MZANSI INTERNATIONAL CULINARY FESTIVAL
Africa Meets Europe Cuisine staged the Mzansi International Culinary Festival (MICF); a food extravaganza aimed at celebrating the rich culture of African cuisine during Heritage month. The concept, launched in 2014, celebrates the culinary expertise of chefs and farmers focusing on African women and African diaspora.
African chefs, mainly females from Uganda, Ghana, Senegal, Lesotho, Ethiopia, and South Africa have graced the event demonstrating some unique local dishes. There’s also an exciting line-up of industry experts who cover various themes in the culinary space such as “farmers corner”, local chefs joined by visiting chefs to talk about the food value chain, sustainability, and the future of food.
The event hosts interactive demonstrations with the chefs giving tips to audiences on how to prepare their local dishes. In addition to the demonstrations, chefs also speak to the audience about the culture behind the food, showcasing the health benefits of African food. Wine sommeliers join in the cooking demonstration to pair the dishes with the perfect South African wines.
The aim of the festival is to unite people through food – “Travel Africa on a Plate” – which is known to gather people around the table as a symbol of togetherness and joy. The South African public have an opportunity to learn about the different cultures from other parts of Africa, as well as the produce indigenous to regions of Africa that is available in our local markets.
The event is family friendly with a “kiddie’s corner”, where children are taught the benefits of healthy eating and how to choose their food.
Find out more about my culinary journey in my book, “Through the Eyes of an African Chef”.
The book includes all the usuals, such as starters, side dishes, mains, and desserts. It also includes extras such as recipes from my international travels, including cream cheese and bread making from my time at Ballymaloe Cookery School under chef Darina Allen; some of my father’s traditional recipes; and a few Khoisan classics, such as honey-glazed springbok.
Zulu beer-making at the Mzansi International Culinary Festival.