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Out of an African Kitchen and into a Cookery Book

When publishing a cook book, there are a few essential ingredients required. Kate shares the secret recipe to Angama's new baby, Out of An African Kitchen

To say we move fast at Angama, would be an understatement. “What do our guests enjoy doing while on safari? Taking photographs!”, and the Photographic Studio was built. “We need to feed our guests as locally and responsibly as possible”, and the Shamba  was planted. So no surprise that when we needed gorgeous food images  for our website, the idea to shoot a cookery book was fast tracked, and here I sit two short years later writing the story of how it came to be with the most beautiful book (well, I think so anyway) on the desk next to me.

Angama Chef team and wrapping up the shoot in the Angama Shamba

I was given the formidable task of project managing the book across 2 countries, and 7 different locations. The first, and easiest, decision was to pull together a crack team – Sam Linsell of Drizzle and Dip on the food images, and boy are they heart stopping;  Amanda Collins on food preparation and styling assisted by Angama’s brigade of 17 of the best chefs in Kenya; Marina Grieves from The New Black  on the layout from cover to cover – who else could we go to but the studio who has done our branding from day one; Adam Bannister on the team images from the lodge, and we all know how gorgeous his pictures are; Shannon Davis helping to project manage in Kenya when I couldn’t get there; Laura Goldsworthy who runs Angama’s digital communities with a past career in publishing; Beverley Dodd our wonderful publisher and her team at Penguin Random House, all woven together under the guidance and through the beautiful words of Angama’s owner, Nicky Fitzgerald.

Swahili rice pudding with mango and the Angama chefs in the Shamba

We planned, we plotted, we played with names and piece by piece this book came to life. The name, a tribute to our North Star Out of Africa by Karen Blixen, seemed to fit so beautifully through paying homage to our location, as well as to the chefs of Angama’s kitchens every one of whom is Kenyan, and all embody Angama’s food mantra – our food is not fancy, it is good.

Local Maasai milk supplier and Mahamri coconut ice-cream sandwich

We cook out of a bush kitchen with the simplest but freshest ingredients with the pages of the greats like Ottolenghi and Danny Meyer at our fingertips for inspiration, which has many guests asking for the recipes as they leave the lodge.

Green shakshuka and fresh eggs from the chicken coop

2 years, 67 recipes; 128 pages; 12 stories; 17 chefs; 10 chapters; and 65 photographs later, our Angama cookery book - Out of an African Kitchen – has arrived in time for our 5th birthday (this past Sunday on the 14th of June) and is a food love story that celebrates our lodge, our chefs, our guests, our setting on the edge of the Great Rift Valley overlooking the beautiful Maasai Mara, and the stories that tie us together.

Fresh carrots and a delicious shamba salad

Our recipe book, like the food we cook, is not fancy: we have no methods on foams, gels or smears, we kept our recipes simple. Simply delicious.

The lovely cover of Out of an African Kitchen

Filed under: Safari Style

Tagged with:

Angama Chefs , Angama Food , Angama Mara , Angama Team , Food , Travel East Africa

About: Kate Fitzgerald Boyd

Kate was born in a chafing dish – well almost. The date she was due to arrive was perilously close to Christmas and her mother wasn’t taking any chances so out she came just in time for a decent Christmas dinner to be served to the guests at the hotel of her childhood. Back-of-house babies, they call them. And she has never looked back and now logs more air miles than she knows what to do with sharing the Angama Mara story far and wide.

Browse all articles by Kate Fitzgerald Boyd Meet the angama team

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