The Standard Bank Luju Food & Lifestyle Festival, back for its 5th edition, is a unique and sophisticated African-vintage styled celebration of the local, the wholesome, the creative, and the delicious, truly a sensory experience. Luju is a lavish two-day feast of music, fashion, entertainment, culinary exploits, and connoisseur-led premium showcases, taking place in Eswatini on the 4th – 5th August 2023.
Luju 2023 will explore food as both an art medium and edible eccentricity. The culinary space draws on age-old techniques, fusing rich African heritage with contemporary tastes for all palettes in experiential pockets of the festival. This year’s culinary spaces and celebrity chefs have been especially curated to present an individualized aesthetic with complementing artisanal foods and drink.
Within the intimate Pick n Pay Pantry culinary demo platform, top chefs and culinary experts from the region will host a range of interactive demonstrations, tastings and masterclasses:
Tinashe Nyamudoka, an internationally recognised sommelier and wine judge from Zimbabwe, is the founder and director of Kumusha Wines in South Africa and has become a regular on South African wine competitions, as well as sitting on the wine jury at Mundus Vini in Germany and Wine2Wine in Italy. Tinashe will also lead connoisseur wine tastings as well as Food & Wine pairings in The Grapevine hive, supported by Bruce Jack and Parmalat Eswatini.
Richard Bosman is a South African charcutier of note, based in Cape Town. He is a producer of the finest quality pasture reared cured pork products commercially available in South Africa. Festivalgoers will have the opportunity to take part in his sausage-making masterclass, and get a taste of his sausages from the Smoke & Grill stall in the Beer Garden.
Mokgadi Itsweng is a chef, food writer, and food activist promoting indigenous South African foods and flavours. As the executive chef at her restaurant, Lotsha Kitchen and Cocktails, she transforms simple African flavors into gourmet restaurant food. Mokgadi works with The Chef’s Manifesto, a global movement of chefs championing the UN Sustainable Development Goal to end world hunger and achieve food security, improved nutrition and sustainable agriculture by 2030. Mokgadi will run an indigenous foods cooking class and tasting at Luju this year.
Neliswa Nkala, known as Mrs M of “Mrs M’s Decadent Pleasures” is a household local brand name in Eswatini. The 2022 LUJU top 5 cook off contestant is a trendsetter in the confectionary space, with her signature dessert jars, cheesecakes & unique cakesicles. Catch her masterclass of decadent confectionary in the Pick n Pay Culinary Showcase.
Guests can also look forward to some of the Luju Festival’s All-Star chefs from Eswatini, preparing high-end menus that incorporate the design gastronomy theme. Featured chefs include local culinary guru Chef Eric Malinga, who has been instrumental in shaping the Eswatini culinary scene with the launch of his culinary gourmet fashion house CuGoFa, where he leads a team of creatives that have successfully introduced and executed pop-up fine dining concepts across the country. Chef Justina Bain, the Pick n Pay Luju Masterchef 2022 competition 1st runner up winner, and cook book author of “Home Cooked Meals with Justina Bain,” is featured, as well as King Terry, a multi-talented rising star who dominated the Luju culinary space in 2022, going on to win the title of PnP Luju Masterchef 2022. Since his Luju Master Chef win, King Terry has launched BBQ Shack, his own pop-up food eatery servicing different local festivals.
In keeping with the Luju theme (“Luju” means honey” in siSwati), the Standard Bank Luju Food & Lifestyle Festival will present an array of themed spaces, called Hives, for guests to explore; each hosting an array of complementary activations, tastings and lifestyle experiences.
Premium Lounge: A bespoke, executive lounge offering a la carte style menu and wait service. Supported by Malandela’s Restaurant and Malandeli delicatessen, this space is supported by Standard Bank and not only brings an exclusive, wide range of wine and chacuterie pairings but also gives prime views of the stage and a panoramic experience of the festival offerings.
Taste of Mozambique: This year’s regional showcase focuses on Mozambique, with the House On Fire Amphitheatre transformed into an eclectic, vibrant space offering an Afro-guese (African Portuguese) experience. Supported by Freshlyground Restaurant, “Taste of Mozambique” provides a unique platform for festivalgoers to interact with the food, fashion, music and rhythms of the colorful African coast, as well as a taste of Brazil in the caipirinha bar.
Cocktail Lounge: Every hour is happy hour on the sunset deck with a vibrant selection of artisanal cocktails made with indigenous and exotic botanicals. Cushioned between the Mastercard Acoustic Stage and the main festival stage, this space offers a laid back vibe complemented by expert mixologists.
Beer Garden: A specially curated hive highlighting premium brews and supported by a beer-infused pop-up restaurant menu run by previous Luju Cook-Off Competition Chefs. This space is supported by Stella Artois and offers a selection of tastings, food pairings and beer demos.
The Grapevine: A fine dining experience paired with top wines from the region. The space also caters for all the bubbly personalities with a range of spumante, MCC, Prosecco and champagne complemented by a wine-centric pop-up restaurant with a menu co-designed by Luju Grapevine food partners and fine-dining guru Chef Malinga. Supported by Bruce Jack and Parmalat.
Heritage Food Garden: Take a sensory voyage through Africa and further exotic lands in this hive of traditional tastes and experiences. The Heritage Food Garden has a distinct cultural offering that allows festivalgoers the opportunity to not only taste nostalgic dishes, but to enjoy unique age-old cooking techniques and food artefacts. Supported by Rhodes Food Group.
With the Standard Bank Luju Food & Lifestyle Festival taking place over two days this year, guests are invited to stay on-site in Luju style with a choice of ready erected tents (canvas tents include en suite hot showers included!), available for both Friday and Saturday nights.
Don’t miss out on this exciting line-up! Book tickets now: www.lujufestival.com