Comedian Marc Lottering enjoys dessertThe Cape Town event was held on the slopes of Table Mountain with a 300 metre table seating more than 700 people, including Western Cape premier Helen Zille, ID leader Patricia de Lille, rugby legend Chester Williams, singer Danny K and comedian Marc Lottering.
The Table of Peace and Unity was created ten years ago with the vision of a long table where South Africans from all walks of life would share a luncheon and show the country that a unified society holds the power to heal a nation. The event also serves as a fundraiser, and has to date raised more than R7 million for underprivileged children.
Western Cape Premier Helen Zille said at the event that the good news about bad times was that it brings good people together.
“In the past few weeks people have been getting an impression of South Africa that I don’t see here today,” she said, commenting on the sight of a Jewish rabbi and a Muslim Imam breaking bread together. “That is Cape Town, and that is South Africa,” she added.
Founder of the event, Christine Cashmore, added that while the past months in South Africa have not been easy or uplifting, a nation built on peace and unity was not unachievable.
Chef Roberto De Carvalho from the Twelve Apostles Hotel and Spa preparing the main course“Peace and unity in South Africa is not a rainbow nation pipe dream. If we want it, we have to work towards it, step by step. Each of us must be committed to that goal; we need to ensure that others around us in our lives become committed too. We all acknowledge that there are still great divides between people - we have to work at narrowing those, at showing a deeper understanding of our differences,” said Cashmore.
The event was also used to recognise organisations and individuals who work to help children in underprivileged communities. Christine Booysens and her husband, who have taken 30 homeless children into their home, were among those recognised. According to Christine Cashmore, the Booysens couple did this without being wealthy, but simply by sharing what they have with those who have less.
Organisations to benefit from the campaign are the Haven of Strength, Philisa Abafazi Bethu, Tiny Treasures Educare, Strandfontein Training and Development Centre, First Community Resource Centre, Nceduluntu Sanctuary Trust, Little Angels Educare and the Tygerberg Children’s Hospital.
The menu for the luncheon came from a selection of handpicked executive chefs and their teams working without payment.This included Delia Harbottle, Lauren Livesy and Peter Templehoff of the Marine Hotel, The Liz McGrath Collection, Roberto De Carvalho the Twelve Apostles Hotel and Spa and Jerome Peters from The Cape Peninsula University of Technology.
They served up a gourmet meal including braised Karoo lamb with thyme and rosemary crust, potato dauphinoise, and port wine sauce as the main course, and a chocolate mousse pyramid with apple and saffron puree and beetroot syrup for dessert.
They were assisted by students from Cape Town Hotel School and Capsicum Culinary Studio.
Event founder Christine Cashmore concluded that a good life is possible for all in South Africa, but it won’t be served up on a platter like the day’s gourmet food.
”Let us make today the first day of our new resolution. Let’s go out there and do something, anything, to promote peace and unity - no matter how small, just do it. This is our beloved country, it belongs to all of us - we need to walk the talk or as Ghandi said ‘We must be the change we wish to see,’” said Cashmore.