Tucked away in the African bush, our four luxury lodges are renowned for world-class cuisine presented by a talented team of chefs. Each Chef brings their own character, personality and flair to their respective kitchen – inspired by their surroundings of nature – and prepare every meal, be it a surprise gourmet picnic, an al fresco lunch overlooking the bushveld or a delectable boma dinner around a roaring fire, by putting their heart and soul into memorable menus. These Chefs are part of the Sabi Sabi family, supported by a team of passionate cooks who work tirelessly behind the scenes to bring delightful dishes, bursting with flavour, to your table.
CHEF SAMUEL (SAM) MOSHESH
EXECUTIVE CHEF – EARTH LODGE
The lodge’s understated and earthy, yet luxurious ambience lends itself to cuisine that reflects the very latest international trends, prepared with the freshest ingredients. Meals at Earth Lodge are carefully conceptualised considering the time of day, dining setting and season by Chef Sam, a self-motivated young man with a passion for cooking that was ignited from an early age. Sam’s mother instilled in him a love for cooking by buying cook books for him to explore new recipes. His ambition to pursue greater heights has been fueled by travelling and working abroad, gaining valuable experience and influence.
It’s all about the team for Sam, and he firmly believes that learning from others and sharing his knowledge results in ultimate success in the kitchen. Sam sees cuisine as highly evolved and pays exceptional attention to every meal that he is preparing, ensuring that each meal is presented with passion and consistency. A signature dish is his Indian Butter Chicken and Butter Roti, as he feels confident cooking with the delicious mix of Indian spices. His creativity is evident in unusual dishes such as his white chocolate Risotto with grilled strawberries and pan-fried Foie Gras.
EXECUTIVE CHEF – SELATI CAMP
Chef Gift was the first female Head Chef at Sabi Sabi and joined the team at Selati Camp eight years ago, after completing her culinary studies. As a mother of two girls, both pursuing careers in the medical field, her cooking is homey and comforting, and all guests at Selati Camp are treated as family. Gift prepares traditional safari fare, reminiscent of the ‘Classic Safari’ era – decadent, indulgent and delicious. Her favourite ingredient to cook with is chicken.
She admits that working in the culinary industry is not always easy for a woman, but believes that perseverance and confidence, combined with hard work, ultimately lead to a successful career as a female chef, and which advice she gladly dispenses to all young women aspiring to be chefs.
EXECUTIVE CHEF – LITTLE BUSH CAMP
Chef Shadrack has been at Sabi Sabi for some 17 years, and Head Chef at Little Bush Camp since 2006. When not weaving his magic in our kitchen, he enjoys spending time with his family. Shadrack is also very involved in his local community, having started a youth programme for matriculants who are unemployed, where he advises and guides these young people into realising what they want from their future.
Shadrack has created a cooking environment for his team where they optimally function, and where his dishes are made from scratch – three sumptuous meals a day, pastries, high tea cakes, sundowner snacks and everything in between.
Most of Shadrack’s menus contain limited ingredients so that they are easy to prepare, easy to remember but full of taste. His approach is following simple techniques, but cleverly blending flavours and natural colours of ingredients as well as spending time creating food that comes from the heart. Some of Chefs personal favourite dishes include truly South African fare – Bobotie, Oxtail and delicious Koeksisters. In his own words, which ring true for anyone, “you eat with your eyes”, and this is certainly obvious in the dishes presented at Little Bush Camp.
EXECUTIVE CHEF – BUSH LODGE
Chef Wilfred has cooked for Princes and Presidents, presented a TV cooking show, managed a 45 – person kitchen team and published three cook books. Besides cooking in some of the best establishments in South Africa, his work has included stints in Nigeria and the UK. With his incredible talent, it is hard to believe that this outstanding chef had very humble beginnings. Baking mealie bread is his earliest food memory. He was raised by his grandmother in a rural community in the North-West province of South Africa and was introduced to cooking from a young age.
Chef Wilfred self-funded his studies and continues his illustrious and interesting career at Bush Lodge, where his speciality cooking method – over an open fire – is well-received by guests from across the globe.
Our cooking philosophy of “simple done well” is handed down by our incredible team of executive chefs through a mentoring programme, which is a community initiative started by Chef Wilfred. His aim is to afford young, willing candidates from the local community the opportunity of a career in the culinary arts. Young learners Sifiso Mhlongo and Cedrick Mkhwanazi recently qualified and obtained their Commis Chef certification, whilst Calfonia Mathebula, Cardina Mabunda, Eugon Ndlovu, Musa Mhlongo, Nickel Mokoena, Nkateko Mambane and Ntiyiso Mathyeke are currently training under the watchful eye of Wilfred (who oversees the programme and their progress), together with Sam, Gift and Shadrack in their dreams of one day becoming chefs.
On the topic of food – our next newsletter introduces a long-awaited Sabi Sabi exclusive cook book – Bringing the Bush Home – a collection of Sabi Sabi’s favourite recipes and ideas that will certainly entice readers to discover their inner chef.