The annual Hlokomela Herb Party in Hoedspruit brings together top chefs from lodges and restaurants in the area to help celebrate – and raise funds – for this local NGO.
As an HIV-prevention and care project, Hlokomela’s herb garden began as a way to supplement the diets of workers living with HIV. Since then, it has become an important supplier of fresh herbs and herb-based products to supermarkets, restaurants and lodges in the area.
Hosted by Thornybush Game Lodge, the event challenged local chefs to put together an original tasting menu using different herbs supplied by Hlokomela.
Our job was to go along and taste everything they’d prepared, while enjoying a selection of wonderful wines on offer from Guardian Peak and Safari Wine Club under the stars in the middle of the bush. It was hardly a chore, but knowing that Hlokomela uses all the funds raised to support its HIV peer education, awareness raising, prevention and treatment programmes, made the whole experience even better.
Among others, Kapama, Ngala Safari Lodge, Hat&Creek, Madhams, Blyde River Lodge and Hoedspruit’s own Travelling Chefs outdid themselves with their sweet and savoury canapés – think vegetable tempura, lavender brownies, tiny portions of steak tartare, fresh prawn and strawberry spring rolls, brandy, apple and lemongrass cocktails, homemade mint-infused nougat and fragrant polenta bites… you get the idea. I’m already looking forward to next year’s event.
- Dianne Tipping-Woods