Ryan Reaches a Milestone

The last couple of weeks has seen two pretty big events in Chef Ryan’s life. Firstly, it was his birthday, which he celebrated in true Ryan fashion: at Tanda Tula, in the kitchen, with a peanut butter sarmie and chocolate bar. Talk about dedication! 

The second is an even bigger testament to his commitment – on the 10th April Ryan would have been part of the Tanda Tula family for 14 years. It was on this day in 2010 that he took over the helm of our kitchen. 


We decided to ask him a few questions about the time he has been here and what keeps him being so creative….. 

What has been the most significant change with regards the food at the new Tanda Tula Safari Camp? 


Over the years, I have noticed quite a change in our guests eating preferences. 

 Guests are no longer wanting massive amounts of food all the time.  

 As the food at Tanda Tula has evolved, this I feel we have reflected with the menu changes since been back at the new lodge. 

 We shifted our focus to lighter, simpler meals that pack more punch and flavour. 

 We have also put a lot of emphasis on our family, sharing style dinners, which also ties into Don and Nina’s vision for the lodge as a whole. 


If you had to choose one dish that has stood the test of time in this kitchen what would it be? 


Two come to mind.  An old dish from our lunch menu years ago was the humble chicken pie. 

 Another would have to be our a la carte buttermilk chicken bun that we served with homemade pickles, fresh slaw and aioli.  Always a crowd pleaser. 

What keeps you inspire? 


Just being in the bush helps a lot with creativity. The kitchen team is also always pushing me for new things, so that keeps me inspired! 


What would your last meal on earth be and who would you like to share it with? 


Obviously chocolate…..  Gerhard, our pastry chef, makes this insane cascade chocolate cake with a Caramel Chocolate Ganache… definitely that… 


I should say that my last meal would be spent with some famous chef…  but I would probably eat chocolate cake and drink coffee with my family. 


What do you love most about working in a safari camp and is that what keeps you here? 


Tanda Tula’s kitchen environment allows me to do what I want, when I want to.  It’s also a much calmer kitchen to work in compared to city kitchens. 


But the best part, and what keeps me here and keeps me going, are our guests and the lodge team. 


A lodge can work properly if the whole team is happy, included and dedicated.  This is something I think we have nailed perfectly.