Jabali Ridge: Q&A With Our Executive Chef

By Britta Foulis | 16 October 2019

Jabali Ridge, located in Ruaha National Park, offers a culinary experience that promises to entice and inspire any food-lover – or anyone who just enjoys a good meal! We spoke to Mark English, our Executive Chef, and found out exactly what makes the Jabali Ridge food experience so special.

Question 1:
Tell us more about the Food Experience at Jabali Ridge

We offer a complete mixture of eating styles including Mezze and A la carte. We like to switch things up, so dining venues change daily for guests, we also have a variety of bush stops that are ideal for outdoor dining – from breakfasts and sundowners to ice cream & pancake stops – we have it all! We are also working on a stargazing martini dinner in the bush and hope to introduce this concept in the near future for our guests to enjoy.

Local Swahili foods have inspired many of our dishes, which our guests appreciate – you can try delicacies such as Mchicha (a peanut and spinach curry), Futari (a vegetable stew), Choroko (a traditional breakfast and lunch dish), and Sukuma Wiki (a traditional take on collard greens). We also host a themed Swahili dinner every Sunday which offers a fun and interesting way for guests to try out local foods.

All of our meals are created with the weather in mind, making careful considerations so they complement the temperature and mood.We have also included healthier options in our menu such as fresh juices, we also have plans to introduce a light-meal deli in the afternoons for guests to enjoy at the pool or throughout the lodge. Another aspect we are proud to include in our food offering at Jabali Ridge are craft, or artisan, breads – these delicious sourdoughs, rye, and seeded breads are complemented by flavoured spreads and butter.

Question 2:
What are your absolute must-try’s when visiting Jabali Ridge?

I can with certainty say that the freshly baked croissants are indeed world-class! You should definitely not pass one up at breakfast time. Our cold soup of the day is always a treat – you can enjoy appetizing combinations such as beetroot and apple; carrot, orange and ginger; or watermelon gazpacho which are just some of my favourites!

For dessert, an absolute must-try is our Baobab sorbet. While enjoying views of the sprawling baobab forest that lies in front of the camp, you can enjoy the unique baobab fruit-flavoured sorbet that has traces of lime and litchi while boasting a smooth coconut-like silkiness.

We proudly source the most sustainable fish in the country. Freshly caught off Kenya’s Pemba island by local fishermen using just a handline in traditional Ngalawa boats. We also only source fish that are not endangered species such as the King Mackerel, Dorado and Tuna.

Question 3:
What makes Jabali Ridge the ultimate way to experience Ruaha?

The camp is located high up, on a rocky kopje, that overlooks a landscape dotted with spiky palms and bulbous baobabs. If you’re looking for a sophisticated retreat from which to explore Ruaha National Park,Jabali Ridge is the place to visit. The remarkable beauty of Ruaha is just one of the things that makes a safari here so special, what truly stands out is the feeling of having the wilderness all to yourself. With only a handful of visitors at any one time in the area, this is truly an exceptional, and exclusive, safari experience.

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