How Eat Out Woolworths Sustainability Award winner FABER at Avondale is leading change

Brought to you by Woolworths

The winner of the Eat Out Woolworths Sustainability Award for 2022 is FABER at Avondale, located just outside Paarl in the Cape Winelands. The restaurant and the wine estate it’s located on have established a reputation as both creators of premium organic wines and sustainability-driven food that incorporates organic, freerange and low-carbon producing ingredients. The restaurant points the way forward for a farm-to-fork approach, making fine-dining quality food that is both environmentally and financially sustainable. 

faber at avondale

The global food system is a significant user of natural resources, contributing about 25% to global greenhouse gas emissions. Restaurants – along with food retailers – have a critical role to play in influencing supply chains to become more sustainable and orientate consumers’ eating habits and expectations towards more earth-friendly choices. And FABER is certainly doing so. 

Head chef Dale Stevens comes alive when he talks about food. His evident passion for finding interesting and creative ways to design memorable meals is inspiring, as is his take on sustainability.  Johnathan Grieve, farmer and owner of Avondale, uses biodynamic practices to build a healthy soil base and support vibrant on-site biodiversity, which in turn supports the growth of nutritious and naturally grown food. Pests and diseases are dealt with using natural techniques – meaning you might glimpse Runner ducks snacking on snails or ladybirds gorging on smaller pests. FABER follows a strict process to minimise waste: all packaging is separated for recycling and all food waste is appropriated for bokashi and composting, which goes back into the soil. The smaller seasonal menu reduces food waste, while also ensuring that the food is always fresh.   


The food served at FABER consists of ingredients mostly grown on the farm, while ingredients not grown on-site are sourced from a small group of trusted and specialised suppliers that share the philosophy of sustainability. Sourcing produce in this way means that the menu changes often, and the challenge of finding novel ways to make meals interesting while avoiding wastage is gladly taken. The team notes that this approach keeps them engaged in their craft. They can also bring their own culinary traditions to the menu, preparing dishes such as the trendy indigenous matembela, made from sweet potato leaves.   

At this culinary destination, the adage that naturally grown produce tastes better is proven. “I find it so interesting how the same ingredients in the same dish taste different when harvested and used at different times throughout the season,says Dale. 

faber at avondale

From time to time hell catch his own fish, hunt guinea fowl or serve venison. All meat served at FABER is from animals that are grass-fed and farmed free range. To help (re)grow an appreciation for traditional and what is sometimes perceived as less desirable cuts of meat, Dale and his team serve sweetbreads, bone marrow and liver. Most of the chefs in the kitchen grew up in a hunting tradition and feel comfortable doing the butcher work, allowing nothing to go to waste. The menu is also designed to entice customers to eat more greens, offering aesthetically beautiful and tasty vegetarian options, with vegan dishes served on request.  

faber at avondale

When asked what drives Dale’s interest in sustainability, he refers to his fiancée, also the restaurant’s front-of-house manager, who is serious about her health. He has also been mentored in kitchens that have prioritised healthy and sustainable cooking practices. When asked about the success of the restaurant, he credits his team. They meet together as a “family” each evening, reflecting on the day and on ways they can improve even further. Never has sustainability been as tasty as at FABER.  

Read about the other winners at of 2022 Eat Out Woolworths Restaurant Awards

Leave a comment

Promoted Restaurants