Matilda CutmoreMatilda Cutmore, cooking enthusiast and African Queen


They say that in every town, there is someone special who helps put that town on the map. For Maleny in the Sunshine Coast hinterland region of QLD, this person would have to be a lady by the name of Matilda Cutmore.


On my last visit to Maleny QLD, I was lucky enough to meet this exceptional woman when I was invited to stay at her African-inspired holiday accommodation that she runs together with her husband, John (see the story here).


However, it’s not her African-themed accommodation alone that makes her exceptional. She is also a superb cook of African cuisine; the founder of one of Australia’s most trusted nationally distributed cooking brands, Gourmet Afrika; a cookbook author and a tour guide with her Gourmet Cooking Safaris that involves taking groups of Australians to South Africa to cook and sample African cuisine. All I can say is, what a woman!


Gourmet Afrika

Matilda's cookbook and a sample of her Gourmet Afrika product range.


It probably hasn’t taken you long to notice that Matilda Cutmore's passion is cooking. Using her mother's and grandmother's recipes, she has developed a style that is traditionally African, with many finding these flavours to be a culinary experience like no other.


South African cooking has a tradition dating back more than 400 years and is a unique mix of Malay, African, Indian and European flavours and recipes. On her Gourmet African Safari, Matilda takes groups of Australians all the way to South Africa on an exciting adventure that is the most thrilling, memorable and exhilarating experience of their lives: coming face to face with the Big Five, as they are commonly known: the lion, elephant, buffalo, rhinoceros and leopard! She also takes her group to stay at the beautiful Cape Dutch town of Stellenbosch which represents the best of South African wines and cuisine. There, she and her group explore, enjoy gourmet food, drink excellent wine and do a lot of shopping (not necessarily in that order!).



Matilda on one of her annual African Safari tours


Matilda’s book, Cooking for Pleasure, is a delightful read. Her playful style really inspires readers to enjoy cooking by being more creative in the kitchen. She provides great tips on how to experiment with your cooking style. It is ideal for creative cooks who are expanding their international cooking talents and works well with her nationally distributed Gourmet Afrika product range that includes everything from marinades, sauces, chutneys and oils, to butters, jellies and curry mixes.


If all this isn’t enough, she also makes the time to help others expand their cooking skills by conducting South African cooking classes at Buderim Ginger Factory in Yandina, another Sunshine Coast hinterland town. She also makes plenty of time for her grandchildren, who love staying at her house for dinner!


Matilda of Maleny is a woman with so much passion and talent. She loves nothing more than to share her love of Africa; her love of cooking; her love of Maleny, with others who are keen to make the most of life; whether that be through her African inspired Maleny accommodation; her Gourmet African safaris; her delightful cookbook or her nationally distributed cooking range.


She is a big part of what makes Maleny the cultural tourism hub that it is today.


To read more about Maleny, click here.