• Caitlin Booker

From Law Student to Kitchen Crazy - get to know Caity

In my view there are two types of people in this world. Those who eat to live, and those that live to eat. I am without a doubt the second type of person.

Me, & chocolate, best friends forever.

My whole life I have adored food. Even during those dark days of being a law student I would spend every spare second making food, reading about food or eating; with a slow cooker and a steamer hidden in my room. Cooking is my way of unwinding, being creative and re-energizing.

Yes. You read that right, this chef studied law. When I chose my degree I honestly believed that I wasn’t good enough to cook for a living. And that going Corporate was my only option in life.

It was one of the toughest things I have pushed myself through. I had no passion for what I was learning, and no excitement over where my path was headed. I felt stifled, and by the end of the 4 years exceptionally depressed. I had to change path.

So, despite my family and friends (as well as a few strangers) telling me to go cook. I took another detour to business school.

Fast forward two years and I was having an extremely bad day at work. The Director of the company, asked in a casual conversation, what my retirement plans were. Without skipping a beat I said have a B&B or restaurant in the bush where I make amazing food for clients. He asked why I wasn’t doing that now. Well I couldn’t answer that. The next morning I handed in my resignation. A few months later, Gourmet Hippo was launched. Named such as I honestly just really love hippos.

Cooking over a fire, my happy place

After my first 15 day stint in Limpopo for 2 groups of clients back to back I knew that I was on the right path. I felt like the shizz-nizz and honestly thought that I could pull off being a private chef that only works on site for people on bush holidays.

I imagined having a team of chefs deployed across SA. While I hopped from game reserve to game reserve, cooking and never entering a city again. This dream also was going to happen in 12 months. No one can say that I don’t have a wild imagination.

Well, reality ain’t that wild. With love, guidance and a lot of hard hitting truths from friends and family I have re-imagined my view for Gourmet Hippo. Now, not so much a company as my own personal brand, my cooking alter ego if you will. I don’t so much imagine a team of chefs deployed, but people knowing me personally as The Gourmet Hippo.

Knowing that they can come to me for help, planning and prepping their meals for a night away to a week away. I want to inspire people to go to the bush more. I want to show people how easy and affordable it can be to have incredible food while they are there. I will still jump on every opportunity to do onsite catering for people on holiday. But I will be happy to be the person people turn to for advice on what to take, how to pack it, and tips keeping all bush breaks as delicious as possible.

Chef Caity, and her trusted side-kick Chorizo. Ready to help you with any tips, tricks and deliciousness for your bush break.

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