Eat Out, Woolworths Looking for SA’s Most Sustainable Restaurant

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service-restaurant-womanEntries for the 2018 Eat Out Woolworths Sustainability Award are now open. The award recognises a South African restaurant that uses seasonal, local, and responsibly-produced food.

“We launched the award to acknowledge the one restaurant leading the pack in South Africa,” says Eat Out editor Linda Scarborough. “We’re looking for an awareness of not just the environment and higher animal welfare standards in farming, but of human health and social justice too.”

Since the award’s inception in 2016, more restaurant owners have worked to make connections with their farmers, asking for proof of claims from suppliers, and taking steps to improve their own methods and menus. “We hope to continue and encourage this trend to foster sustainable practices in South Africa,” Scarborough adds.

Sustainability criteria

Entries are judged on a strict set of criteria in three categories: responsible sourcing, community impact, and environmental impact. Scores are allocated for the sourcing of meat, seafood, and fresh produce; the design of menus; the impact of the restaurant on its surrounding communities; treatment of staff; use of resources like water and electricity; and efforts to recycle, amongst other measures.

Camphors Restaurant at the Vergelegen Estate in Somerset West in Cape Town was last year’s winner. The restaurant impressed the judges with its dedication to the sustainable journey, and its focus on every aspect of its environmental impact. The team also showed considerable improvement since its first entry in 2016. The majority of ingredients on the Camphors menu are found on the Vergelegen grounds, with the balance coming from farms on which Chef Michael Cooke himself has done thorough research – including visiting each farm to see how the animals are taken care of and fed.

Restaurants are invited to complete the entry form, which lists the criteria. The entry form may be downloaded from the Eat Out website or those interested may email awards@eatout.co.za to request a form. All of the criteria need to have been met for six months or longer in order for a restaurant to qualify. The closing date for entries is 31 August 2018.

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