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Behind the scenes: Sarah Graham's Food Safari recipe mag

After starting her food blog in 2010, Sarah Graham has published multiple cookbooks and has been travelling around the country cooking up a storm. Filming of Sarah Graham's Food Safari started in August 2015, with Food Lovers Market providing her produce where ever she lands. More recently, Graham brought out a recipe mag in partnership with Food Lovers Market, showcasing local dishes produced during her travels. We caught up with Graham and Lisa Currey from Hamiltons Advertising - the team behind the design of the mag - to find out what the recipe mag and her food travels are all about.

Behind the scenes: Sarah Graham's Food Safari recipe mag

BizcommunityTell us about your food travels and how it all started

Sarah Graham: I grew up on a small game farm in Zimbabwe, so I’ve always had a love for the bush, and for living and eating simply. The concept for Food Safari was born from that – to share beautiful, locally-inspired food in some of my favourite corners of Africa.

BizcommunityWhen and how was it decided to bring out the recipe mag available at Food Lovers Market?

Graham: With 13 episodes in our latest season of Food Safari, and with an itinerary that takes us all the way from the palm tree-lined coast of Mozambique into the middle of the bush near Kruger National Park, we gathered a whole arsenal of delicious recipes, and we thought that the best way to share them with everyone, and encourage people to cook along, was to print a beautiful, inspiring recipe magazine.

BizcommunityTell us about Food Lovers Market’s role in your food safaris. How did this partnership happen?

Graham: The Food Lover’s Market team have been amazing to work with. They have been 100% supportive, encouraging and accommodating, and we really couldn’t have asked for a better headline partner. I have loved our collaboration so far, and feel privileged to work with a group who feel like a big family.

Our production company, Okuhle Media, handled all the specifics of the relationship with our sponsors, including our headline sponsor Food Lover’s Market. From the start of the conversation, Brian Coppin and his head of marketing, Lisa Currey, were interested in all the details, and it was exciting and inspiring to see top management getting so involved.

It was also a pleasure working with a team who make decisions quickly, this is crucial to a successful production process. Also, Currey and her team at Hamilton’s Advertising made sure that the work we did was tied into a bigger, very strategic marketing campaign, to leverage off their investment and enhance the relationship between the Sarah Graham’s Food Safari brand and Food Lover’s Market. For me, it never felt like a cold, calculated business arrangement but rather that I was being welcomed into a family who is sincere in their goal of delivering the best to their customers.

Behind the scenes: Sarah Graham's Food Safari recipe mag

BizcommunityWhat is behind the recipe mag – the style, the design, the inspiration, the team? Take us through the process of producing the mag

Graham: The Hamilton’s Advertising team are responsible for all the design magic and conceptualisation that you see. I was delighted to create and contribute the recipes.

Lisa Currey: The design approach for the recipe magazine was based on a natural, earthy aesthetic - which perfectly tied in with Sarah's journey and being in nature. The colour palette for the various recipes was based on where the recipes were filmed as part of the Sarah Graham's Food Safari - blues for Mozambique, naturals and deep oranges for the South African bushveld. We kept the font simple and wholesome and ensured that our paper had a natural finish to complete the final design.

BizcommunityIs it challenging to condense what I can only assume is a very rich and colourful experience into a few pages? What were the biggest challenges faced in producing the mag?

Currey: Time was the biggest challenge! Filming of the series ran up until 3 December 2016, and the recipe mag had to be designed, produced and printed before 24 December 2016 to ensure delivery to all Food Lover’s Market stores in the first week in Jan.

Not only did the holidays put the pressure on, but the remote locations and lack of Wi-Fi played a major role. Photography for each episode had to be drip fed through to Hamiltons Advertising so that they could post, retouch images and layout the mag. You can imagine that it was just not possible to do with some of the locations - it was definitely a feast or famine experience.

Behind the scenes: Sarah Graham's Food Safari recipe magBehind the scenes: Sarah Graham's Food Safari recipe mag

Behind the scenes: Sarah Graham's Food Safari recipe mag

Our designers worked around the clock to produce the 68 pages, and CTP Printers did a superb job of printing and bagging the magazines to get it into stores on time.

However it happened, it all came together! Thanks to Graham and her team, and the best creatives in the universe.

BizcommunityMore and more South African chefs and foodies have their own food shows, blogs, and channels. What advice would you give them if they wanted to create their own recipe book?

Graham: It’s a fairly long process to go from ideas to a published recipe book, so patience and perseverance are key! The chain of events goes something like this: Creating a concept with a strong unique selling point > Finding a publisher who likes the concept and is willing to invest in it > Creating all the recipes > Photography > Editing > Distribution – obviously with lots of moving parts within all of those stages. You can read more about the behind-the-scenes from the shoot for my latest book Wholesome (due out in April 2017) over here.

About Cari Coetzee

Cari Coetzee is a contributor to Bizcommunity Tourism, Agriculture and Lifestyle.

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