South Africa’s culinary talent came under the spotlight this weekend at the 2016 Eat Out Mercedes-Benz Restaurant Awards held in Cape Town. The country's top movers and shakers on the contemporary restaurant scene were all named during a ceremony set in a luxurious secret garden in the transformed Grand Arena on Sunday 20 November, 2016.
In the top 10 restaurants, The Test Kitchen, currently ranked 22nd in The World's 50 Best Restaurants managed to retain its top spot with UK born chef Luke Dale-Roberts at the helm. An additional accolade went to their sommelier Tinashe Nyamudoka taking the Eat Out Wine Service Award.
Meanwhile, La Colombe restaurant, also located in Cape Town, was listed at #2, scooping two additional awards; Service Excellence and Outstanding Contribution to Service Award, Jennifer Hugé.
Hot on their heels was The Restaurant at Waterkloof with chef Gregory Czarnecki also scooping the Eat Out S.Pellegrino & Acqua Panna Chef of the Year 2017 award: "Greg’s dishes shine with confidence and showcase immense skill and rigorous attention to detail. His presentation is more than perfect, which offers an incredible eating experience,” said chief judge Abigail Donnelly.
Meanwhile, the Eat Out Nederburg Rising Star award, in recognition of emerging young chef talent, was awarded to Angelo Scirocco, winner of S.Pellegrino Young Chef 2015 Africa and Middle East competition, and who has since opened his own industrial themed restaurant Urbanologi. While David Higgs, top juror at S.Pellegrino Young Chef 2016, new 'fire cooking' restaurant Marble recieved the 'Style Award.'
For the full list see below.
(Top photo: Garden herbs and sprouts, smoked hen’s yolk, chestnut and pollen at Camphors at Vergelegen. Photo by Jan Ras)
Winners of South Africa's 2016 Eat Out Restaurant Awards
The Top 10 restaurants
1. The Test Kitchen (Woodstock, Cape Town)
2. La Colombe (Constantia, Cape Town)
3. The Restaurant at Waterkloof (Somerset West)
4. The Tasting Room at Le Quartier Français (Franschhoek)
5. Restaurant Mosaic at The Orient (Elandsfontein, Pretoria)
6. Overture (Stellenbosch)
7. Greenhouse at The Cellars-Hohenort (Constantia, Cape Town)
8. The Kitchen at Maison (Franschhoek)
9. Foliage (Franschhoek)
10. Camphors at Vergelegen (Somerset West)
All the winners
Special awards were also given to individuals and restaurants as follows:
Eat Out S.Pellegrino & Acqua Panna Chef of the Year: Gregory Czarnecki of The Restaurant at Waterkloof
Eat Out Nespresso Service Excellence Award: La Colombe
Eat Out Nederburg Rising Star: Angelo Scirocco of Urbanologi
Eat Out Retail Capital New Restaurant of the Year: Foxcroft
Eat Out Wine Service Award: Tinashe Nyamudoka of The Test Kitchen
Eat Out Lannice Snyman Lifetime Achievement Award: Peter Veldsman
Eat Out Boschendal Style Award: Marble
Eat Out John Psillos Award for Outstanding Contribution to Service: Jennifer Hugé of La Colombe
Eat Out Woolworths Sustainability Award: The Table at De Meye
Woolworths TASTE Eat Out Bursary winner: Ayanda Matomela