Cape town drought paper plate — Shutterstock

Restaurant in Cape Town to fight drought with paper plates

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Every meal will look like a painting in order to help stave off the water crisis

One of South Africa’s three capitals, Cape Town, is likely to be the world’s first city to run out of water. Despite postponing Zero Day – the day when there will be no potable water available to residents – to 9 July recently, locals are implementing measures and restrictions on supplies are already in place.

Many restaurants have limited guests to one glass of water and started using water from ice buckets to mop the floor, harvesting grey water from air-conditioning units, or installing new tap diffusers.


D R O U G H T D I S H I N G _________________________________ In April 2018, The Test Kitchen will introduce a reduced-water dining experience which will run exclusively for 2 months. The Drought Kitchen, (essentially a pop-up within The Test Kitchen), has had Luke Dale Roberts and his team focussing all their creative energy on coming up with solutions to the problem of using less water in the kitchen in order to lend a hand in the quest to push out the Cape’s #DayZero. And the results are a new creative way of preparing & serving haute cuisine. _________________________________ #sethshezieats #droughtkitchen _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ #thetestkitchen #Woodstock _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ #travelblogger #capetownmag #capetown #lovecapetown #tapas #lifestylewriter #paulbocuse #capetownbest #world50best #michelin #lovecapetown #drought #savewater

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Luke Dale-Roberts, chef of the most expensive and most celebrated restaurant in South Africa, the Test Kitchen, has brought the water waste elimination even further.

From 1 April, he will open a new pop-up – called Drought Kitchen – at the same spot as his famous restaurant, where diners will eat from custom plates made of disposable cards set into reusable picture frames. Every meal will look almost like a painting.

“At the beginning of the meal we’re also offering every guest a choice. We ask them, ‘Would you be happy to keep your cutlery for the entire meal?’ instead of switching it out. And ten times out of ten they’re more than willing,” Dale-Roberts told CN Travel.

“‘That’s a bit extreme, isn’t it?’ one diner said when asked if he wouldn’t mind keeping his cutlery for the next course. But everyone else has been amazing.”

Dale-Roberts plans to reassign the staff that usually takes care of dishwashing to wash vegetables and to help at The Pot Luck Club, Test Kitchen’s sister restaurant that is concentrating on saving water as well. The restaurant has even shut down its in-house laundry.

Dale-Roberts has expressed his hopes that other restaurants in the city would adopt such measures.

“Everyone is afraid of being judged, me included. If we, [who were] voted the best restaurant in the country this year, can get away with using paper napkins, then everyone else might think, We can do the same,” Dale-Roberts says.

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