Chilli Fiesta 2015 / Guest bloggers

Simply the Bao-Best! The African Chef at the 20th West Dean Chilli Fiesta

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african chef 1 History

Malcolm Riley, a self taught chef, recipe creator and entrepreneur behind ‘The African Chef’ brand, was born and raised in Zambia. He moved to the UK 15 years ago carrying with him a real passion for food, coming from his Mother’s great love of cooking.

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The African Chef a proud man as he receives 2 Devon Life Food & Drink awards in 2013

After working in the natural and organic health sector for over 10 years he started a business venture to create his own food brand. With start up funds of just £500, he realised his ambition, using locally sourced UK ingredients (primarily from Devon) combined with highly nutritious and sustainable African Tree Foods.

Watch Malcolm’s story...

The Goal

Sustainability and seasonality of produce is something we admire here at West Dean Gardens. But as a charity, we also commend the way Malcolm’s brand aims to help those who really need it.

‘The African Chef’ brand has the capacity to raise awareness and help double the income of poor rural communities in Africa. Tree Foods including Baobab, Moringa, Shea and Safou have the potential to support a more sustainable farming system, improve food security and help lift poor rural communities out of poverty. A portion of profit from every item sold by The African Chef also goes to the David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation.

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See why here…

The Products

The African Chef brand has evolved into creating 25 different varieties of delicious African inspired jams, sauces, baobab fruit and chilli condiments, all combining ingredients sourced from both Africa and the UK. These tasty treats have won a variety of accolades since Malcolm’s brand came in to being, including the Gold Award (Savoury Marmalade) at The World Marmalade Awards and Best Food Product in Devon (Baobab Chilli Jam).

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(above – a worker harvests the baobab fruit plus Limpopo’s Sunland Baobab Tree Bar inside a gigatic Baobab tree…watch)

What the African Chef will be bringing to the 20th West Dean Chilli Fiesta

As well as his great regular range of products, the African Chef has teamed up with the sustainable UK farming experts Barfoots to develop some very exciting limited edition chilli condiments and sauces, using locally sourced chillies and available to you exclusively at the West Dean Chilli Fiesta!

Barfoots are excited to be following West Dean Gardens’ lead and bringing British chillies, grown right here on the south coast, to the Fiesta this August. These include both the bhut jolokia and the brain strain – both super hot and full of flavour. So remember to come and visit The African Chef stand when you arrive at the 20th West Dean Chilli Fiesta and experience the amazing flavoursome products on offer! IMG_1663_large

Watch the African Chef in action…

My recommendations

As a fan and regular buyer of the spicy treats that the African Chef has on offer. I thought I’d round off this blog with a few of my personal favourites that will be available for you to have a dribble over at the 2015 West Dean Chilli Fiesta:

Curry-Ketchup_1024x1024 African-Spice-Paste_1024x1024African Spice Paste; a warm, rich and delicious paste. Inspired from “Berbere’, an Ethiopian red pepper spice paste, using red wine, which adds depth and results in a full flavoured, divine and mouth watering condiment. Ideal as a dip, marinade or to enrich a sauce or gravy.

Curry Ketchup; An exotic blend of African & Indian spices combined with creamy coconut. Delicious with seafood or simply with fish & Chips.

Caramelised-Chillies_1024x1024Caramelised Chillies; This unique blend of herbs, spices, fresh onions garlic, ginger and hot fruity scotch bonnets are cooked long and slow until the chillies begin to caramelise. The ultimate must have condiment for chilli lovers, being versatile with bags of soulful flavour. No barbecue (braai) should go without it! Perfect with cheese, fish, chicken, steak or roasted veg. Add to your cooking or simply use as a relish, chutney or super hot marinade.


Products available from www.theafricanchef.com and at the West Dean Chilli Fiesta (7, 8, 9 August 2015)

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For more information or to book tickets for Chilli Fiesta and all of our great Summer events here at West Dean College and Gardens, visit our website at www.westdean.org.uk/Events

West Dean Gardens forms part of the Edward James Foundation. Charity number 1126084. Charity No: 6689362

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