The South African culinary industry showed up in full force at the Eat Out Woolworths Restaurant Awards, the local industry’s biggest awards, on Sunday evening.
The Eat Out Awards took place at the Grand Arena in Cape Town with industry titans in attendance, some walking away with big honours.
New star rating introduced
This year there was the introduction of a new star rating system, with restaurants being awarded either one, two or three stars.
Each restaurant had to achieve a minimum rating of 70 points out of 100. One star had to achieve 70-80 points, two-star 80-90 points and three star 90-100 points.
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The ratings were based on five factors: the décor, ambience, service to the wine list, ingredients used and quality of the food.
The star-rated and winning restaurants were determined by a panel of judges who were not anonymous. Along with chief judge Abigail Donnelly, the Eat Out Awards judging panel included Michelin-star chef and restaurateur Jan Hendrik van der Westhuizen, chef Karen Dudley, sommelier Moses Magwaza, food activist and cookbook author Mokgadi Itsweng, and food writer and broadcaster Anna Trapido.
The awards also recognised the restaurant of the year which went to The LivingRoom at Summerhill Guest Estate in Durban, Kwa-Zulu Natal. Chef of The Year went to John Norris-Rogers. Norris-Rogers is part of the three-star restaurant La Colombe group and is currently the head chef at PIER in the V&A Waterfront in Cape Town.
We were equally interested in the top-starred restaurants in the province of Gauteng, some of which we have had the privilege to dine at.
Top 10 Eat Out starred restaurants in Gauteng
- The Test Kitchen Carbon (Two stars)
- Zioux (Two stars)
- Culinary Table
- Forti Grill & Bar
- Les Créatifs Restaurant
- Marble Restaurant
- Modern Tailors
- The Shortmarket Club Johannesburg
Rounding up the awards, Forti Grill & Bar in Pretoria was awarded the Service Excellence Award, Victor Okolo from Salsify at The Roundhouse in Cape Town was named winner WCellar Wine Service Award and the style award went to Zioux, in Sandton, Johannesburg.
*Compiled by Sandisiwe Mbhele