TUSKER'S ADVENTURE KITCHEN
FUEL YOUR PASSION
Going the distance to Kilimanjaro’s peak requires vigor and fuel. Tusker has partnered with the Culinary Institute of America so that you can nourish your dreams and fire up the adventure deep from within.
Your meals on your Tusker climb are well balanced and delicious with an international flare. You enjoy a balanced variety of mountain meals, well planned for nutrition and flavor, designed to fuel you on your trek at each stage your journey.
At the beginning of each day, you start with a hot breakfast served up with the best locally grown coffee or tea you’ve ever had. Lunch is a hot meal, prepared at our favorite lunch stops on the trail to your next camp. Afterwards, the chefs move quickly, so when you roll into camp, you celebrate your day’s journey with an impeccable meal. All these mountain delights have been designed for our climbers by chefs from the Culinary Institute of America, together with nutrition expert and Tusker owner/guide, Amy Frank.
CULINARY INSTITUTE OF AMERICA
Your gastronomic adventure begins with Tusker’s enduring relationship with the Culinary Institute of America (CIA). This relationship is on full display in your dining tent at every meal. Tusker enlisted CIA Master Chef James Hanyzeski, one of 65 Master Chefs in the United States, to lend his expertise and training to Tusker’s chefs. Chef James also climbed with us to ensure that his lessons went well heeded. When you combine exceptional chef training with rich local ingredients, you get one thing – the best food on Kilimanjaro.
The chef in the tall white chef’s hat, surrounded by Tusker chefs, , is James Hanyzeski CMC. He is a rare bird, one of only 65 Certified Master Chefs in the United States.
When Tusker contracted with the CIA to inspire our cooks, Chef James accepted the challenge and flew to Tanzania with a set of knives and a pair of climbing boots. Hanyzeski has taught all over the world and came to Tanzania not just to lend his expertise training to Tusker’s chefs, but to climb the mountain and learn from them as well.
NUTRITIOUS MEAL PLANNING
Your entire meal plan has been designed by Tusker owner/guide Amy Frank, a nutrition expert, in cahoots with Chef David Kamen, professor of culinary arts at the Culinary Institute of America. They spent weeks designing a climbing menu, using locally grown vegetables, fruits, grains, and meats produced in the foothills of Kilimanjaro. All this planning and training has culminated in an array of meals that stun your imagination. Tusker’s Kilimanjaro chefs turn out these delectable meals using portable gas burners at extreme altitude, a challenge unto itself.
Their focus was two-fold:
- Creating a great variety of meals using local produce and drawing from international flavors and tastes
- Answering the nutritional demands of trekking long distances at high altitude.
"Nothing feels so good at the end of your hike than to walk into the mess tent, plunk down, and dive into a delicious three-course meal. Climbing Kilimanjaro is tough but it doesn't mean that you have to give up the good things in life."
WELL BALANCED MEALS
There’s a simple formula when it comes to food when climbing Kilimanjaro. Food=Fuel. When you’re planning an average weekend hike, proper nutrition might not be the first thing that comes to mind, but proper nutrition and balanced meals on a long multi-day climb through extreme weather in rugged terrain can make the difference on your journey. This is even more important when climbing and sleeping at high altitude. Your meals aren’t only designed to fuel and replenish, they are also designed to match your changing nutritional requirements as you put different demands on your body.
The fuel you need can be broken down by its purpose:
- Carbohydrates give your body energy
- Protein feeds your muscles and repairs the wear and tear on your muscle tissue from the long days of endurance trekking
- Fat keeps you satiated and feeling full between meals.
FRESH LOCAL PRODUCE
You’ve heard of farm-to-table? This is better. As you explore the markets of Moshi, you’ll salivate over the huge variety of incredible fruits, nuts, and vegetables for sale in the stalls of the market vendors. From a banana tree branch with over fifty bananas, to massive avocados, local exotic fruits and vegetables, everything is there for your climb. Our chefs buy all our meat, fish, fruits and vegetables from this massive local fresh food market at the foot of Kilimanjaro. All the food comes from surrounding farms and villages. Your Adventure Kitchen is supplied with sumptuous produce from the surrounding farms and villages every few days during your climb, and all your dynamite meals are created from these fresh ingredients.
