It is with some sadness and a lot of joy that I bring you the news that our much revered Executive Chef, Anna Ridgewell (Chefanna), has decided to substitute her bush life for a beach life.
Anna, during her almost 9 year reign over the cuisine offerings at Londolozi, brought a whole new level of excellence to the theatre of bush banqueting. They say that a picture tells a thousand words, so…
In truth Anna will never leave the Londolozi family as she will forever remain a most valued member of our alumni and a global ambassador for Londolozi.
Beyond her extraordinary culinary skills, ‘Chefanna’ worked side-by-side with, and as a true mentor to her remarkable kitchen team. To cajole, to admonish, to teach and to inspire excellence in all that was created over many years, Anna managed to handle the daily complexity of producing meals at multiple locations around the African wilderness, to a variety of ever-changing personal dietary requirements. Anna remarkably found time to warmly welcome and entertain expansively the many guests and friends who visited and returned over the years … many drawn by the allure of Anna’s special and unique food creations. Anna also spent her time on birthday treats for the Londolozi Family, trainee ranger’s sneaky lunch packs on their training bush walks and chocolate chip cookies and famous birthday cakes for the children.
We always used to joke with Anna saying that her true calling was to be on stage as she repeatedly produced unimaginable food theatre at every occasion.
Whether it was nights under stars at remote safari locations, Londolozi’s signature camp fire bomas, decks or wine cellars – ‘Chefanna’ was the choreographer of the drama and invented the meaning of ‘food for theatre’ or perhaps better said ‘the theatre of food’. Anna over the years has worked with 56 chefs and has received 834 Matumi food orders. She has looked after 49307 guests, meaning 46 wine cellars, 2 493 bush-banqueting events, which in total comes to around half a million meals… not to mention 8 legendary New Year’s Eve celebrations, Christmas Eve dinners and Easter Picnics. To name a few:
New Year’s Eve
This 2020 Vision has also carried itself into the Londolozi village gardens, where Anna has played an important role in encouraging people to grow their own greens to then be used in the Londolozi kitchen and finally presented to our guests.
So it is indeed with sadness that in November we say farewell to Anna but it is also with joy that we send her on her new adventure in the knowledge that her teachings and her mentorship will remain with the Londolozi Family. Her many hours dedicated to the Good Work Foundation fundraising with the Sarasota team and the Relais & Châteaux Africa Food delegation will remain as her legacy to Londolozi.
Anna has also been sharing her ‘simply sophisticated’ dishes with us through Londolozi’s Lockdown Larder which allowed her to keep in touch with guests from around the world and share her love for cuisine:
- Green Soup
- Seafood paella
- Cookies and crunchies
- Coffee and red wine braised short ribs
- The Caesar salad
- Calamari and Aioli
- Bran muffins
- The perfect pizza
- The humble frittata
- The 1926 burger
- The plant-based burger
- Ice cream
And on behalf of a very grateful Londolozi family we will miss you and the excellence and warmth you brought to caring for our guests and we all we look forward to her return as a treasured Londolozi alumni.