Embark on a culinary journey with Executive Chef Ziyaad Brown, whose career has been defined by a passion for exquisite cuisine and sustainable luxury. With a wealth of experience garnered from Africa's finest luxury boutique hotels and safari lodges, Chef Ziyaad brings a unique blend of creativity, heritage, and sustainability to the table.

From the scenic Garden Route to the captivating landscapes of the Greater Kruger, Chef Ziyaad has had the privilege of experiencing the diverse flavours of African hospitality. Now, as part of the Red Carnation Hotels family as Xigera Safari Lodge's Executive Chef, he continues to push the boundaries of culinary excellence while championing sustainability.

Poached egg on avocado toast

Chef Ziyaad's culinary journey is deeply rooted in his diverse heritage and a profound appreciation for the cultural significance of food. Growing up in a family where cooking was more than just a daily necessity - it was a cherished tradition - Chef Ziyaad developed a deep-seated love for the art of cooking and the joy it brings to people's lives.

At Xigera Safari Lodge, sustainability is not just a buzzword, it's a way of life. Chef Ziyaad and his team are committed to creating a more sustainable luxury experience by forging strong partnerships with local farmers and prioritising ethically sourced ingredients. From supporting small-scale producers to composting food waste and reducing carbon miles, Xigera is dedicated to making a positive impact on the environment and local communities.

Steak tartare served in bone marrow

Dining at Xigera is a truly unique experience, showcasing the best local produce and a largely plant-based offering that ensures dining experiences are not only delicious but also wholesome and nutritious. Whether you're indulging in fire-inspired dining, bush brunches, or exclusive chef's tables, Chef Ziyaad and his team are ready to create unforgettable culinary experiences.

Join us on a journey through the flavours of Africa with Executive Chef Ziyaad Brown, where every meal tells a story of passion, heritage, and sustainability. Experience the magic of Xigera Safari Lodge, where luxury meets sustainability in perfect harmony. Discover two of Chef Ziyaad's signature recipes below to recreate at home.

Baked Marula Cheesecake

Serves 8 - 10


Cheesecake base

  • 125g digestive biscuits, finely ground
  • 35g white sugar
  • 60g butter, melted
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon (optional)

Cheesecake filling

  • 675g cream cheese
  • 175g white sugar
  • Three free-range eggs, separated
  • 1/2 vanilla pod, split and seeds scraped out
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • Pinch kosher salt
  • 210g sour cream
  • 1 tbsp marula cream liqueur

For the topping

  • 210g sour cream
  • 25g sugar

Torched Meringue

  • 100g egg white
  • 150g caster sugar
  • Zest of one lime

Macerated blueberries

  • 100g blueberries
  • 1.5 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • Three tbsp icing sugar


  1. Preheat the oven to 190°C
  2. To make the crust, mix the biscuit crumbs, sugar, melted butter (and cinnamon if using) until well blended.
  3. Press the mixture into one 24cm springform cake tin, making a thin, even, layer and bake for seven minutes. Allow to cool, then chill for an hour.
  4. Reduce the oven’s temperature to 180°C.
  5. To make the filling, beat the cream cheese with half of the sugar. Add the egg yolks, vanilla seeds, vanilla extract, salt, marula cream and sour cream and beat thoroughly, scraping the bowl.
  6. Beat the egg whites with the remaining sugar. Fold the egg whites into the cheese mixture and very gently pour into the prepared cake tin.
  7. Wrap the bottom of the tin in tinfoil, place in a water bath and bake for one hour, then turn off the heat and leave in the oven for another hour.
  8. Remove, cool on a rack, then chill for 12 hours.
  9. To make the topping, preheat the oven to 100°C. Mix the sour cream and sugar, spread over the chilled cheesecake and bake for 20 minutes. Finally, chill for 24 hours before serving.
  10. For the meringue, whisk the egg whites for about two minutes, gradually add sugar and whip till soft peaks form, and then tip in the lime zest. Place into a piping bag, then pipe around the cheesecake. Torch with a blow torch till roughly dark golden.
  11. For the berries, combine all ingredients and allow to macerate for at least 30 min before topping onto the cake.

Green Shakshuka

Serves four


Shakshuka Sauce

  • Two tbsp canola oil
  • One white onion, finely diced
  • One tsp cumin seeds
  • One tsp crushed coriander seeds
  • One tsp crushed garlic
  • One tsp salt
  • Three green chillis, chopped
  • One large bunch morogo (wild spinach) or spinach, washed and chopped
  • One handful fresh coriander
  • One handful fresh basil
  • One tin coconut milk
  • 230g plain yoghurt
  • Juice of one lime
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Grilled courgette

  • 200g courgette, washed and sliced in half
  • Four tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • ½ tsp crushed pepper
  • Juice of one lemon
  • ½ tsp crushed garlic


  • Eight large free-range eggs (you can poach 10 just incase some break or you are not happy with them)
  • Three litres hot water
  • Two tbsp white vinegar


  • Fresh coriander
  • Toasted seeds
  • Lime wedges


  1. In a large pot, add oil and onions and fry until soft. Tip in the spices, garlic, chilli, salt and simmer for five minutes. Add remaining ingredients, bring to a rapid simmer, cool slightly and blend till smooth. Set aside until ready to serve.
  2. For the courgette, marinate with oil, lemon and seasoning. Bring a cast iron pan or grill to smoking temperature and roast the courgette until tender.
  3. Bring the water to the boil, add the vinegar and reduce to a simmer, place eggs in one at a time, poach for five minutes and remove from heat.
  4. Bring the sauce to a simmer, then serve into bowls and place the eggs in the sauce. Serve the courgette alongside, with fresh lime wedges, toasted seeds and fresh coriander.
  5. Best served with pita bread or sourdough.