Meet Adrian Schreuder — Chef at Hotel Verde Cape Town
When a young Adrian Schreuder marched into the foyer of the Table Bay Hotel over 20 years ago, he could not imagine the long, illustrious career that lay ahead of him.
“From about 10 or 11 years of age I started helping with food prep and saw how the cooking was done. As I got older, I felt very comfortable in the kitchen. This spurred my father-in-law to prompt me (while I was studying mechanical engineering and technical drawing) to go and do casual work in a professional kitchen during the holiday.” Adrian remembers.
A classically trained chef, he has built a solid reputation in the industry. In addition to Table Bay Hotel, he has worked under Richard Corrigan in the UK, and served as Executive Chef of Two Oceans restaurant.
What is different about Hotel Verde?
“We are a green hotel but cooking is still cooking. We use more gas than electricity.
We use induction cooktops for the buffet which use less electricity compared to a regular electrical cooker. Our biggest focus is on our purchasing of produce. We buy from as close as possible to the hotel (within 160km) to keep our carbon footprint smaller,” he states.
The importance of this process is highlighted by the hotel’s general manager, Caron Van Rooyen.
“Hotel Verde Cape Town Airport, being the Greenest Hotel in Africa, has implemented various operational standards and processes that govern our sustainability initiatives and allow us to live up to what we preach. This includes the procurement of all food products from sustainable, reputable and local suppliers.“
Adrian has been at the helm of the Nuovo kitchen from the beginning and has developed a strong framework for the sustainable Green Story model that is fundamental to how Hotel Verde operates. His approach is simple.
“We always look at what is good for the guest, the environment and the hotel. That is the base we start from. We recycle and repurpose where and what we can.”
He then goes on to list some important aspects of their successful low-waste system.
“Maintaining our 90+ percent waste-diversion-from-landfill score isn’t easy. Food waste gets composted by an outside service provider. We send all our recycling to the relevant stream service providers and these figures all get recorded.”
The hotel also has a rigorous purchase protocol when it comes to assessing prospective suppliers to ensure minimal wastage from the beginning.
Education is a major aspect of their story as well. Staff members undergo thorough training according to Caron, “Whilst onboarding and orienting new team members we focus on developing their knowledge of sustainability since it is the core of what we portray in our daily lives and this is how we align all of our employees with our ethos.”
Adrian agrees and further suggests that consumers can make a difference too. They can also learn more about going green and support companies who further these initiatives.
“The consumer can support those who they feel are making a difference and practice some of the methods at home. For instance, buy sustainably, and support the small supplier that makes a living from producing ‘green’.”
With such strong ideals and passion for what he does, we had to ask…
What is your favourite meal at Nuovo?
“I really love our mushroom and coriander spaghetti. We have a local grana padana with it, it’s just amazing. It’s meatless and so satisfying, like comfort food.”
Comfort, care, delicious food. It’s a winning combination! As the founder and owner, Mr. Delicio once said,
“We are not inheriting the world from our forefathers, rather we are borrowing it from our children. That is the view we must take to live more sustainably. We have, as individuals and as a company, a responsibility towards our current and future generations.”