On Tuesday 2nd April, I was invited to attend Yellow Zebra Safaris’ first East African Supper Club, in association with The Culinary Discovery Club and Colline’s Kitchen, at Benk + Bo in London. The supper club celebrated the unique culture and cuisine that East Africa, and in particular Tanzania, has to offer and had a range of influencers and bloggers in attendance.
On the menu was a range of East African cuisine. To start there was Matooke and Luwombo, which is a Ugandan/Rwandan dish of steamed green bananas and plantains, served with spiced mushrooms cooked in bananas leaves. We were invited to assemble this dish ourselves which was great fun – spooning the spicy mushroom stew in to their own banana leaf (as demonstrated by Colline from Colline’s Kitchen!) and shown how to fold so that the stew didn’t seep out during cooking.
For the main course, we were treated to Mchuzi wa samaki – a traditionally spiced curry of Tanzanian/Kenya salmon and hake, served with brown rice. This was delicious although I would have loved just a touch more spice for my own tastebuds.
The showstopper dessert was Mandazi – Ugandan coconut doughnuts served with a selection of chocolate and caramel dips and a homemade mango sorbet. The dessert was so good that I forgot to take a picture!
The table at Benk + Bo was decorated with a range of African flowers, including the Protea, which is the national flower of South Africa, Gloriosa Flame Lilies (the national flower of Zimbabwe) and Stretliza ‘Bird of Paradise’ flowers.
The supper club celebrated Yellow Zebra Safaris’ range of luxury Tanzania Safaris. Home to some of Africa’s most famous parks, Tanzania offers a range of unique experiences. The most recognised of these includes the Serengeti National Park – the location of the famous Great Wildebeest Migration, which also attracts the highest concentration of predators in Africa. There are more ‘off the beaten track’ wildlife parks in the region, such as Ruaha National Park, Selous Game Reserve or the Mahale Mountains National Park, where you can even encounter chimps.
Yellow Zebra Safaris was launched in 2012 by friends and subsequent business partners Julian Carter-Manning and Rory Walker. They aimed to tap in to a gap in the market by employing former professional safari guides, camp managers or people born and raised in Africa, ensuring clients speak to the true industry experts.
The night was made possible by The Culinary Discovery Club, and their partnership with Colline’s Kitchen, a self-taught cook and baker based in Newbury. Colline was born in Zimbabwe and has now spent half of her life in the U.K. She has her own café in Newbury and loves bringing people together in her local community through healthy and sustainable food.
The culinary Discovery Club also presented a range of activities for the us to enjoy during the evening, including ice-breaker flashcards where guests had to find their matching flashcard partner. All guests also had to present one fun fact from their flash cards to the table, which covered interesting facts from animals and foods native to east Africa, and also some interesting information about the countries themselves.
The night ended in a quiz, with questions based on the ice breaker facts from earlier in the night – this was a nice touch and encouraged some great networking on the evening. My team proudly named “Who’s For Dinner?” won the quiz and received prizes kindly given by The Culinary Discovery Club and Africaology. All guests also took home a jar of spices so they could recreate the main course of Mchuzi wa samaki in their own kitchen, plus coffee from Uganda.
This was a gifted experience – The Who’s For Dinner blog was not paid to attend the event or to post this content.