• Okavango Cooking School

Herbs and Spices

Updated: Oct 17, 2019

Every year I give the trainee chefs at Okavango Cooking School a project to do. My favourite project is on Herbs and Spices. They play such an important role in cooking and I find that they are either used to sparingly or not at all.



At the School we try and grow as many herbs as we can. I plant up a storm and then hold my breath in anticipation to see what grows because between the heat, the drought, poor soils and the ants you never know what will survive. This year I have been lucky enough to have an abundance of oregano, spearmint and garlic chives. The rosemary is struggling and the basil leaves curled up and stopped growing.


This year before we started on the Herbs and Spices module, I went out and bought every kind of herb and spice I could find on the shelf and what a reward it was.

The kitchen smelt heavenly and the trainee chefs had a sensory overload, so much so that a few of them felt very light-headed. Once we have crushed, smelt, chopped, torn, blended, cooked and garnished with different herbs and spices, our trainee chefs are in no doubt about the value of these magical plants and how to use them to enhance the flavour of food and we haven’t even got to the health benefits of them. I’ll leave that story for another day.

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