Yoo Hoo, Jennifer!
I'm sure Rufus will have much more first-hand info for you, but here's what I've gleaned from the Internet about Jiko:
Jiko - The Cooking Place is a casual restaurant, open dinner, that features a taste of Africa in an atmosphere shaped by local traditions and customs. Focusing on simpler, lighter cuisine, it retains the spirit and refinements of a great restaurant while concentrating on the basics of cooking with an emphasis on the freshest of products. The design represents an abstract view of Africa, with twin wood-burning ovens as the restaurant's icons.
Here's Jiko's Dinner menu, including prices.
Kids can order from a kids' menu (here's the kids' dinner menu) if they aren't as adventurous about food as their parents.
There are LOTS of vegetarian options available -- several items on the Jiko menu would/could easily be adapted to vegetarian. They are very tuned into special diets. The same for Boma -- ask the chefs at each of the pods and they will take care of you!
Vegans just showing up at Jiko or Boma will have a harder time, however, CALL 24 hours ahead and you will be well taken care of.
Here's a whole bunch of pictures, from Deb's WDWIG
Jennifer and Dave's impressions (they're authors of PassPorter Walt Disney World Resort guidebook) of Jiko: "The list of Disney's finest dining rooms has an exciting new member. From inventive food to delightful ambience to brilliant service, Jiko is a winner! Chef Serge Burckel applies his French/Alsatian flair to everything on the menu, and melds African/Moroccan, Asian, and European flavors into a magical experience."
Tip: Have a very early or very late dinner one evening. Go out the front door about 5:15 when the cultural representatives gather for song as they wind their way through the lobby, down the stairs and into Jiko and Boma. Afterwards, go out to the Savannahs until about 7:30pm, spending time at at each of them (Sunset, Arusha, and Uzima). This is one of the best times to see the animals and each savannah offers a very different look and feel.
Here's a Disney press release about it:
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Chef Serge Burckel is chef de cuisine of Jiko-The Cooking Place, the signature restaurant at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge.
Burckel’s cooking odyssey began at the age of 13 in the kitchens of his family’s neighborhood bistro in the Alsace region of France. His journey to culinary stardom took him through Europe to Asia, then to California -- all the while layering the flavors of his destinations with the well-grounded classical techniques of his French training.
Like many accomplished European-trained chefs, Burckel’s education was the slow and precise method of eight years of apprenticeship. From his father’s bistro in Mulhouse to the Michelin three-starred kitchens of L’Archestrate et Lucas Carton in Paris and Restaurant Lameloise in Chagny, France, Burckel absorbed the teachings of his masters as smoothly as any well-emulsified sauce. His European training also included the kitchens of Marchesi in Milan, Italy; Aubergine in Munich, Germany; Negresco in Nice, France; and the Hotel Three Kings in Basel, Switzerland. From Europe, he headed for Southern California and the kitchens of Splash and his own Restaurant One, which both received rave reviews from the food critics for his exquisite fusion cooking.
For Jiko (Swahili for “cooking place”), Burckel will create modern African signature dishes using flavors borrowed from many of the 53 countries that make up the continent. From brick oven breads such as crisp cumin wafers with avocado, chili Sambal and cucumber sauce to Malabar peppered sirloin steak roasted to a perfect pinkness in the wood-fired grill, Jiko’s menu promises to be a compendium of the bold flavors and down-to-earth foodstuffs the African nations are famous for.
Click here for a map of the Animal Kingdom Lodge. Jiko is above and to the right of the main entrance on the map, below Boma.
Any other questions, Jennifer?