Head Chef Sam Mkhatshwa – Combining a passion for cooking and a passion for living in the wilderness.

Meet Sam, our sensational Head Chef at Jock Safari Lodge!  Sam is the master mind behind our delectable safari cuisine and the inspiration behind his team. Sam’s passion is contagious, it’s this passion that uplifts and motivates his team in creating and delivering a consistently high standard of safari dining at the Lodge.

Sam career started off as a humble sculler at the Michaelangelo Hotel in Sandton while completing a 6-month in-house training course. The call of the lowveld stirred up a change and Sam made the move to Mpumalanga which saw his arrival at Jock in 2001 as commis chef.

Sam’s desire to learn, share his knowledge and wealth of ideas quickly saw his internal promotion within the kitchen ranks. His enthusiasm to grow motivated him to complete his professional chefing course in 2009. Sam was unstoppable! And three years ago, received the well-deserved title of Head Chef.

Frequent visits from culinary ‘guru’s’ Chef Garth Stroebel, a South African Chef and Judge for the World Association of Chefs Societies and Chef Andre Viljoen are constantly inspiring and driving Sam and his team’s creativity to new heights, producing what has now become known as Jock’s distinctive South African fusion culinary style.

Currently Sam and the team coordinate and design three alternating eating experiences:  a fine dining a la carte menu in the restaurant, a traditional boma evening around a fire under the stars and our newly introduced concept: grill night where the location differs depending on the weather. The grill night is very special, without giving too much away, think of a harvest table where you choose from an array of accompaniments to compliment your main grill of either meat, fish, chicken and ending with a dessert bar. You will have to come to experience first-hand.

When we asked Sam for his main reason for staying at Jock Safari Lodge for 18 years, he replied: “It’s not all about the food, it is about the whole team that works here that has become more like a family. It’s a love for the bush and being able to work in such a tranquil environment.”

Sam’s food has been described by our guests as “gourmet” and “exquisite”, and dietary restrictions- no problem! We hope that you consider Jock for your next safari adventure and to experience our culinary journeys for yourself.

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