Create a Spacious Goods Receiving and Storage Area
Bush lodge kitchens must be supported by large receiving, ambient storage and cold/freezer storage areas located near or adjacent to the main kitchen. Cold rooms and freezer rooms should also be specified for the tough climate and for the needs of the kitchen. Separate dry goods and beverage storage should also be provided, each with shelving and lockup areas for high value items.
Maximize Capacity for Preparation On Site
In the bush, allowing enough space for preparation “prep” is crucial. Prep areas could be subdivided for butchery production, vegetable processing and sous-vide cooking. Locating prep areas adjacent to storage areas and the main kitchen will allow easy flow of food across the kitchen and it also maximizes staff productivity. For food safety, enclose prep areas in “drop temp” to preserve the expiration of fresh produce and ensure cold chain protocols. The food prep space should contain an area for vacuum sealing and sous-vide cooking which will allow processed food to flow easily back to storage or to the main kitchen for cooking.
Split your Main Kitchen into Zones
We recommend placing equipment such as stoves, ovens, fryers, planchas, grills and bratt pans in a hot zone, while cold cooking and pastry appliances be placed in a cold zone. Separating these zones forms part of the main kitchen flow which should be designed to channel inbound foods from the prep area towards the service pass at the front via the hot zone and cold zone. For kitchen ergonomics; provide adequate plating and landing areas as well as refrigerated mise-en-place storage adjacent to both the hot zone and cold zone respectively.
Bring Bush Flavours into the Kitchen
Today’s bush lodges need to produce both European and African style cuisine. Charcoal cooking can now both be achieved inside traditional kitchens with either open coal cooking grills or closed charcoal ovens such as the Josper. Delivering authentic fire flavours at the highest quality brings these desirable natural chargrilled flavours to dining that otherwise required outdoor cooking on the fire at the expense of kitchen operations and timing.
Design A Dedicated Space for Bush Breakfast Prep
Preparing hampers for breakfast out on a game drive requires a dedicated space. We recommend a in-and-out design adjacent to the kitchen which provides storage, assembly and packing zones for outbound bush breakfast hampers and unpacking and cleaning zones for inbound hampers. Additionally, incorporate thermally insulated containers to safely store and transport foods to the bush breakfast site.