The use of fresh, seasonal produce is one of the most important elements of the enticing daily menu at all of Singita’s lodges and camps. Supporting local farmers is one way to achieve this (while also assisting local communities to thrive) and the other is to grow our own fresh herbs and vegetables on-site.
At Singita Grumeti, situated adjacent to the Serengeti National Park in Tanzania, Head Chef Frank Louw oversees a generous 40m x 20m plot that was planted in June 2014. Here, you’ll find rows of crisp lettuce and other leafy vegetables, as well as other salad ingredients like herbs and tomatoes. More unusual ingredients that are less likely to be available from local suppliers are also grown here; these include candied beetroot, rainbow carrots, heirloom tomatoes, kale and cos lettuce.
Some of these items feature in Singita Sasakwa Lodge’s most popular dishes. Chef Frank regularly whips up a signature “Sasakwa salad” using leaves foraged from the garden, and also adds home-grown sage the delicious butternut ravioli with burnt sage butter. Some of them even appear at breakfast, like the veggies in the delicious spinach and ricotta frittata, and the berries in our warm winter crumble.
Chef Frank Louw and his team in the kitchen
A dedicated gardening team tends the rows of plants, keeping pests under control and ensuring a healthy crop. One part of the job is rotating the location where herbs and vegetables are planted, to give the soil a rest and ensure a rich concentration of plant-loving nutrients. All of the produce grown in the garden is of course organic, and creepy crawlies are managed with a combination of companion planting with marigolds (the flowers emit a strong odour that will repel greenfly and blackfly), a homemade chilli and garlic “fire spray” to make the plants an undesirable place to eat or lay eggs, and an environmentally-friendly organic insecticide. This approach is part of Singita’s promise to “touch the earth lightly”; a form of environmentally conscious hospitality that limits the impact of our lodges and guests on their natural surroundings.
We have a number of recipes on the blog inspired by the fresh produce from Singita’s kitchen gardens. Learn how to make a rustic Tomato & Onion Tart, a versatile Tomato Jam and a tangy Beetroot & Goat’s Cheese Tart.