After more than a year of claiming that all its of its beef, lamb and game is organic, and that it comes from owner Giorgio Nava’s Karoo farm, and persisting to do so for more than two months after this blog challenged this claim, Carne has finally changed the introduction to its website, removing references to “Giorgio’s own Karoo farms” and “organically grown”, thereby doing the honourable thing!   We are surprised that it has taken him so long to make the corrections.

Originally the Carne website’s Homepage made the following claim:   “Dedicated entirely to meat as is evident from its Italian name, Carne SA is a carnivore’s paradise serving a unique offering of the finest cuts of Romagnola beef, Dorper lamb and game, all organically grown on Giorgio’s own Karoo farms.”

Now it reads as follows:  Dedicated entirely to meat as is evident from its Italian name, Carne SA is a carnivore’s paradise serving a unique offering of the finest cuts of Romagnola beef, Dorper lamb,game and more.  

When one clicks onto the word “more”, a full page explaining how Nava obtains his meat can be read.  This is what is written – difficult to follow at times, due to Nava’s ‘Italglish’: “Giorgio Nava’s flair for quality is undisputed. Patrons of the award winning 95 on Keerom have been enjoying the benefits of his culinary stance since their opening in 2003.   In alignment of Giorgios’ unwavering inclination towards supreme quality and use of only the finest ingredients has led him and his partners of Carne SA-(his latest instalment of Milanese appeal)-open since November 2008 to a intersection pertaining to the ultimate quality of meat offered at Carne.  Months of extensive research has seen Carne, a carnivores’ paradise which has to date boasted a unique offering of the finest cuts of Romagnola beef, Dorper lamb and game, all historically grown on Giorgio’s own Karoo farm- progress to a crossroad where a savoir-faire business approach and an adherence to the requests of the local market shift to now officially incorporating into-an already impressive free range selection- the finest in grass and grain fed beef. Patrons of Carne can look forward to an exclusive menu featuring the very best meat Southern Africa has to offer, aspiring to indulge the meat lover with an extensive choice of beef of which its calibre can be traced back to its farm, aging time and whether it was grain or grass fed. These all-inclusive details will be readily available to the customer-making dining at Carne an elite experience.  Absolute strict characteristics are considered before a product is included on the menu like age of animal, diet, terroir, slaughter process, fat content, and meat flavour.  Paying reverence to the meaning of its simple Italian name – meat, Carne surpasses the highest standards of all meat produce obtainable in Southern Africa guaranteeing the ultimate in carnivorous culinary.  Giorgio, his partners and all involved in Carne SA, are excited at its capacity to offer its followers both local and abroad the ultimate variety in supreme South African beef, delivering Carne SA to the status of international meat emporium“.

Initially Nava refuted the WhaleTales challenge about Carne’s organic and his Karoo farm origin claims, but did admit that he bought in meat from other suppliers for quality comparison purposes.  His supplier Gastro Foods also admitted that they supply non-organic and non-Karoo game to Carne.   The fact that Nava did not institute legal proceedings against this blog was further proof of the false claims made.

From guest feedback it was understood that Nava took great care to explain personally to all his Carne customers how he obtains his meat for the restaurant.

The Carne con correction leaves “steak” on Eat Out editor Abigail Donnelly’s face, in that she refused to allow a comment about the misleading Carne claims on the magazine’s website.  She is one of the three judges for the Eat Out Top 10 restaurant list, for which Carne was nominated last year.  

The original story about the Carne con can be read here.

POSTSCRIPT: Giogio Nava, the owner of Carne, has written a Comment to this post, denying making changes to his website due to the exposure of his restaurant’s misleading claims.   Read his comment (click on ‘Comments’ at the top). 

Chris von Ulmenstein, Whale Cottage Portfolio: