Meat Free Mondays a winner for Steenberg

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Catharina's, the restaurant at the Steenberg hotel and wine farm in the Constantia winelands, has taken up the baton for Meat Free Mondays in South Africa, and offers a meat free dining option on Mondays.

Taking the "vegetarian option" further than most of his colleagues in the fine-dining market, executive chef Garth Almazan is at the forefront of this worldwide campaign in Cape Town. And its success has exceeded expectations.

He says: "Meat Free Mondays is a practical way for Catharina's to not only introduce exciting, fine dining vegetarian options to our diners, but also to contribute in a small way to increased awareness about global warming, and to help reduce carbon emissions. In so doing, we are joining one of the most significant and fast-growing global movements, and as far as I know, we are the first restaurant in South Africa to do so."

Themed 'Eat less meat for a better planet', the Meat Free Mondays campaign is supported by a host of international celebrities including Sir Paul McCartney.

According to the website,, the UK's Food Climate Research Network suggests that food production from farm to fork is responsible for between 20 and 30% of global greenhouse gas emissions. "Livestock production is responsible for around half of these emissions, therefore the more meat we produce and eat, the bigger that carbon footprint will get. A sustainable future demands that we cut down by making a simple lifestyle change, such as making just one day a week a meat-free day."

Almazan says that in line with the trend for lighter and healthier eating, there has been a growing demand for vegetarian options at the restaurant.

"Our Meat Free Mondays menu answers this call, providing a selection of substantial, though tasty, healthy and beautifully plated vegetarian dishes. Simultaneously, the concept of Meat Free Mondays is also a wonderful opportunity to inspire meat lovers to explore and experiment a little with vegetarian food."

The Meat Free Mondays menu at Catharina's changes weekly with four starters and four main courses.

Dishes include Tofu Custard topped with Spinach Pure and Enoki Mushrooms; Grilled Aubergine, Caramelised Onion and Parmesan Terrine; and Waterblommetjie Risotto with deep fried Potatoes, Roast Onion Beignets, Sour Apple and 'Surings' Compote.

Desserts include Chocolate and Beetroot Flourless Cake with Mascarpone Semi Freddo, Beet Syrup and Chocolate Ganache; or the Milk Chocolate and Pear Compote Pastries simply irresistible.

Almazan and Catharina's have established a reputation for consistently providing a world-class culinary experience. The restaurant was given a complete facelift a year ago and has avant-garde dcor and contemporary artworks, as well as a modern wine bar.

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