Annabel Hughes Aston


Annabel Hughes Aston is a writer who cooks, gardens and forages. She lives with her husband, Chris, on a farm in the Zambezi Valley, upstream from Victoria Falls in Livingstone, Zambia. She is the creator of "bush gourmet" cuisine, developed by fusing wild edibles and indigenous Zambian ingredients with locally-grown seasonal garden produce.

Annabel trained as a chef at the Ewert Place School of Cookery in Oxford, England, but only cooked occasionally after choosing a career in journalism instead. She started gardening, and cooking what she grew, following a relocation to Virginia in the United States in 2003. In 2011 she completed the Virginia Master Naturalist program, which introduced her to the joys of foraging.

Annabel’s "bush gourmet" cuisine—the corollary of her desire to live as close to ‘source’ as possible alongside her passion for gardening, foraging and feeding people—has won multiple awards after she introduced it at The Elephant Café in Livingstone, Zambia.

“There is an obvious democracy in food: it’s a terrific social and cultural leveller. It’s an icebreaker among strangers. It’s a unifier among disparate groups.”
Annabel’s Philosophy
"Our assets expand with the nourishment of our awareness. When we collaborate. When we respect. When we share. When we heal."

My last few years living in the United States, especially after the seismic financial downturn in 2008, were fraught with survival anxiety. In my search for a way to continue paying my bills in an economy where even my bank went under, a different kind of creativity emerged from within me, that, over time, led to a fundamental shift in my core beliefs.