the efforts of Frank Louw (Head chef), Sasakwa chefs and a team of gardeners, the greenhouse has become a much longed for reality. A few months ago a buzz began around the greenhouse and on closer inspection you would have noticed plastic buckets, containers, rakes, spades and all sorts of useful apparel arriving.  Containers were moved into rows, holes made, loose stones placed for drainage and covered with top soil, and the essential water source found.  Packets of seeds were secreted down and enthusiastically sown. Beds of soil were tentatively watered, constantly hovered over, and if will power alone could inspire growth the garden would have been blooming in a matter of hours.

Time seemed to stretch on and as all eyes focused on the brown earth, small dots of green finally flecked the soil. These minute green specks  slowly unfurled and as each day  passed the new seedlings distinguished themselves and soon basil shoots, fragrant coriander, delicate dill, miniature carrot tops, lettuce leaves, tomato vines, radish sprouts and baby spinach leaves were all recognizable. Now we are able to pick our own selection of herbs and vegetables to use in the kitchen – our dream come true.

Article contribution by Catherine, Sasakwa Sous Chef, Singita Grumeti Kitchens

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