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Bush Gourmet meets Thai - Livingstone Chef's Tables

We believe that all great wines have unique stories to tell, typically of the place where they originate from, and the people who nurture them. This combination of terroir and personalities is the confluence of all of the most interesting wines in the world! We also believe that the same can be said for the best dining experiences, and what better people and locations than those on the beautiful continent of Africa. We are delighted to be curating the wines for another Bush Gourmet experience, a Chef's Table experience on a farm in Africa, overlooking the mighty Zambezi. Here are the details!

Situated in the middle of an indigenous woodland overlooking the Zambezi River is one of Livingstone’s most exclusive, and remote, food experiences. SavannaBel - Bush Gourmet offers bespoke, all-inclusive, dining experiences for a maximum of twelve people on a working farm in the Zambezi Valley, upriver from Victoria Falls, in Zambia.

In a limited series of five Chefs’ Tables, Annabel Hughes Aston, who created the food experience, will be collaborating with Nick Heyns, a renowned Cape-based chef who produces food inspired by the ingredients, techniques and philosophy of Thai cuisine. A self-taught chef, Nick’s culinary journey led him from the world of wine and hospitality back to his family’s apple and pear farm, where as a child, daily life had a strong focus on freshly harvested produce and the nourishment of home-cooked meals. “It was when I returned to the farm that I unearthed my deep love for cooking. It wasn’t long, however, before the vibrant and exotic allure of Thai food began to truly capture my imagination"

Chef Nick’s Thai food events, mostly showcased in Elgin where he lives, sell out as soon as they are announced. He has attracted the attention of a number of Cape Town’s top chefs, in particular Ivor Jones, co-owner and head chef at the award-winning Chef’s Warehouse Beau Constantia.

Together they recently travelled to northern Thailand to work with Michelin-starred chef, Andy Ricker, who was featured on the late Anthony Bourdain’s Parts Unknown.

“With each trip to Thailand, I immerse myself in the bustling markets and street food stalls, fascinated by the bold flavours and aromatic spices that define Thai cooking. Despite the stark contrast to my own culinary heritage, I can’t help but approach Thai cuisine with a deep respect for its origins and the people who created it,” said Chef Nick. Drawing inspiration from his travels, he began experimenting in his kitchen, blending traditional Thai ingredients with his own creativity and interpretation. “With every meal I create I do my best to pay homage to the culinary heritage of Thailand, inviting others to join me on a flavourful exploration that celebrates both diversity and respect for cultural traditions.”

While the dishes that will be created for the Chefs’ Table series draw deep inspiration from Thai cuisine, they will be crafted using the hyperlocal ingredients grown or foraged at SavannaBel –Bush Gourmet. “After all, one of the most genius aspects of Thai food is to take on the unfamiliar whether that be an ingredient or cooking technique, and make it an integral part of the dish,” he said.

Allister Kreft, the CEO of African wine company Under the Influence, who is curating the wine pairings for the event, said that he had the privilege of working together with Nick when his company was founded.

“Nick and I grew up together, running around their family farm, and I have a vivid image of him being very upset one morning because his Hollandaise sauce had split! His keen interest in food has been there from a young age. We have collaborated on many family meals on the farm together, marrying great food and wine, and co-hosted our first Thai-inspired food and wine experience last year in Elgin. I’m so excited to be collaborating on this next adventure together, with Annabel, in beautiful Livingstone, overlooking the mighty Zambezi. Bringing all of his experience, paired with locally-sourced ingredients, Annabel’s passion and skill, and some of our finest wines from the Under the Influence portfolio, is a truly exciting and unique opportunity.”

A series of five Chefs’ Tables will be held on May 24 at 13.00 (SOLD OUT), May 25 at 17.00 (SOLD OUT), and May 28, 29 and 30 at 13.00. With a maximum of 12 guests per sitting, the tables will be set in a contemporary farmstead deep in a Kalahari woodland, the source not only of Annabel’s foraged pantry but also an integral element in the success of her organic garden. A ‘surprise’ pre-fixe Thai-inspired multi-course menu will be paired with fine Cape wines provided by Under the Influence.

The all-inclusive price is USD $125.00 per person.

For Reservations, please contact Annabel Hughes Aston at


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