Meadow Brook Hall hosts African dinner

On Sept. 23, Meadow Brook Hall will be hosting “A Walk on the Wild Side,” an adventurous culinary experience highlighting African cuisine.

The theme for the fifth annual wild game dinner, which will benefit the preservation of Meadow Brook Hall, was chosen because of the Wilson family’s excursions to Africa over 75 years ago.

“Alfred and Matilda Wilson, accompanied by their daughter Frances Dodge, experienced their own ‘walk on the wild side’ during a six-month long European tour in 1934 that included visits to South Africa including Durban, Cape Town and Kenya,” said Shannon O’Berski, Meadow Brook Hall’s marketing and communications manager. “An exhibit staged in The Hall’s Fountain Room (lower level) features items collected from their trip and includes information on the history of safaris and how the meaning has changed over the centuries.”

Starting at 7 p.m., a silent auction will take place throughout the 81-year old mansion, showcasing items like hunting and fishing trips, golf packages, sports memorabilia, spa treatments, and jewelry. Cocktails and hors d’oeuvres will be served during the auction.

The highlight of the night will be the gourmet “wild” meal, showcasing some of Africa’s exotic culinary offerings.

Distinctive African dishes like sweet potato and peanut soup with braised wildebeest, guinea hen, West African Spanish Mackerel and curried lentils highlight the menu.

“There is a lot of work that goes into implementing all special events but we get a lot of support from our committee,” O’Berski said. “The ingredients are not (readily available), and that’s where we rely on our chef to determine the menu and what is available to him.”

For any guests who prefer less exotic dining options, there will be a “mild” menu, with no wildebeest and pan-roasted chicken in place of the guinea hen.

In addition to the items already on display in the Hall, there will be uniquely African-themed items exhibited, like original family photos from the Wilsons’ 1934 African trip, Alfred Wilson’s pith helmet, trip itineraries, ticket stubs, and tour pamphlets.

Tickets for “Walk on the Wild Side” are $75 per person or $140 per couple. Reservations are required.

For more information about “Walk on the Wild Side,” contact Meadow Book Hall at 248-364-6263 or visit