The Perfect Picnic in Mozambique
At cazenove+loyd, we take great care in seeing for ourselves how the camps and lodges we work with are being run and part of this process involves thoroughly overeating and tasting a variety of hearty and freshly cooked dishes and on my recent trip to Mozambique, I did just that. I visited some of our favourite lodges in northern Mozambique where I noticed one thing they all had in common. Here they have perfected the art of lunch on the beach which I can’t see being matched anywhere else.
If you are a seafood lover, a trip to Mozambique is heaven on a plate. Thanks to Mozambique’s phenomenally long coastline (2,500km) and huge abundance of fish, I returned having eaten more lobster in two weeks than I have in a lifetime. Having worked in remote camps across Africa, I was keen to have a good snoop behind the scenes and here is where I met some of Mozambique’s most outstanding chefs. Using local produce teamed with years of experience, they create simple yet delicious dishes served in stunning faraway locations.
Vamizi Island, in the Querimbas Archipelago in northern Mozambique is set on endless, pristine, powder-white sandy beaches. The resident chef, Thys, learnt to cook in his mother’s farmhouse kitchen in South Africa. Chatting with him, I learnt how passionate he is about the fusion of fine cuisine with an exotic tropical twist and his incorporation of East African flavours, inspired by the traditions of this region at the heart of the ancient spice route, allows guests to enjoy a totally unique dining experience. His signature seafood recipes on the island are a carpaccio of freshly caught yellow fin tuna, delicately dressed crab salad, or their very own take on the traditional Portuguese dish of squid stuffed with chorizo.
After sampling an unbeatable seafood platter enjoyed at one of the most idyllic spots, I managed to persuade Vamizi’s outstanding chef to share with us his secret recipe to make the perfect seafood lunch.
VAMIZI ISLAND’S CASTAWAY BEACH LUNCH
It was sheer indulgence as we devoured the freshest, most succulent lobster, jumbo prawns, grilled calamari and tuna twinned with fresh salads and tropical fruits. Total heaven. Whilst we were just finishing off we thought we saw a dolphin coming in really close to the shore, but it actually turned out to be a black tipped reef shark. Quite the most memorable lunch of all time.