The United States of America is no longer the only place in the world that has soul food.
There are so many cultures across the globe that really have adopted the cuisine and Botswana is no exception.
This week, I was invited to a newly opened restaurant at the Craft Market in Gaborone called Cherry Pepper; its owner, a 35 year old Motswana lady called Lesego Duchesne.
“I have always had a keenness to know about soul food and as a result I jumped at every opportunity to also learn how to prepare it over the years.,” said Duchesne. “After about ten years of savings, I finally decided to give up my day job and seriously concentrate on selling and promoting this kind of food to Batswana because it is the kind of food that reminds one of their mother’s love-filled cooking. I do admit though that I made the final decision to open Cherry Pepper out of intuition more than anything.”
These days, our lives have really become so busy that most of us barely have anytime left over to prepare decent meals for ourselves and loved ones.
I think Cherry Pepper could have not come at a better time.
After I had a meal at this dreamy little eatery, I am reassured that eating out is not always such a bad idea after all. Sometimes we may have the desire to eat out, not necessarily out of laziness but rather for the simple fact that it is in our nature as people to once in a while just need a change of scenery.
Every day Duchesne looks forward to surprising her customers with something different and very soulful.
As the name suggests, soul food reaches straight to our souls. One could even refer to it as ‘healthy comfort food’ because it has a similar effect to that feeling of satisfaction that reaches far beyond the stomach and into the soul, only with soul food, it comes with extremely little or no downsides of comfort food as we know them. “The highlight of all my days ever since I started running my restaurant has been the way my customers eagerly await to dig into the food, and that is also where I’ve been drawing strength when I encounter challenging moments,” she said.
It is very pleasing to know that our city seems to be taking on the trend to offer us a lot of variety in terms of eating out.
Places like Cherry Pepper once again give us that affirmation that we can go out and expect good quality food served with such high quality customer service, and I can only hope we will be seeing more such ventures being driven by the youth of our country.
I really do think a trip down to The Craft Market for the sole purpose of treating oneself to Cherry Pepper’s good down to earth soulfully prepared food at a very affordable price is well worth it!