How SA restaurants are giving back to their communities

The only thing better than a spectacular meal at your favourite neighbourhood spot? Knowing that your support is making a difference. These are just some of the eateries in the country serving great food and their communities.

Chefs Warehouse at Beau Constantia (Constantia, Cape Town)

Soil for Life is an organisation that aims to help with health and wellbeing by teaching people how to grow their own food while protecting the environment. The organisation has teamed up with Chefs Warehouse at Beau Constantia to host its third Chefs 4 Soil fundraising dinner.


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Clarke’s Bar and Dining Room (City Bowl, Cape Town)

The Umthunzi Farming Community organisation is bridging the gap between small-scale farmers and consumers. It supplies Clarke’s, as well as other restaurants around Cape Town, with produce. Also available are harvest bags filled with produce, for which Clarke’s acts as a collection point. (Buying these harvest bags enables employment opportunities and the continuation of reliable and sustainable farming in urban areas.) Additionally, Clarke’s is currently looking forward to hosting regular dinners that will utilise Umthunzi’s seasonal produce, and spread awareness of farmer-produced excess while giving you ideas on how to put it to its best use. Clarke’s is also encouraging their customers to donate old clothing items. The clothing is collected by the CCID and taken to places such as the Youth Solutions shelter, the Haven night shelter, the TB HIV care centre and St Anne’s Homes.


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Jardine Restaurant (Stellenbosch), Jordan Restaurant (Stellenbosch) and Restaurant SEVEN (Somerset West)

These three restaurants contribute to a group of charities including Street Smart, Horizon House, The Khula Trust, Hospice Somerset West and Somerset West Community Gardens. George also chairs an organisation that supports the Bergzicht training centre, with its curriculum and practical training for hospitality students.

Chef George Jardine with two chefs plating on the pass at Jordan wine estate.Photo supplied.

Chef George Jardine with two chefs plating on the pass at Jordan wine estate. Photo supplied.

Massimo’s (Hout Bay, Cape Town) ?

The Massimo’s menu has a dedicated section called charity dishes. Each time you buy one, the money is donated to one of the many charities it supports. In 2018, Massimo’s was able to donate over R156 000 to charity. The company supports 11 charities, including DARG and The Underdog project. (The rest can be found on the Massimo’s website.)

? Available for online bookings on the Eat Out app.

Reverie Social Table (Observatory, Cape Town) ?

The head chef at Reverie has been known to participate in BADISA charity events, for which she designs menus for events that raise awareness and funds for children suffering from abuse and neglect.

? Available for online bookings on the Eat Out app.

Table Mountain Café (Table Mountain, Cape Town)

Table Mountain Café supports Kuyasa, a low-carbon housing development in Khayelitsha, Cape Town. Kuyasa has installed solar water heaters, ceilings and energy efficient lightbulbs in over 2000 houses in the underprivileged area.

Table Mountain Café. Photo supplied.

The Werf Restaurant and Boschendal Wine Estate (Franschhoek)

Eat Out Woolworths Sustainability award-winner The Werf Restaurant isn’t only looking after the environment. Boschendal has a school on the farm that teaches sustainable values to youth. The beautifully refurbished cottages wherein they’re taught are well equipped with books, art materials and educational toys. The children are fed throughout the day with nutritious farm-fresh breakfasts, morning teas, lunches and afternoon snacks.

Vegetable garden at Boschendal. Photo supplied.

The vegetable garden at Boschendal. Photo supplied.

Other industry stars supporting good causes

Jackie Cameron

Feeding the Future is the brainchild of three KZN women: Sarah Collins, Jackie Cameron and Carolyn Hancock. Sarah is a social entrepreneur who started the Wonderbag Foundation, which helps to empower women and alleviate poverty; Jackie is a renowned chef who mentors students in the food and wine industry; and Carolyn is an expert in genetic science. Feeding the Future supports Shiyasa, a vulnerable community above the Howick Falls. The organisation feeds the 1000 children at Thembelihle Primary School and Angels Care Centre a daily hot meal cooked in Wonderbags. It also seeks to educate, support and empower women in Shiyasa by way of providing them with recipes for nutritious and affordable meals, as well as by allowing them access to medical and social professionals to enable conversations about topics such as rape, AIDs, abuse and alcoholism.

Joseph Dhafana

In addition to serving as the sommelier at Top 10 restaurant La Colombe, Joseph Dhafana also produces his own wine and is a passionate philanthropist. In the wake of cyclone Idai, Joseph arranged a dinner and auction at Aubergine Restaurant. This raised over R60 000, which he donated to villages in Zimbabwe that had been hit. He also routinely donates to other good causes and empowering institutions, like the Eziko Cooking and Catering School in Langa.

Joseph Dhafana is a sommelier at La Colombe in Constantia. Photo supplied.

Street Smart

Street Smart is a local organisation that teams up with restaurants across the country to help keep children off the streets. Restaurants involved include La Cucina di Ciro, Hemingway’s Restaurant & Wine Cellar and Makaron Restaurant. (The full huge list is available on their website.) Recently, chefs Chris Erasmus, Darren Badenhorst and David Schneider (from Foliage, Le Coin François and Chefs Warehouse at Maison respectively) also hosted a luncheon, with all proceeds going to Street Smart.

There are way more restaurants and industry stars in the country doing great things to serve their communities, but prefer to keep their good deeds under wraps. However, let us know if there’s one that isn’t keeping mum that we’ve missed out on!  

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