Latest Posts

Anti Valentine Feast

Yes Anti Valentine! Food loving rebels lets break a few rules!

Join me on the Brighton seafront for a heartwarming African feast to celebrate this season of love in our own special way! Just a naughty protest against the 14th, but with a lot of romance and good food!

Whether you are a couple or single, at our table we share the same passion for food. We will feast on an indulgent menu in our intimate seafront private room and bar at The Tempest Inn. I love hosting feasts here, as its so cosy, private and enchanting in the private room.

See the menu below, seasonal as always including traditional recipes served with wonderful British produce.

Click on the Paypal button, the Visa button or your preferred payment system to book your tickets below before they disappear.

I look forward to seeing some old and new friends around table. Don’ forget to send your dietary requirements and I will look after you.

See you at the table!

Lerato x

See more here for other supper clubs and cookery classes. 

Contemporary African Cookery Classes Now in London

Join me in my kitchen for a culinary adventure as I share my secrets to cooking vibrant and sumptuous feasts with seasonal produce inspired by cuisine from Africa and beyond.

Inspired by rich African culture and vibrancy, my recipes are celebratory and reflective of our modern eating ways and produce. I am passionate about seasonal cooking as a way to eat better, using the best of the season, supporting local produce and also to keep being inspired to eat more greens, fruits and vegetables.

See the vibrant menu below including most requested recipes from my recipes, supper clubs and pop-ups; such as non-sticky and flavourful JOLLOF RICE stuffed in peppers, SUYA SPICES for delightful appetizers, PLANTAIN PIES and more.

My contemporary African cookery classes will suit a host of people with all diets, from lovers of African food to curious cooks and adventurous cooks, to those who will love to learn to adapt traditional African foods and recipes into daily feasts for family, friends or parties. In true African spirit, we will enjoy all the wonderfully cooked food together on one feasting table.

You can also cook along with videos on my YouTube channel. I hope to be able to squeeze more time to film and produce more videos.
Our February class is almost fully booked, more dates to follow. I am excited to see you all in the kitchen, sharing African warmth as one, through food.

Lots of love!

Lerato x

FEBRUARY – ‘VEGAN AFRICAN’ – Sunday, 11th February 2018
Venue: London Cooking Project, 1 Ethelburga St, London SW11 4AG
My cookery class is very hands-on, as we peel, chop and cook together. After cooking, you will sit to enjoy your meal.
Included is the use of apron, all cooking equipment, ingredients and recipes of the day, and your sumptuous cooking to enjoy.
Limited spaces are available for each class to ensure a bespoke lesson so it’s a good idea to book early before they sell out. Write to me if you will like to join us and chose your preferred date. Once booked please send any dietary requirements. You can also book online as seen below:
Write to:
Private, Corporate Events & Gifts
My cookery classes and events are a special treat and can make for the perfect presents. You can book a single cookery class for yourself, as a gift for friends, family or for a group.
To book a private African Cookery Class, write to me stating your prefered date, number of people and requirements. A voucher can be provided for your gift purchase.


Lerato London Cookery Class Blog Poster

Date: Sunday, 11th February 2018.

Time: 2pm – 6pm

Price: £65 per person 





See terms and conditions here:


2018 Cookery Class Dates

Location: London (London Cooking Project, Battersea)

FEBRUARY – ‘VEGAN AFRICAN’ – Sunday, 11th February 2018




Write to me if you will like to join us and chose your preferred date.

Classes also available in Sussex. Click here for more.

Comfort & Joy, This Christmas…

As you tuck into your festive feasts and toast to a wonderful season, we wish you comfort and joy. Find happiness in the little things this Christmas, and always.

Thank you for a fabulous year of food and friendship.

Merry Christmas and a joyous new year to you all.

Thurston & Lerato

See you at my meat-free VEGANUARY COOKERY CLASSES in Sussex and London in January 2018. See more here to book online  or contact me for more details:

For unique and delicious recipes to try this festive season, see my recipes for

NEW VIDEO: Hibiscus Champagne Cocktail,

Lemon & Onion Roast Chicken / Yassa Poulet Roast

Moroccan Pumpkin Soup with Plantain Crisps


Hibiscus & Clementine Champagne Cocktail / Zobo Cocktail

Watch how I made this on my youtube channel

With crimson-hued petals and measured tartness that perks up your palate, hibiscus flowers are as seductive to me as my favourite Chanel rouge noir lipstick. Hibiscus cocktails never fail to fill guests at my dinner parties with intrigue and I never tire of serving them with various accompaniments like zesty fruits, berries, and herbs, champagne, wine or spirits.

I am particularly obsessed with clementines and when in season I eat, drink and cook the hell out of them in drinks, salads, and desserts. At my Christmas party at the Groucho Club, we served a Hibiscus cocktail with elderflower, vodka and hibiscus syrup created by the club to match my poached clementine dessert. At my Christmas parties at home, I am adding clementines to my hibiscus cocktail for a zesty zing.

Hibiscus Clementines with Chocolate & Gold

Hibiscus Clementines with Chocolate & Gold

A popular brew across Africa, in Nigeria, they are typically drunk as a tisane, or as a refreshing drink called ‘Zobo’, brewed with fresh ginger for a spicy hit. What do you call it in your country?

