Singita has been taking its gourmet offering to the next level with a series of epicurean additions throughout 2018. Guests of Singita Lebombo and Sweni Lodges in the Kruger National Park are now treated to a new cooking demonstration studio at Singita Lebombo, where they can recreate traditional South African dishes with brand new cooking classes and visit the overhauled and now internationally recognised Singita Community Culinary School. Singita Boulders Lodge in the Sabi Sand has unveiled a brand-new interactive kitchen, completing the unique culinary circuit inspired by the setting and style of Singita’s five South Africa Lodges.
New Demonstration Studio Offering Cooking Classes at Singita Lebombo Lodge
Working with acclaimed chef Liam Tomlin, Singita has launched cooking classes for guests staying at Singita Lebombo and Sweni Lodges. In addition to traditional South African dishes, menus will draw on deceptively simple dishes of superior provenance plate beautifully without fuss – a signature he is renowned for at his award-winning Chef’s Warehouse restaurant in Cape Town.
The cooking classes will take place at Singita Lebombo’s new light and airy demonstration studio, offering a hands-on culinary experience, which will allow guests to replicate their favourite dishes on the menu and impress upon their return home. The classes are included in the daily rate at Singita, however guests are asked to give a donation of R650 per person per class to support the ongoing community skill development.
Singita Community Culinary School
Singita Lebombo’s brand new demonstration studio offers students from the Singita Community Culinary School an opportunity to be introduced to a range of experimental and artisanal cooking techniques. One of Singita’s key conservation programmes, the Singita Community Culinary School (formerly the Singita School of Cooking) has been rebranded and overhauled with a curriculum compiled by the Hospitality Trainers and Associates (HTA) School of Culinary Art, which is internationally recognised. Ten candidates selected from surrounding communities embark on a 12-month programme that has been carefully reorganised in partnership with headline chef Liam Tomlin and the Singita head chefs. The students spend time learning the basics in Singita Lebombo’s staff canteen, followed by stints working in the five lodge kitchens in South Africa, being taught the various modules of the curriculum in the cooking school’s demo studio. Equipped with culinary skills and hands-on experience in high-level kitchens, graduates leave with the know-how and confidence to apply for a commis chef position in any professional kitchen.
New Kitchen and Grill Concept at Singita Boulders Lodge
In August 2018, Singita Boulders Lodge in the exclusive 45,000-acre Sabi Sand reserve is set to open a new kitchen to accompany a classic grill house-style dining experience, inspired by the lodge’s primal atmosphere, with design based on the four elements of wind, earth, water and fire. According to Liam Tomlin: “The introduction of open kitchens, exposing the cooking process to guests, allows guests to interact with the chefs and gain a feel for the totally different dining experiences in each of the Singita lodges.”
According to Sally Tsiliyiannis, lead architect from GAPP Architects: “In a bold shuffling of spaces, Singita Boulders’ new kitchen has been designed to fit into an existing stone and glass-walled building located in a pivotal position near the dining decks. The new kitchen is lively and light-filled, surrounded by landscaped areas to create a sense of the kitchen being outdoors, while large panels of frameless glazing allow guests to view the bustling dynamics of a working kitchen. New glass sliding doors also lead directly off the main pathway, encouraging passersby to wander into the kitchen and mingle with the chefs.” Expanding on this, Singita’s Group Executive Chef, Andrew Nicholson comments: “The new kitchen brings the pool deck alive during meal time, where the guests are able to watch chefs creating the dishes on open flames and a wood fired oven, bringing a smoky element into the dishes, which is in tune with the feel and design of the lodge.” The new menus included nose-to-tail specialties, including ox-tail and tongue, prime cuts of venison and grass-fed beef, and freshly flown in seafood, including whole fish, complemented by vegetables prepared on the grill and plenty of interesting side dishes.
Taking Safari Dining Boldly into the Future
The evolution of Singita’s food culture all started with the reopening of Singita Lebombo Lodge in the Singita Kruger National Park in May 2016. Liam worked closely with the entire team before Lebombo’s reopening and continues to do so now that the new kitchen is ‘live’ and on show.
Liam’s trademark tapas form the basis of the relaxed, sharing dining style inspired by Singita Lebombo’s chic, contemporary spaces. This experimental style of eating encourages sharing while exploring different tastes and flavours. It has increased choice, shifted the emphasis from quantity to quality, and given guests the freedom to eat as little or as much as they want. This gourmet transformation then flowed through with reconceptualized menus at all of the South African lodges, offering guests a unique culinary circuit with varying flavours and cooking techniques inspired by the setting and style of each lodge.
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Note to Editors:
Singita is a conservation brand that has been preserving African wilderness for the past 25 years, offering an exceptional safari experience with 12 luxury, award-winning lodges and camps across 5 regions in Africa. In partnership with non-profit funds and trusts who implement strategic conservation projects in each region, Singita is preserving and protecting pristine land and wildlife populations and helping to create economic independence within local communities surrounding the reserves.
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