“The wild is calling me. Perhaps is always has. Perhaps it always will. One thing I know is true. Africa. You are My Bright, My Black and My Blue. I owe it all to you!” – Callie-Anne Gavazz
Callie-Anne Gavazzi has a personality like no other! It is clear why she has become a household name! After the great success of her TV show Callie-Anne Cooks into the Wild, she has recently launched her very own, gorgeous, coffee table recipe book which was inspired by her deep love for Africa, its food, its flavours, sights, smells and her fondest memories of her life and travels across Africa.
She sips her americano and begins to tell me about her three very exciting and successful launches in Durban, Cape Town and Johannesburg of her book: A Love Affair With Food In Africa. “It was so amazing to get to share my book with Durban, Cape Town and Johannesburg, with the media, close friends and family”, she says.
I had the pleasure of meeting Callie-Anne a few months ago, at her intimate, private book launch at her parent’s beautiful home in Westbrook and was the lucky one to go home with a signed copy of her book and to win a dinner for two cooked by Callie-Anne herself! #numberonefan
Callie Anne found her way very naturally into the kitchen spending many a night watching her dad cook around the fire in here hometown of Bulawayo, Zimbabwe. After a short stint in the UK, learning what it was like to cook in the restaurant world, Callie soon realised that cooking for her, was meant to be raw, wild, free and of course, African! She went onto marrying the love of her life, Gregory Gavazzi, who she refers to as ‘Gregor’ or ‘my Italian’. Their mutual love for good food and cooking was evident from the start. “Greg was the one who did all the cooking, and soon after I started taking over his role in the kitchen”, she laughs.
“After being asked many times, ‘do you have a book?’, I told myself, ok, I’m doing the damn thing!”, laughs Callie. So, she translated her hand-written recipes from her trusty recipe book, into word documents (this is very daunting for Callie), and sent them off to her dear friend, Lisa Meyer from the Design Factory to start designing the book. “I’m very old school when it comes to technology, I still love my dear old flip calendar and my recipe hand-written-book. Technology scares me; so, having to translate every recipe to digital was daunting. But with the help of Lisa, she made magic happen!”, she explains.
They started conceptualizing and designing the book in November last year and by the first week of January, the books were finished, printed, packed and ready to hit the US for the annual safari show held in Dallas, Texas! “I go to the safari show every year to promote my show, so I took over 50 copies over and we sold out!”, she beams. “The receiving of the book was incredibly overwhelming!”, she continues.
Callie-Anne goes onto tell me that she could not have done all of this without her phenomenal PR Team; Lyndon Miller and Clayton Swanepoel from Verb Media. She explains that they are first and foremost her best, best friends and have been monumental in building her brand and with helping her launch her book.
Now what can you expect from A Love Affair With Food In Africa? Well, it is a gorgeous, big coffee table book filled with the most delicious African-inspired recipes that celebrate everything that Africa has to offer, personal stories from her childhood and life growing up in Zimbabwe, stories about animals and a poem or two that Callie has composed herself. In the very beginning of the book, she has added a poem which is a tribute to her supportive parents. “My book is a tribute to my love for Africa. That’s why it is so big and bold! That is Africa!”, she explains. “The recipes that I have added; are raw, real, African-inspired, it celebrates our authenticity as Africans, our flavours, colours and yet are still simple, local and sustainable.”, says Callie. “We assume that African food is just shisa nyama, but the spectrum is so broad. We can Africanise any food our own flavours, methods of preparing and cooking and by just making it our own! My recipes are not about getting them right or perfect, but by blending the flavours and methods, and truly making it your own!”, says Callie. “You’re always learning when you’re cooking, there is always something new, fresh and local to learn about!”
Her book is currently available for purchase online on her website, and in selected boutiques across South Africa. You can find her gorgeously bright and bold, beautiful book at Colle & Co in Ballito, Country Co. in the Midlands, Merchants on Long in Cape Town, Ardmore Design in Johannesburg and have recently just got back from launching in London! She hopes to get her books into more boutiques across South Africa and of course, take it to the US and the rest of the world!
Although she couldn’t comment too much on what else is in the pipelines for Callie, she did let us know that her new season will be airing very soon and there will be more exciting and local content coming soon too!
When Callie isn’t on safari, cooking up a storm, filming her show, or launching her book across the world, you can find her kicking back at home with ‘her Italian’, fur-children, catching up on emails, creating content, hosting dining demo’s, photoshoots, collaborations with local businesses, promoting local companies whom she has collaborated with or partnered with (she is very good at this), writing recipes and living, loving, waking up and being immersed in everything.
She is currently preparing for an exciting Callie-Anne on Safari trip with her Bush Babes (her closely-knit team of skilled chefs) that is taking them to the Congo, to the chimpanzee sanctuary to cook privately for two weeks. The Bush Babes will soon be firing up their wood stoves to cook up some real African goodness!
Callie-Anne Gavazzi is on fire, and there is no stopping her!
If you haven’t given her Instagram or YouTube a follow, be sure to check out her pages as they are filled with videos of amazing recipes, how-to-do’s, tips, tricks and all sorts to get you inspired to start cooking!