Aside from cooking, my other great passion is to travel! As you would have read last year, I went to London. This year’s Food Safari was to the East Coast of The USA.
The idea behind this is for me to learn more, gain inspiration, collect ideas and eat! That’s what I do and that’s what I love!
First stop was the incredible city of New Orleans – hot and steamy, beads and jazz, magnolia trees, swamps and plantations, it was an invigorating 4 days of eating, walking and seeing the sights. I attended a cooking class at the New Orleans School of cooking, after which I can now say I can cook up Gumbo’s, Jambalays, the Famous Bananas Foster and Pralines! Bayou Blends of spices and File Powders were purchased imediately to return to Londolozi so we can create similar delicacies. Thanks to the generosity of some Londolozi Guests, I was able to get a reservation at Commanders Palace, where I tried the taste of Turtle Soup… an interesting moment! This time of year is Soft Shelled Crab season of which I of course dined on. They are famous for their Creole Bread Pudding, very delicious! The owners of Commanders Palace were so happy to have a South African Chef visiting, they insisted I eat just about the whole menu!
For the first time in my career I tasted the World Famous Oysters Rockefeller, in fact I was the 4 056 682 person to have it at Antoines. One of the oldest restaurants in New Orleans, and the founder of this dish, they hold this recipe under lock and key!
The history of New Orleans is pretty special and the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina has nearly been cleared. If you love great food, awesome Jazz, spectacular people and history – put it on your bucket list and go!
Next Stop was Chicago! A city close to my heart as I used to live there. Since then I have become a chef and food has become my life, so you can imagine the excitement of seeing what they had to offer. The main excitement and inspiration in Chicago came from the incredible Food Markets. Unbelievable choice and packaging with aisle after aisle of anything you could imagine for whatever dietary requirement you have. Having been a Rotary Exchange student in Chicago in 1994, I also returned to the Rotary Club of Chicago Heights where I shared with the rotarians my love for Londolozi!
Then came the city with my Culinary highlights – BOSTON! Now that is an entire post of its own…keep your eyes peeled to the blog for next weeks food safari update!
Now to put to test what I’ve seen and learnt! Hopefully I can put the Bayou Blends of spices and File Powders that were bought to good use this week in the kitchen!
Look forward to seeing you all soon.
Written and photographed by Anna Ridgewell