To have the title of ‘Matriarch of the kitchen’ provides extremely big shoes to fill although, in meeting Connie, one can understand why she fulfills this role so well. She is a larger than life woman who has an incredibly warm smile and welcoming demeanor.
Connie started at Londolozi in 1994 as a Pastry Chef and the relief Chef for the Satellite Camps. She then moved to Varty Camp, where she was in charge of the Meat & Fish Preparation as well as serving the guests in the evenings. In 2008, Connie became the Bush Banqueting Chef where today she is responsible for all the food we serve out in the bush.
Connie’s biggest talent, is that of making her fabulous preserves & chutneys – taking her just about 48 hours, she creates the incredible combinations of fruits together with vegetables and no guest leaves without commenting and asking for one of her recipes. She is extremely proud of her chutneys and look out anyone who comes past and tries to take some without asking!
For the past 6 years, Connie’s Chili has been making an appearance on every buffet! Although we warn the guests that it has a slight kick, no one seems to mind and always come back for more! Due to its’ popularity, we have included this recipe in Volume One of our Cookbook – Bush Basics!
Connie is not only the matriarch in the kitchen but she is also seen as the matriarch in the Londolozi village as well as in her own family. Some of her favorite past times is to look after her grandchild, go to Church, make reed mats and spend time with friends and family. She has told me that she was once the best Goal Keeper for the Londolozi Lionesses, the female soccer team, however, now she prefers to sit and watch!
Written by Anna Ridgewell