I arrived at Tonga in the early 90’s and spent a wonderful six years training local chefs who became some of my best friends, Zuwi, George, Peach, Pius and Rogers and of course the late Mr Simon, the chef for many years on Sindabezi (Tonga’s sister island downstream on the Zambezi ).
There were also stints in the lower Zambezi at Chifingulu, we cooked amazing food serving exotic and “mouth-watering” dishes using local produce. I have been back on several occassions to do more training and now spend time consulting and supporting Zuwi and his team by introducing fresh idea’s and looking at ways to improve the menu’s.
Tongabezi is owned and run by my close friends Ben and Vanessa Parker. Vanessa also runs the local school Tujatane where children from the surrounding villages receive professional education by local teachers.
“Our commitment to fresh seasonal food, entertaining, presentation and option for adventurous travelers to part take in typical Zambian cusine is Legendary. Tongabezi Lodge and Sindabezi Island share four chefs, two pastry chefs and two wonderful kitchen teams, headed by inimitable Chef Zuwi Nawa. Our kitchens benefit from regular training by the renowned chef Craig Higgins.”
Tongabezi has its own lush gardens, which produce amazing fresh produce, picked daily and used in the bush kitchen. Zuwi and his team use these hand picked ingredients to prepare wonderful dishes, which are on par with any top European restaurant. There’s a lot of work involved in such a remote kitchen, with challenges and restrictions that require a lot of planning.
The accommodation at Tongabezi is five star so it’s imperative that the food lives up to a very high standard. Gourmet champagne lunches are served by the team on day trips to Livingstone island, a special treat whilst admiring the mighty Victoria Falls in all it’s glory.