Investing time, commitment, energy and expertise to support local communities is critical to Singita's success, as you will have read in our recent blog post about the latest graduating class from the Singita School of Cooking (SSC). Projects like this provide exciting opportunities to people from nearby villages that otherwise would not exist, and encourage them to thrive, both socially and economically. Their prosperity in turn helps Singita to keep community, conservation and sustainable tourism in a complementary balance, allowing the preservation of these precious wilderness areas and their wildlife.
Talented young chef TK is a wonderful example of personal triumph in such circumstances. After completing the demanding Professional Cookery qualification at SSC, she joined the kitchen team at Singita Kruger National Park as a commis chef and, through hard work and determination, was soon promoted through the ranks. In January 2016, she was taken under the wing of Liam Tomlin, the Irish-born, South Africa-based chef with whom Singita has collaborated to refresh the menu and food offering at the newly evolved Singita Lebombo Lodge. She travelled to Tomlin's award-winning tapas restaurant in Cape Town, Chef's Warehouse, where she got her hands dirty in the kitchen, learning more about his passion for deceptively simple, pared-down dishes of superior provenance, plated without fuss.
She flourished in the new and challenging environment, and earned the respect and affection of her peers with her positive attitude and willingness to learn. The experience inspired TK to want to give back by teaching others herself, which she hopes to achieve by being Head Chef one day. As she returns to Singita to apply her newfound knowledge and skills, we very much look forward to seeing TK make her dreams come true. Watch this short video to learn more about this remarkable young woman and her journey from a small village in South Africa to become a part of our Singita family:
Singita is proud to be able to tell a number of success stories about the people who work with us and the communities they come from. These include Peter Andrew, a former poacher turned chef, and Eksoni Ndlovu, a gifted tracker from a small rural community near the Kruger National Park, who is now respected the world over for his wildlife skills. The "People of Singita" tag is also a wonderful source of inspiring blog posts on the subject.