 In England, I know I am incredibly lucky to have access to great produce, spices, herbs and such flowers. If you cannot find whole dried hibiscus flowers, use the ready-made teas. Dried hibiscus flowers are readily available in Nigeria in the markets of big cities and in rural areas. It is a delightful drink enjoyed by all. In England and other parts of the world, you can buy ready-made hibiscus teas in supermarkets and organic health shops, they also come in syrups in glass jars. This recipe is also great with chocolate, berries like blueberries and blackberries to replace the hibiscus.

Hibiscus & Clementine Cocktail

My preferred method of brewing hibiscus flowers is to bring the pot to the boil and then take it off the heat, leaving it to steep. Think about it like tea, you wouldn’t boil tea, otherwise, the tea leaves would burn, thus producing a bitter brew. Treat these flowers delicately and you will be rewarded with a fabulously festive drink.

Hibiscus & Clementine Champagne Cocktail / Zobo Champagne

Preparation time: 5 minutes

Brewing time: 15 mins – 12 hours (overnight) 


1 tbsp grated ginger

1 cinnamon stick

2 star anise

A handful + 1/2 dried whole hibiscus flowers

1.5 ltr water

zest of 1 lemon + whole lemon, sliced

Juice of 1 lemon

Juice of 5 clementines

1 clementine, sliced for garnishing

1 lemon, sliced for garnishing

5 tbsp sugar, or preferred sweetener, to taste

Champagne or white wine


  1. Into a large pot, add all your spices and aromatics, water, hibiscus flowers, lemon, clementine juices and zest.
  2. Place on low heat and slowly bring to the boil. Once the liquid starts to boil, take it off the heat and leave to steep. The longer it steeps,  the stronger the colour and flavour of the drink.
  3. Strain using a fine mesh colander. Discard the aromatics and fruits.
  4. Add five tablespoons of sugar or your preferred sweetener to your taste.
  5. Pour into a jug garnished with slices of clementine and lemon and keep in the refrigerator for up to 2 days or if drinking immediately, add ice to cool.
  6. Enjoy alone, or mix with your choice of drinks like elderflower or, and champagne, vodka, white or red wine for a unique alcoholic or non-alcoholic drink to jazz up your party any time of the year!


Cin Cin! Like the Italians say!

Check out my youtube channel, LERATO LOVES FOOD for more recipes. I have just launched the channel and I hope to share lots more videos.

If you enjoyed this recipe, like and share with the world. I love reading from you and sharing recipe photos, so do share yours on twitter @leratotomato or Instagram @lerato_tomato
Remember to use the hashtag #leratolovesfood so I can find your posts.

Happy Christmas with lots of love and hibiscus kisses from me to you!


Lemon & Onion Roast Chicken / Yassa Poulet Roast. An African inspired roast for Christmas.

This Christmas I am serving four roasts with chicken, beef, butternut squash and seafood. You don’t have to be complicated like me, but I hope to inspire you to add a taste of Africa to your feast.

My chicken roast is a combination of some of Thurston’s favourites; chicken and roasted onions. For a unique roast that can easily become a family favourite, try my Lemon & Onion Roast Chicken inspired by the Senegalese Yassa Poulet.

Lemon & OnionRoast Chicken / Yassa Poulet

Lemon & OnionRoast Chicken / Yassa Poulet

Yassa Poulet is the all singing Senegalese dish with pieces of chicken stewed amongst sweet caramelised onions, sharp mustard, and tangy lemons, creating such rich flavours that only time and patience can achieve. This recipe is a wonderful marriage of Senegalese and French cuisine and reminiscent of sauce a l’oignon.

A bed of onions and shallots for the bird.

A bed of onions and shallots for the bird.

The large amount of onions used is the key to a moist and flavourful roast and a rich sauce. I decided to marinate my onions overnight to give it time to break down in the acids of lemon and cider vinegar, before adding the whole chicken to marinate for 4 hours. I am not a fan of marinating chicken in acidic fluids for longer than four hours because acids tenderise meats and if overdone you risk turning your chicken into a tough sack.

Although Yassa Poulet is typically cooked with peanut oil which is very flavourful, I have used sunflower oil because of my allergies. Any vegetable oil will do. I have adapted the recipe to suit a roast, and instead of caramelising the onions first, they create a bed for the bird to roast on, and rich drippings for a sauce or gravy.

29cm oval Le Creuset cast iron casserole

29cm oval Le Creuset cast iron casserole; a treat from my favourite cooking brand

I was lucky to be sent some treats from the new Marine collection from Le Creuset. The first of my Christmas presents this year. I have been a very good girl!
The oval cast iron casserole was the perfect tool for my roast. Nothing stuck to the bottom, the entire roast was moist and cooked to perfection. Basting the chicken two or three times throughout the roasting process is the secret to cooking a moist roast but with my Le Creuset casserole I didn’t need to, as the moisture transported to the top of the lid traveled back down onto the roast.

Once cooked, I placed the chicken on a serving dish to rest while I finished off the sauce and gravy in the same casserole.
Anything for reduced washing up and I’m all in. Le Creuset is such a dream!

