Welgevonden Game Reserve’s Mhondoro Game Lodge recently appointed Chef Kristine Moodie as its new head chef. Born in Pretoria, Kristine studied at the Silwood School of Cookery in Cape Town before working in Cape Town, London and Dubai restaurants. Her most recent position was as Executive Chef at Tsala Treetop Lodge on the Garden Route.

The Mhondoro food philosophy is of healthy food with African flair.  Chef Moodie says she shares the vision of owners Frank and Myriam Vogel for Mhondoro to be recognised as one of the top food experiences in South Africa. “Our food offering here can’t be compared to a typical game lodge elsewhere in South Africa as we really aim to serve top restaurant quality. Our menus change daily, and presentation is very important. Enhanced and complemented by strikingly simple table settings, and beautifully designed crockery and cutlery, I like to think that dining at Mhondoro is a feast for the eye too,” says Kristine.

“My personal food philosophy in a nutshell, is fresh, simple and organic. We are fortunate to have access to our lodge greenhouse where we cultivate a wide variety of fresh produce. My day starts with a walk through this lush green oasis to harvest vegetables, fruit and herbs that will find its way onto diners’ plates within the next few hours. I enjoy expressing myself artistically every day, including using produce in a smart and effective way, from the tiniest baby beetroot to a beautiful ripe tomato, we use everything. I like to learn and grow every day, inspire my team of four other chefs, including Abigail de Hoog as Sous Chef, and further educate myself and push the culinary boundaries ever so slightly – to surprise, excite and maybe even challenge our guests’ palates a little.”

Lunch options include Broccoli Salad with quail egg, caramelised onion and peach dressing; Baby Corn, watercress and pumpkin seed salad; Asian Rice Paper Wraps with green pea puree; or Quinoa with orange segment and dried apple; and Salmon Croquette; or Langoustine skewers.

For dinner Chef Moodie’s current signature dishes include Rolled Tuna with pear confit, grape puree and pickled cabbage as a starter, while the Pork Belly with pork croquettes, apple puree, apple crisps and jus crackling makes for a scrumptious main, followed by the indulgent Coffee Mousse, white chocolate nuts and chocolate crisps as dessert.