2014 Eat Out Awards
During a big ceremony last Sunday, the prizes for the best restaurants and chefs in South Africa were assigned
The entire South African gastronomic scene met on November 16th at the Thunder City in Cape Town, for the latest edition of the prize organized by Eat Out magazine
We start with a decisively positive news: after last year’s débacle when the Best Italian Restaurant prize went to a South African pizzeria, this year the award went to La Sosta in Swellendam. A big satisfaction for Cristiana Ariotto (chef) and Gianni Minori (in the dining room), who after years of improvements have rightly conquered this reward.
Having said this, as every year there were some very well suited prizes, and some that were not. This year the Eat Out Awards found a new prestigious sponsor, namely Mercedes Benz, which, together with agency Paarlmedia, organised a remarkably big event inside the Thunder City, a large hangar near the airport, dressed up for the occasion: 800 guests, large screens, a huge kitchen in view, an almost perfect direction.
The gala dinner was prepared by six of the twenty chefs nominated for best restaurants: Neil Jewell (Bread and Wine), David Higgs (Five Hundred), George Jardine (Jordan Restaurant), PJ Vadas(The Hog House), Bertus Basson (Overture) and Vanessa Marx (The White Room). Given the number of guests, the chefs have managed to serve quite a respectable, well-presented and creative dinner.
Abigail Donnelly, editor at Eat Out Magazine, and five more judges have selected the restaurants following the usual rule: 70% for food and wine, meaning presentation, ingredients’ sustainability and quality-price ratio, 20% for service, and 10% for setting. This year a larger number of judges softened some polemics on the reliability of the judgements.
Here’s the list of the 2014 winners:
Chef Luke Dale-Roberts: his The Test Kitchen was voted Best Restaurant of the Year
The Eat Out Boschendal Style Award: Equus at Cavalli, a new restaurant in a beautiful wine estate.
The Best Steakout Restaurant: The Local Grill in Johannesburg.
Best Italian Restaurant: La Sosta, in Swellendam.
Best Country-style Restaurant: Café Bloom, in KwaZulu Natal
Best Asian Restaurant: Kyoto Garden Sushi in Cape Town
And the ten best restaurants:
1. The Test Kitchen, chef Luke Dale-Roberts
2. Five Hundred, chef David Higgs
3. The Tasting Room at Le Quartier Français, chef Margot Janse
4. Mosaic at the Orient, chef Chantel Dartnall (also chef of the year)
5. Jordan Restaurant, chef George Jardine
6. Overture, chef Bertus Basson
7. Rust En Vrede, chef John Shuttleworth
8. DW Eleven -13, chef Martinus Ferreira
9. The Restaurant at Newton-Johnson, chef Eric Bulpitt
10. Terroir, chef Michael Broughton
Lannice Snyman Lifetime Achievment Award: Eduan Naudé and the late Brian Shalkoff, owners for 50 years of Gramadoelas, in Johannesburg.
Nederburg Rising Star Award: Kobus Van Der Merwe di Oep ve Koep, a miniscule restaurant in Paternoster where it is virtually impossible to eat, because they are either full (they seat 6 people) or are closed. Bah.
Tsogo Sun Wine Service Award: Mandla Patson Mathonsi.
Over the past few months, many chefs have left the restaurants in which they worked in order to move to others or to open a place of their own and because of this some capable people were not present. According to Eat Out a chef must have spent at least six months in a restaurant in order to be nominated.
At work for the big dinner that accompanied the ceremony
Once again Luke-Dale Roberts was the king and won once more with his The Test Kitchen and was also nominated with the Pot Luck Club, David Higgs of Five Hundred is the eternal second (a pity) while Peter Templehoff (The Greenhouse) was out of the top ten. This year there was a stronger presence of restaurants from Johannesburg even though the record is still held by Western Cape, with seven restaurants out of the top ten.
Rubriche - Giovanna a Capo-tavola
The food world in and near Cape Town told by Giovanna Sartor