Love Made Visible - The Meaning of Food at Singita
Singita’s unique food journey is an intrinsic part of how our guests experience Africa, with fresh ingredients gathered from our on-site gardens and innovative menus that complement our wellness philosophy. While these mouthwatering moments are a memorable part of any stay at Singita, our food offering is also inextricably linked to our core conservation purpose and a key part of our community and sustainability programmes.
Take a stroll through the Akarabo Nursery and Garden at Singita Volcanoes National Park to see our farm-to-table vegetable garden in Rwanda.
From surprise breakfasts in the bush to starlit dinners on your suite’s private deck, each meal is part of Singita’s farm-to-table experience, which celebrates fresh seasonal flavours. Our kitchens embrace regional recipes that have been handed down through generations and portions that are tasty, healthy and less wasteful. These principles are also entrenched in the world-class training provided at the Singita Community Culinary Schools (SCCS) in South Africa and Tanzania, where talented aspiring chefs from local communities graduate as professional commis chefs.
Young people emerge from the SCCS programme – an internationally-accredited course – with sought-after skills and strong employment prospects, while kitchens at Singita lodges and those further afield benefit from a pool of expertly-trained young chefs. Scholarships are funded in part through the generosity of our guests, helping us to achieve our goal of doubling the number of students who graduate from the programme every year.
Our commitment to creating opportunities in rural communities neighbouring our properties extends to the world of wine too. François Rautenbach, who is responsible for the selection, acquisition, maturation and distribution of wine to each lodge – and also oversees Singita’s extensive wine cellar – has created a special training programme for young wine-lovers. Through mentoring, formal training and access to Africa’s finest wine programme, he is nurturing the continent’s next generation of sommeliers.
Our beautiful cookbook, Singita: Our Food Journey, features 274 pages of colourful, carefully-curated recipes honouring the cuisines of the continent and brings traditional and contemporary recipes of Africa to life. With guest favourites like fragrant Coconut Lentil Stew and aromatic Lamb and Prune Tagine, you’ll be transported to the plains of the Serengeti or the banks of the Sand River from every page. Circling back to our conservation and community purpose, profits generated from the sale of each book support SCCS students.
Tackling child hunger has long been a priority for our partner funds and trusts, but its importance was thrown into sharp relief in recent times. COVID-19 and the subsequent lockdown on communities surrounding Sabi Sand and the Kruger National Park in South Africa have left many families without food. The Singita Lowveld Trust is therefore temporarily providing emergency food relief to the neediest families during this time. Basic nutrition is especially important for the development of young children to avoid the long-term effects of malnutrition. For less than a takeout dinner for two, you can sponsor a food parcel that will feed a family of four for a month.
For many of us, food symbolises comfort and togetherness; it’s easy to forget that for a huge portion of society, it’s a struggle to access and afford it. For rural African families living in extreme poverty, it’s nothing more than sustenance and a means to survive. Providing basic nutrition to children and supporting their development is the least we can do to alleviate the effects of this pandemic for those who feel it most.