Antonia grew up in England but is of Kenyan ancestry and learnt to cook with her Mother who is not only a very talented cook, but she is also a very successful restauranteur. Antonia then went on to train at the renowned Prue Leith’s Cookery School in London, before moving to Kenya in 2007. Antonia opened Tassia Lodge on the 60,000 acre Lekurruki Community Ranch which is in the Northern Frontier District in Kenya, and is now well known for its delicious and nourishing cuisine.
Antonia has helped many of Kenya’s principal safari lodges and camps to train their chefs and plan their menus. She has since published a wonderful cookery book Tastes of Tassia, which is full of fabulous recipes. She produced the book for her guests whilst working at Tassia Lodge.
Antonia is widely considered as one of the finest chefs in the safari business and when not running cookery courses, she is out in the bush with her husband Sam who runs a private mobile safari camp, making sure that his guests have the very best cuisine to be had in the bush!
Antonia’s delicious food is a light and healthy fusion of African, Mediterranean, Middle Eastern and Pan Asian cuisine, with all her ingredients being locally sourced, organic and extremely fresh. The courses encourage creative flair, help to master fundamental cookery techniques and take the guests’ culinary skills to the next level.
The recipes taught are designed to give a wide range of cookery skills and the guests can work their way through a variety of menus, working either from Antonia’s cookery book or a variety of other well-known chef’s cookery books. Such books include Prue Leith, Nigel Slater, Jamie Oliver, Ottolengi, Luiz Hara and Ken Hom.
The cookery courses are very much tailor-made to suit the various standards of the cooks, with the courses covering a range of subjects including mise-en-place, stocks, soups and sauces, vegetable preparation, preparing meat, poultry and fish, making pastry, cakes, biscuits and breads, canapes and presentation skills, along with food safety and hygiene. Cooking for those with a variety of dietary requirements can also be covered. The philosophy of Antonia’s kitchen permits cooks to become wannabe chefs with a collection of new and inspiring recipes, which are stunningly presented to match.
The cookery courses are usually taught in the Kenyan bush at a lodge or camp. Sam, Antonia’s husband, can also run mobile bush courses at his mobile camp. These courses are often the most authentic and fun.
Sam is the son of renowned Kenyan hotelier David Stogdale and spent much of his formative years with the young tribesmen who were training to become guides and lodge managers under his father’s guidance. Not only does Sam have qualifications in game tracking, bird watching and trail guiding, he also has his FGASA Professional Safari Guide course from South Africa. So when you’re not busy learning to cook you can go out on a game drive or walk discovering the wonders of the bush with Sam.
The courses usually run for seven consecutive days from 9am to 5pm, but shorter courses can be arranged, such as over a weekend. There are a maximum of four cooks to ensure one-to-one instruction. The courses can also be combined with a safari or a beach holiday in other areas of Kenya or East Africa. This is great for a group of friends or a family travelling together to learn to cook in a cool, calm and collected way, whilst having lots of fun!
My other favourite foodie lodges in Kenya:
Mara Plains Camp in a private Mara conservancy, Ol Donyo Lodge in the Amboseli reserve, Tassia Lodge in the Lekurruki conservancy, and Msambweni Beach Villas on the southern Kenyan coast.
Or call us on: (UK) +44 (0)1367 850566, (USA) 1-855-216-5040
Posted by: Albee Yeend
Posted on: 21st September 2016
Read more: Posts about Africa