I know, Africa as the latest hot culinary destination? Really? We’re here to tell you yes. Not only is there an amazing variety of deeply rich flavor profiles in African food, it has a developing wine scene that is second to none. Add to that the fact that Cape Town is one of the fastest growing travel destination in the world (it was named the top place to visit last year by The New York Times and Great Britain’s The Guardian), and that your hosts for the trip are two of our favorite and most accomplished chefs, and you’ve got the stuff dreams are made of!
So here are our top three (of many!) reasons to visit Africa with The International Kitchen.
1) It’s all about the food…
Your guides for exploring African cuisine? A husband and wife team that has decades of international experience. Sidney grew up in South Africa and is one of the few people who, as a professional chef who also has an intimate personal knowledge of the local food, can introduce you to South African cuisine from the traditional and exotic (mopane worms!) to the new and cosmopolitan. His favorite ingredient? Morogo, or wild African spinach, a staple of South African cuisine that he learned to make from his Zulu nanny: “Rich in protein and a wild depth in taste that I can compare to no other, Edith would blanch the Morogo then refresh it, with the same care and technique as any competent chef I have witnessed. Then she would lightly salt it and roll it in little balls and leave to dry it out on wire racks in the sun, and then store it until ready to use.”
2) And it’s all about the wine…
The Zevenwacht wine estate, whose new teaching kitchen built exclusively for cooking vacations and culinary tours opens in October of this year, also produces some top notch wines. Its 2011 360° Sauvignon Blanc just won a Top 10 Sauvignon Blanc award. What better accompaniment for your amazing culinary creations? (More on South African wines on Wednesday!). Your hosts were pivotal in the early days of this famed estate and can give you an insider’s look like no others can offer. And if that weren’t awesome enough, you also visit the Bochendal Wine estate and two other local vineyards for specialized wine tastings.
3) And you get to see wild animals too…
When Karen Herbst, founder and president of The International Kitchen, traveled to Africa last year, she was bowled over by Cape Town, which she enjoyed immensely. But she also loved the days spent in Namibia, viewing the antelope, elephants, giraffes, rhinos, leopards, lions, and more that make Africa one of the most breathtaking destinations imaginable.
So no matter what you would most like to see in Africa—the elephants, or the wine estates—we’ve got you covered.
By Peg Kern
Sign up to receive our newsletter, which includes travel tips, recipes, promotions, and information on our best cooking vacations.
Originally published July 27, 2015.