When you think of climbing Kilimanjaro, the meals on your adventure are typically the last thing you think about, unless you have a special diet. If so, you’re not alone. We have decades of experience in customizing meals for climbers with dietary preferences. If your diet isn’t right on the trail, your body won’t have the essential nutrients and energy it’s going to need to thrive in this challenging high-altitude environment. If you have a special dietary requirement, let us know as soon as you book your trek, and we’ll discuss your specific needs.
You dine in a large all-weather mess tent, designed to seat your entire group comfortably. As you sit back in a comfortable chair at a gaslit table, laid out on colorful African cloth, you prepare to dine like royalty. Where else can you enjoy a fantastic meal, set amongst the most beautiful mountain views, than on the slopes of Kilimanjaro with Tusker?
If you’re climbing the Marangu Route, you enjoy your meals in a communal dining room, not far from your cozy mountain hut.
A SAMPLE MENU
A hearty breakfast gets your motor running, pushing you where you need to go. Mornings on Kilimanjaro on the upper reaches are cold and the dining tent is where you and your fellow climbers gather eagerly for coffee, tea, and hot meals. French toast topped with warm fresh fruit might be the way to go, or pancakes drizzled with syrup. Oatmeal, omelets and porridge are great tasty items to fuel your start to the day.
SOME OF THE BREAKFAST ITEMS ON YOUR MENU:
- Porridge (oats or millet)
- Eggs (scrambled, poached, omelet, fried)
- Bacon or sausage
- Peanut butter, jam, honey
- Fresh Fruit
- Tea, coffee, cocoa, juice
A peanut butter sandwich does not constitute a lunch. Think buttermilk fried chicken with falafel, pita with humus salad, finished with fruit and cookies. This is one example of how Tusker reinvents your “bag lunch.” Hot lunches served in our roomy dining tents take on a southwestern flair, comprising beef fajitas with bell peppers, onions and beans – a trek favorite, with tacos and carnitas coming in a close second.
SOME OF THE LUNCH ITEMS ON YOUR MENU:
- Vegetable soups
- Buttermilk Fried Chicken
- Pasta Salad with Tuna
- Vegetable Pie
- Roasted Sweet potato
- Hard Boiled eggs
- Peanut Butter & Jelly Crepes
- Grilled Cheese
- Desserts (cookies, fritters, brownies)
- Fresh fruits
A DINNER TO REMEMBER
Your first dinner is a true introduction to Tanzania: a local dish of chickpea and vegetable tagine, pronounced TA-JEAN. It’s a north-African inspired dish reflecting the creative use of vegetables. Your other dinners are a world tour of flavors from Germany, Spain, France and Italy. And don’t forget to save room for dessert!
SOME OF THE DINNER ITEMS ON YOUR MENU:
- Vegetable soups
- Moroccan Spice Sautéed Tilapia
- Potato Salad with Olives and Red Peppers
- Sausage and Chicken Mountain Paella
- Jerk Chicken
- Pork Schnitzel
- Spaghetti Bolognaise
- Vegetable and Potato Stew
- Vegetable sides (zucchini, greens, carrots)
- Starch sides (rice or potatoes)
- Desserts (trifle, apple pancakes, biscotti, crepes)
- Fresh fruits
In all things Tusker, Eddie and Amy Frank have strived to exceed expectations. During the last 45 years, Tusker Trail has been setting standards for all to follow. In their personal lives they love to cook and eat sustainably and healthily. They have translated that concept and love of cooking into Tusker’s Adventure Kitchen. You’ll east just as well, if not better, on the slopes of Kili as you would along the streets of Paris or New York City.
ADVENTURE KITCHEN ON ALL ROUTES
Tusker’s trained adventure kitchen chefs accompany all our climbs on all of our routes.
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