Q and A with Zaida Enver of Swahili International Tourism Expo 2015
6 December 2016
As the proud blog sponsor of the second Swahili International Tourism Expo, Swahili Coast Foodie was pleased to sit down with Zaida Enver of Pure Grit, the South African masterminds behind the event, to discuss the world of food and drink from her unique perspective on the tourism and hospitality sector.
What makes an excellent dining experience when eating out?
As soon as you walk in the ambience has to be right. Does it have a welcoming feel? Does it fit with the cuisine? Most important is the service, value for money and quality of the food. That combines to make an amazing dining experience. People travel to experience different cultures. Food is an important part of a culture. Visitors want to ‘taste’ a culture.
What is your favourite meal?
Smoked salmon, cream cheese and rocket bagel.
Why has the role of food in the marketing of destinations until recently received very little attention around the world?
People have often failed to see the importance of food in tourism. The tourist experience includes food. People travel to experience different cultures, including food which can be unique to a country or a people. A lot of foodies now travel and look for great food. They don’t want franchise food outlets. I want to find local restaurants, offering original dishes and an authentic taste of a destination.
If you could cook a meal for anyone, who would it be and what would you cook?
I would have loved to have cooked a meal for Nelson Mandela. He was a huge curry fan. So I would prepare butter chicken with lots of cashew nuts served with spinach and naan bread. He would be amazing company.
What is your experience of Tanzanian food?
I have not had a bad meal in Tanzania. My experience has been fantastic. The Coastal cuisine, an eclectic mix of cultures, is amazing. I love eating fresh seafood, vegetables and the spice mixes.
How do see the food scene changing in Tanzania?
Over several years, I have seen the place changing. There is more choice but more importantly a higher quality of dining experiences. Akemi is an amazing setting with fantastic views and a great a la carte menu. Seacliff’s Karambezi offers legendary crab. I have eaten crab all over the world and cook it myself. Their dishes are fantastic.
What are some of your most memorable meals?
Mussels in Paris. Curry in London’s Brick Lane. The Grill House in Rosebank, Johannesburg and other steak houses in South Africa. Crab in Singapore.
What is the best dish you make for your family?
Beef stroganoff with a twist. I spice up the traditional version with ginger, garlic paste, cumin and coriander.
Written by : Antony Shaw
Published by Swahili Coast Foodie, Food and Drink Blog.