Furthermore, diners at The Drought Kitchen will enjoy a pared-down menu: instead of the usual 20 courses, there’ll be a more modest, six-course meal, with three appetisers. It not only saves on water use and prep, but the reduced price tag of R890 opens the doors for the chef to share his food and water-saving techniques with a wider audience. Although there are a reduced number of courses — and fewer sauces, so as to not muss up the fancy new cardboard plates — you will not find any reduction in flavour. There are still promises of 12-hour, hot-smoked trout served with watercress and yoghurt snow, with the addition of yuzu caviar and blinis; and the ever-popular sweetbreads served with asparagus, peas, morels, and porcini hollandaise.
Although the pop-up will last only from 1 April to the end of May, Dale-Roberts assures customers that his restaurants will continue to make strides in water-saving, and insists that every little bit helps.
“All the measures we have taken now — over and above those to save water — we will continue doing them. It’s become habit,” he says. “It’s funny how these things become habit. Even at home, showering with a bucket — it all becomes normal. I think it’s important for everyone to maintain that, regardless of the fear that is attached to Day Zero and what it drives you to do.”