Lemon and onion chicken roast

Pro chef tip: Grill for 15 minutes opened for crispy skin

We haven’t gone through Christmas yet and I am already yearning for naughty leftovers, many of which this dish will serve to be exquisitely useful. Healthy lettuce wraps, a late night sandwich, a quick salad with chicory and roasted nuts or mini pies with fluffy mashed potatoes on top. This is a roast that just keeps on giving.

Try it this Christmas!

Lemon & Onion Roast Chicken / Yassa Poulet Roast


Preparation time: 4 – 12 hours; Cooking time: 1hr 45 minutes
Feeds 4-6 people


For the marinade
2 large yellow onions, thinly sliced
2 shallots, thinly sliced
1 medium scotch bonnet, pierced or finely minced
4 tbsp. of vegetable oil, peanut oil, sunflower or rapeseed
1 tbsp. Dijon mustard
4 tbsp. lemon juice
4 tbsp. cider vinegar
6 cloves of grated garlic,
2 tbsp. grated ginger
1 tsp. paprika
2 tsp. cayenne pepper
2 tsp. black pepper
1 bay leaf
1 tbsp. fresh thyme
3 tsp. salt

For the roasted chicken and onions
1.5 kg free range & corn fed whole chicken (use what you wish)
Fresh herbs to stuff the chicken, 3 thyme sprigs, 2 rosemary, 1 bay leaf, 1 sage
1 whole lemon, sliced into two, skin pricked with a fork
2 tbsp. vegetable oil
3 carrots, washed and halved
100ml water
6 chili peppers

For the gravy
4 – 5 heaped tbsp. roasted onions, carrots and drippings
200ml stock or a diluted cube mixed with warm water
100ml single cream
Salt or to taste
Freshly ground black pepper

1. Mis-en-place! Prepare all the ingredients ready for the marinade. Lay the sliced onions, shallots and pierced or minced scotch bonnet in a non-reactive roasting dish such as glass, ceramic or a Dutch oven like I did with my oval Le Creuset cast iron casserole.
2. Mix the remaining ingredients for the marinade in a separate container.
Add half of the mixture to the onions and mix well. Cover your casserole with the lid or wrap your roasting dish tightly with cling film and keep overnight in the refrigerator, or at least for four hours. The longer the onions are left to marinate the sweeter they will become. Reserve the remaining half of the marinade for the chicken.

3. If your chicken is frozen be sure to defrost it properly before roasting in order to achieve an evenly cooked roast. Brush the reserved marinade onto the outer layers and into the cavity of the chicken and then stuff with the lemon halves and fresh herbs. Drizzle 2 tablespoons of oil onto the chicken and place on top of the marinated onions. Cover with your casserole lid of wrap tightly in clingfilm and keep in the refrigerator for 3-4 hours.

4. To roast, preheat oven to 200C/180C fan.
Take your marinated onions and chicken out of the fridge, take the lid off or remove cling film if used. Add the whole chili peppers and chopped carrots to the marinated onions. Pour 100ml of water around the sides of the roast. Roast covered using your casserole lid or foil at 200C/180C fan for 1 hour and 25 minutes. A larger bird will require more time. Increase your roasting time by 30 minutes for every 500g.

5. For restaurant-style crispy skin, turn on the grill for the final 15 minutes and grill the roast unopened. Make sure your chicken is well cooked by using a thermometer to check for 75C – 80C or by pushing a skewer through the thickest part of the thigh. The juices will run clear when ready.
6. Once cooked, remove from the oven, and using two wooden spoons or lifting forks, carefully remove the chicken along with some roasted onions and carrots. Place on a serving plate and cover with foil to keep warm.
7. Place your Dutch oven on medium heat or transfer the remaining onions, carrots and all drippings into a pot. Cook for 5 minutes before adding 200 ml of stock. Cook for 10 minutes to reduce the sauce and then add 200 ml of single cream. Stir and cook for another 5 minutes or until lightly thickened. Add a pinch or two of salt if needed and freshly ground pepper. Black pepper makes everything magical.
8. If using a glass jug or an immersion hand blender, you can blend immediately, if using a plastic jug, leave the sauce to cool down slightly before blending into a silky smooth gravy.

9. Carve your roast and serve with your favourite accompaniments such as rice, potatoes, plantains, it will even do wonders stuffed in a sandwich or piled onto a salad for Christmas leftovers.

Cook’s tip: This marinade is wonderful for roasted vegetables especially the likes of aubergines, potatoes, and cauliflower that cook well in sauces. Fabulous for fish and if using beef, marinate for 24 hours for tender succulent steaks and fillets.


Check out my youtube channel, LERATO LOVES FOOD for more recipes. I have just launched the channel and I hope to share lots more videos.

If you enjoyed this recipe, like and share to the world. I love reading from you and sharing recipe photos, so do share yours on twitter @leratotomato or Instagram @lerato_tomato
Remember to use the hashtag #leratolovesfood so I can find your posts.

Happy Christmas with lots of love and scotch bonnet kisses from me to you!

%d bloggers like this: