Chef in the bush

Craig Higgins is a Scottish professional chef who has worked extensively in the finest camps across Africa. He published his first book ‘Elephant in the Kitchen’ on the subject of bush cooking as a collaboration with National Geographic wildlife photographers Beverly and Dereck Joubert. Information on this can be found under books at: Craig has previously been involved in a 10 episode commission of ‘Safari Kitchen’ for the Good Food channel (2012/13) He now has plans to develop the concept past the Tongabezi Kitchen into the wild, foraging for his ingredients with the help of the tribesmen. Craig is looking for production companies, funders and commissioners to take the new ‘Chef in the Bush’ brand forward. Craig has location access and resources at camps in Zambia, Kenya, Botswana, Namibia, Rwanda and Zimbabwe. He also has relationships with the Big Cat Diary team, including wildlife expert Jonathan Scott, local interpreters, nutritionists and tribe members whom he would like to include in this new series. “Chef in the Bush”

Sample Episode Guide

At the core of each episode is the cooking of exciting and unusual dishes which are inspired from the lifestyles of African bush locals. Importantly, these recipes will also be perfectly achievable for viewers at home. With the help of a local guide/on screen fixer, Craig will be introduced to dynamic variety of situations, people and traditions in daring and visually striking environments. Each episode will have a balance of location jeopardy (e.g. wild animal danger), native characters (e.g. Masai Warriors) and entertainment action (e.g. Craig undertaking some more unusual diet tips such as drinking goats blood and milk in the morning). There will be a "buddy" relationship between Craig and his guide, whom the viewers will see daring him to try strange dishes, laughing at him/with him as Craig reacts to new tastes! The series will consist of ten 60 minute episodes, with the ultimate aim of presenting viewers with a light hearted, fun and informative insight in to the cooking practices of East African tribes; encouraging them to be bold and to try new recipes at home too. Craig will present the conclusions in a new recipe Book.

Episode 1: Jumping in the back of our camp Landrover at Jacks Camp and heading out to hippo hide, we prepare a gourmet meal of Kudu steaks seared on hot stones and served with wild African relish from local marulla berries. Craig experiences the perils of cooking alongside wild animals and meets his local friends.

Episode 2: Cooking on the San-Pan (floating raft on the Zambezi) Craig makes flambé plantain with local rum and wild spices under the African stars and explores how deserts can be healthy too. Cobra the Kalahari bushman introduces Craig to some unusual ingredients using cactus which is a traditional bushman’s refreshment.

Episode 3: Heading out in the banana boat to Sindabezi Island, Craig fishes for tiger fish and cooks them over hot coals, whilst giving a recipe for Bush Sushi, Craig encounters a hungry Croc, and learns how to tell it’s age. Zuwi the chef shows him how to make proper Nshema (Maize-meal porridge) and Craig uses it to make a delicious polenta.

Episode 4: Breakfast under Bob the Baobab tree, cooking the morning fry-up on a spade over charcoal. Craig presents a more nutritionally balanced version of a full English! Ostrich egg scrambled eggs with warthog sausage,wild boar, Kalahari mushrooms and bush tomatoes. Whilst baking bread in the ground, Craig attempts to avoid the hungry termites and tries one of the local brews.

Episode 5: Suzie’s Duck Pond Okavango Delta. Serving fried mopani worms and termites for snacks! Anything goes with sundowner cocktails! Craig explores some unusual foods but learns how a varied diet is the key to tribe nutrition and gets there tips. The tribes reaction to today’s dishes could determine whether he has passed or failed and can earn an honorary member of the tribe or is expelled.

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