Arkeste Restaurant’s path to recovery: A benefit dinner hosted by Tokara

In the wake of the destructive floods that recently swept through Franschhoek on 25 September, a heartwarming display of unity and community spirit emerges.

Several restaurants, including chef Richard Carstens’s beloved Eat Out 2-star establishment, Arkeste Restaurant, were severely impacted by the floods.

The floods, which brought a deluge of 300mm of rainfall within 24 hours to the Cape Winelands and Overberg regions, left Arkeste grappling with extensive damage.

Currently, repairs are underway, with plans to reopen the restaurant’s doors by the end of October.

Chef Richard Carstens, who is held dearly in the hearts of many and previously served as Tokara’s head chef from 2010 to 2018, confronted a daunting situation. His restaurant’s exterior was buried under eight tons of mud, and its interior was likewise submerged beneath a layer of mud and water.

In a beautiful demonstration of solidarity and assistance, Tokara Restaurant just outside Stellenbosch, has stepped in to aid Arkeste Restaurant in its recovery journey by hosting a benefit dinner on 17 October with the intent to contribute to the restoration and recovery of Arkeste following the destructive floods.

A group of distinguished chefs, including Kobus van der Merwe of Wolfgat, Arno Janse van Rensburg, and Liezl Odendaal of Auberge Resorts Hacienda Altagracia in Costa Rica, along with Tokara Restaurant’s Carolize Coetzee, have volunteered their culinary expertise for this special evening. Each dish will be thoughtfully paired with wines generously sponsored by esteemed wineries, including Tokara, Pieter Ferreira, Gedeelte, Chamonix, Black Elephant Vintners, and Graham Beck.

The dinner promises an unforgettable dining experience, with the delectable menu and wine pairing offered at R2750 per person. Only 45 seats are available and reservations can be made by contacting Tokara Restaurant at

In addition to Arkeste Restaurant, the flooding forced the temporary closure of another beloved establishment Terbodore Coffee Roasters. Repairs are currently underway, with a promising goal to welcome back patrons in the near future.

Stay updated on this heart-warming initiative by following @arkeste_richardcarstens on IG and using #ArkesteBenefitDinner for more updates.

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