Following Her Bliss
Sarah Lilford grew up on a farm in Guruve, where food and family was very much part of daily life. After she left school, Sarah completed a short cooking course and travelled the world cooking and eating and learning from many different cuisines. When Sarah returned to Zimbabwe, she started a catering business and line of homemade food products. “I have always used locally grown ingredients in all my work,” Sarah insists. Her cookbooks, Dusty Road – A Taste of Farm Life and Living in Zimbabwe, and Township Tastes, are a celebration of those ingredients and the richness of Zimbabwe’s culture and people.
In 2018, Sarah started Dusty Road Township Experience in the Chinotimba Township of Victoria Falls. The beautifully renovated house and garden is filled with bright and inventive accents, many of which are recycled from markets, farmsteads and neighbourhoods across the region. The resulting space is a charming oasis where African humour and ingenuity are celebrated in every detail, especially the food.
Food specialist Orpah Muza shares her friend Sarah’s passion for all things local and has lent her vast knowledge of traditional culture and ingredients to the development of Dusty Road’s delicious dishes. Mama O, as she’s affectionately known, introduced Sarah to some of the indigenous nuts, seeds and fruits that are now her favourites. “Indigenous products have great market potential,” enthuses Sarah. “There are so many health benefits as well. These products are so versatile and of course provide economic development for Zimbabwean suppliers.”
The immense creativity and versatility of local ingredients takes centre stage on Dusty Road’s dessert platter – a glorious array of sweet delights including chocolate and orange mongongo nut balls coated in amaranth pops and hacha and marula nut tarts with a cassava crust. “The uses [for these ingredients] are endless!”
Find out more about Sarah Lilford’s restaurant, catering services and books by visiting her website at www.dustyroad.africa