Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Rafiki Foundation Dinner in Tanzania

I was invited to assist in the making of a six course dinner with canapes and matching wines in Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania in aid of the Rafiki foundation who help orphaned children and widow's in need. David Grier from Miles for Smiles was the main host and chef for the evening, David has run many challenges across China, India, Madagascar and London raising money for children in need of cleft palate surgery changing their lives forever.

Our challenge started at the airport where we forgot one suitcase having had extra foods and chocolates as luggage which we could not find in Tanzania for the dinner distracted us. The challenge continued when we arrived at the restaurant hosting the dinner and it was still being built, no furniture, no plates and especially no ingredients yet.

The day before the function, the prep day where we set up the unused kitchen, wheeled and dealed to get our ingredients delivered in time for us to prepare this meal for 120 people in a kitchen, country and with staff we have never met or seen before, teaching the staff how we want everything prepared as the meal matched cuisines from all the countries David has run through.

On the function day we were faced with yet another challenge, a power failure and we had to climb 42 flights of stairs to the top of the building with all the chocolates and boxes in our arms, a searing temperature outside of 35 degrees, fridges off, generator broken and we still receiving deliveries of food, plates and tables but mainly no blenders and electrical kitchen equipment forcing us to hand chop instead of blend and using torches in the fridges made for a very interesting day, pressed for time and all the hiccups taking hours off the clock . In the end it all came together and went smooth creating a day we will all never forget.

 Canapes, coconut crumbed prawns with a saffron and basil coconut cream pipette

Tomato and mozzarella tian with basil and mint pesto

Tuna tartare in a cucumber boat with Kewpie mayo and nori

Lamb kofta with Raita

Cured beef fillet with mango and red onion salsa

First course, Confit and smoked duck salad with mango pearls and pickled vegetables.

Second course, Lobster Tom Yum Goong

Third course, Tandoori chicken filled with Indian spiced farce, black lentil dahl, vegetable samoosa and coriander chutney. This was followed by a coconut, pineapple and ginger lollipop with sparkling apple and fruit salsa to cleanse the palate.

Main Course, Roast Lamb rack, pea and butternut puree, potatoes parisienne and Rooibos Jus

Dessert, Rafiki chocolate pots with fresh berries

It was long and hard work in humid heat, beating the clock every minute but all worth it in the end. We worked with new and old chefs, made loads of new friends along the way and not to forget the treat at the end of the function an ice cold bottle of Moet and Chandon Champagne which we guzzled down at the end of the night.
Thanks to the Rafiki foundation, David Grier, Alettea Malan and the Akemi Team for a great weekend where we raised R1.5 million for the less fortunate kids.

Pictures and article copyright by Tamsyn Wells

No comments: