September 2022

Wholesome & heartfelt – Singita’s holistic food philosophy

in Experience

Wholesome & heartfelt – Singita’s holistic food philosophy

Singita’s ongoing relationship with food and all it represents is one grounded in the notion of connection. Along with its power to strengthen connections with one another while sharing unhurried meals in some of Africa’s most remarkable locations, it also emphasises a deepened connection to the land and an appreciation for the abundance each season brings.

Our commitment to the environment has inspired a conscious and holistic food philosophy and a farm-to-table journey that spans seasonal ingredients and celebrating each region’s unique flavours. Shaped by their inspiring cultures and people, and filled with sustainable ingredients and fresh flavours, the food at each of our lodges and camps tells a beautiful story, and engages the senses as much as it nourishes and sustains.

Inspired by their cultures and settings, and filled with sustainable ingredients and fresh flavours, the food at each of our lodges and camps engages the senses as much as it nourishes and sustains

Soul-nurturing experiences

For us, wellness extends far beyond eating healthily. It also means eating well – being present to enjoy the experience in its entirety, from wholesome food to good company and incomparable settings that leave lasting impressions on the soul. At its core, our food philosophy is about loved ones connecting over beautifully prepared and presented meals. It’s a philosophy that infuses our food journey from start to finish – from the responsible procurement of ingredients to the mindful preparation and final enjoyment of each meal.

Approaching all their menus with this spirit of joy, our chefs craft unforgettable culinary moments with ingredients that honour each region’s uniqueness. From different backgrounds and with their own personal stories to tell, they contribute significantly to Singita’s vibrant tapestry with food that is meaningful and memorable, and celebrates authentic connections.

The diverse tastes of these talented individuals add exceptional depth to our menus. From those who love to hero vegetables in their cooking, like Group Roaming Chef Vanie Padayachee, who is influenced by her Sri Lankan and South Indian heritage, to Xavier Francis, Executive Head Chef at Singita Sabi Sand – who is a passionate advocate of all things local and counts umngqusho as one of his favourite South African dishes – each expresses their own interests, while remaining true to our ethos.

Our talented culinary teams draw on their own personal passions, as well as inspiration and ingredients from each setting, to create dishes that engage and delight

Natural, local goodness

Where possible, we grow our own produce, with the remainder foraged or sourced as locally as possible. Procuring locally is not only important to ensure freshness and quality, and to minimise our impact on the environment, but also forms a crucial part of our commitment to support local community enterprises.

Each of our lodges either has its own herb or produce garden, or access to one in the local community. In South Africa, David Shilabi – who was with Singita for 22 years before eventually leaving to pursue his passion for agriculture – runs Xicupe farm, which Singita’s Community Partnership Programme helped set up. His flourishing operation now supplies Singita Sabi Sand lodges, as well as the local community with fresh produce. Similarly, across regions, each lodge features a unique selection of locally sourced ingredients, such as fresh fish caught in the Malilangwe Dam – a highlight on the menu at Singita Pamushana Lodge in Zimbabwe – or tree tomato juice which is used in drinks and forms part of the refreshing breakfast offering at Singita Kwitonda Lodge in Rwanda.

Each region's unique ingredients, flavours and cultures are celebrated in dishes that are seasonal and sustainably sourced

Resourceful & innovative

The sustainable use of our resources includes responsible management, and the reduction of waste. Here our chefs truly shine in their innovative and creative use of ingredients – and they ensure that every last item foraged, grown or bought is used to its fullest potential.

Nothing useful is discarded – from flowers used for teas and cordials made from wild berries, to herb stalks and onion peels adding flavour to stocks and broths, and leftover vegetables turned into pickles, preserves, kimchi and dressings, or slightly overripe fruit transformed into sorbets and preserves.

Likewise, a top-to-tail approach applies to our meat, and we use all parts, with less common cuts braised and slow-cooked to perfection – once again demonstrating the skill and resourcefulness of chefs who create magic out of every last morsel.

Whether it's leftover vegetables and herbs used in stocks and broths, or flowers for garnishes and fruit for preserves, our chefs are resourceful in their use of all ingredients

Explore our world from your home

You too can delve into the eclectic and flavour-filled world of Singita by ordering one of our beautiful cookbooks – available here >

By Julia Freemantle

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