Set on the lavish lawns of the House on Fire Sculpture Garden against a breathtaking backdrop of endless cane fields and rolling hills, August 4th 2018 is a day not to be missed. Standard Bank Luju Food and Lifestyle Festival is the event for food enthusiasts, culture buffs and travelers looking for a unique and sophisticated African-vintage styled event celebrating the local, the wholesome, the creative, and the delicious.
All culinary exhibitions and food vendors reflect Luju’s focus on inclusivity and integrity by targeting sustainably sourced and quality food produce that is predominantly local.
Amongst this exciting selection will be the Eswatini Farmstall comprising of a wide range of organic and homemade local produce, while other stalls within Luju Food Garden will offer handmade chocolates from Ngwenya, Afro fusion menu debuting Swashi (swazi-sushi), a Raw Food Cafe, Gourmet Shisa, boMake Rural Pot Pies, Organic loose leaf Tisanes from Guba, Imbali Craft Gin Cocktails, Mlilwane Venison bar and LUJU (honey) from Bulembu Honey to name a few.
The House on Fire stage, as well as various activation sites will be home to a feast of culinary showcases featuring J’Something, Peter Joffe-Wood, and Guba, a permaculture education centre based in Malkerns, Eswatini.
J’Something will take to the stage at Luju doing two of his favourite things: singing and cooking. J will demonstrate a few recipes from his recently best-selling cookbook, Something’s Cooking, along with a musical performance – singing chef vibes maybe? J refers to himself as a wannabe chef but whatever the classification, we’re excited to see this award-winning muso cook and sing at the same time. His African and Portuguese fusion of ideas and flavours will have your taste buds dancing and will awaken all your foodie senses.
Luju is committed to supporting various iniatitives around sustainable and organic farming, food security, nutrition, and ethical food practices. To this end, Luju has partnered with the Eswatini organization Guba in order to provide organic produce to all Luju vendors, as well as a program of education around these issues.
Guba (meaning “to dig” in SiSwati) is working with our local communities to offer education programmes for children, youth & adults designed to improve quality of life & well-being while enhancing the natural, social & economic environment that we depend upon. Permaculture is a global movement guided by 3 ethics; Earth Care, People Care & Fair Share.
A central part of Guba’s work is their community permaculture training, growing resilient communities, which focuses on food security & income generation at homestead level. The result is significant improvements to the diversity, continuity, volume & nutritional value of food grown at the homes of students as well as a marked improvement of their general health & wellbeing & those benefitting within their homesteads.
Guba is proudly local & organic, and is excited to share its story & produce through Luju, a growing platform where food & local stories can grow together strengthening community & the environment that sustains us. All vendors at Luju will receive their organic produce from Guba as part of what will be an on-going partnership.
Pete Goffe-Wood, the Food Alchemist, will be bringing his passion & fire to the Luju Food & Lifestyle Festival where he will be pairing up with Big Game Parks (BGP) & the Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary. Together they will showcase the finest local venison, so whether you enjoy the deep richness of a slow cooked potjie, or the flash of the open fire on succulent prime cuts, Pete and his team with be there to deliver not just food on a plate but also a masterclass in the preparation of these delicous seasonal delicacies. Pete and BGP will prepare 3 menu’s – braai, poitjie, poitjie stew with game meats of wildebeest, impala and hog.
Pete was classically trained at the Beverly Hills Hotel in Umhlanga Rocks and worked in London for nine years where he cooked in some of the West End’s award winning restaurants. Peter’s work as food alchemist has taken him from the banks of the Chobe river in Namibia to Bangkok, Hanoi and Sydney and to as far a field as Oman in the Persian Gulf. He is author of 3 cookbooks and was a judge on MasterChef SA on Mnet for four seasons.
The Standard Bank Luju Food and Lifestyle Festival is also presenting the Kids’ Kitchen, a chance for budding chefs aged between 8 – 14 a chance to showcase their kitchen skills in a culinary programme facilitated by Masterchef SA judge Pete Goffe-Wood. A competition was held from the 28 of June until the 6th of July that encouraged young aspiring chefs to apply, with one child to be chosen as this year’s official junior chef for the festival.
Eighteen13 Boutique Wine Shop will be activating on site with South Africa’s first Black female winemaker, Ntsiki Biyela, who in 2009 was named as South Africa’s Woman Winemaker of the Year. In 2017, Biyela launched Aslina wines, a self-funded wine business.
Other craft drink options will include:
Imbali Gin:Distilled in small batches in the heart of the beautiful Kingdom of Eswatini, Imbali Gin is handcrafted using indigenous and traditional Swazi botanicals. This classic smooth London Dry Gin is the perfect base for your favourite cocktails and the ideal partner to pair with tonic and a relaxed elegant sunset. Enjoy Imbali Signature Gin with its light invigorating citrus notes and fresh herbal body with undertones of delicate spice.
Defiant Rum: Defiant Rum defies belief, convention and stigma. Made from the unfaltering determination to create an uncompromisingly delicious rum, Defiant rum goes against the grain and uses a blend of tradition and innovation to create a rum that is refined yet drinkable. Rum can often disappoint with tradition and demands of the diehard few getting in the way of what can be one of the true kings of the kingdom of sprits.
Music and Performance
Sophisticated African sounds – from the soulful hits of Mi Casa and the Afrocentric power of Thandiswa Mazwai, to the jazzy collaborative The Rebirth of Cool that brings together some of South Africa’s best hip-hop artists and jazz musicians, and the earthy Blues of Albert Frost – the Luju Main Stage will be a feast on its own. ESwatini’s own Judah, Khole and Floewe will team up for what is expected to be the most anticipated showcase of the evening.
Visitors are also encouraged to make a full weekend experience of the festival with the culturally rich and memorable Swaziland Meander which has some of these activities that will be hosted by official Luju partners:
Ngwenya Glass: Glass Blowing (Ngwenya)
Mantenga Cultural Village: Traditional Dances (Ezulwini)
Swazi Candles: Candle-making showcase (Malkerns)
Tree Top Canopy Tour (Malolotja)
Swazi Trails Amazing Race
National Museum and King Sobhuza Park (Lobamba)
Ticket prices: Main Arena R350, Premium Lounge R600, and Children R120.