Creating a Local Food Economy

LAND OF PLENTY

On your arrival helicopter transfer from the airport to Time + Tide Miavana, you soar over the breath-taking landscapes of northern Madagascar. Dramatic mountains dip into river valleys, dense forests give way to grassy meadows and mangroves fringe turquoise seas. This beautiful scenery hides so much more though…a thriving food economy that produces a dazzling selection of fruits, vegetables, meats and seafood. Gaze down upon a tapestry of lush rice paddies and fields of sugar cane being ploughed by Zebu cattle. Around every village you pass, neatly tended fields sprawl outward. Crops nestle between rows of corn and fruit trees. Towering mango trees and coconut palms shade flocks of chickens and ducks as they forage for insects. Along the shorelines, fishermen rhythmically cast and haul in their nets. With all this abundance, it would seem our culinary team at Time + Tide Miavana would be spoiled for options. However, it is rarely that simple nor straight forward.

MAKING IT WORK

Operating an ultra-high-end resort in a country that is still developing its infrastructure systems can be challenging. Though many items that only need to be procured once (think furniture, décor and table settings) can be sourced both locally and internationally with enough time, food can be more of a challenge since we need, at minimum, a weekly delivery of fresh, high quality products. Beyond this demand, as an ecotourism enterprise, it is at the core of our values to support local farmers and fishermen. This not only helps shrink our carbon footprint by reducing transportation emissions, but also allows Time + Tide to give directly to these communities.

As we cultivate our supply chains and relationships with local farmers and fishermen, our team is very hands-on from start to finish. We want to ensure that we are sourcing the freshest, highest quality and most ethically produced ingredients for our guests at Time + Tide Miavana. Though our approach to acquisition may be unusual, our team have been very clever at making a plan and bringing it to life in an amazing way.

Beyond our scheduled weekly shipments, we also embrace a more spontaneous approach to acquisition – a luxury afforded to us by our helicopters. We have developed a network of reliable scouts that let us know when their village has top notch produce, fish or other seafood (think crab, octopus and shellfish). On dead legs when the helicopters are empty, we will touch down in the villages to purchase their offerings, with many people rushing out to greet us. The signature blue and white striped paint job makes us easily recognisable and helps us continually build good will between the resort and the communities.

MEAT + SEAFOOD

Our general manager Rosco, a fitness enthusiast, will row across to the mainland (1.5 hours), then run between villages, procuring fish and other seafood as he goes before rowing back to Time + Tide Miavana. Our head chef sources all of our meat himself. He regularly goes into the villages to select the cows, ducks and chickens that look the best. After purchasing them, he slaughters and butchers them himself using professional techniques that result in the finest cuts for our guests. Our partner Jean Christophe says it’s the best meat he has ever had in his 35 years of living in Madagascar. The meat is tender and very flavourful thanks to the cattle grazing on a diversity of wild grasses.

PRODUCE

Our produce is also all locally sourced, with the seasons determining what delicious offerings are available. Thanks to a tropical climate, rich soils and plenty of rain, Madagascar is home to a plethora of fruits, vegetables and herbs. Whatever we can’t grow in our island’s own nursery, we seek out in the villages. Mangoes, melons, passionfruit, bananas, kiwis and citrus find their way into dishes ranging from breakfast parfaits with homemade yogurt to light and refreshing sorbets. A diversity of vegetables, which form the backbone of our ‘health is wealth’ approach to cuisine, are also sourced from local farmers. In-season cucumbers, greens, peppers and countless others make for dishes that are as flavourful as they are nutritious.

DINING WITH US

We invite you to come experience the incredible dishes that come from our unconventional but wonderfully authentic local food economy. We take pride in supporting these local communities and in sustainably sourcing ingredients whenever possible. You will taste the love and care in every bite – from the farmers that tend carefully to their crops to the impeccable preparations by our culinary team. Come and experience it for yourself…

Book your own dream experience with us in Zambia and Madagascar with us
cath@timeandtideafrica.com
or contact your current Time + Tide travel designer

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