South Africa’s shining culinary talents were honoured at the 2016 Eat Out Mercedes-Benz Restaurant Awards on Sunday, 20 November. The Grand Arena at Grand West in Cape Town was transformed into a luxurious secret garden for the Sunday lunch of the year, where the stars of South Africa’s restaurant industry were celebrated.

 

For an unprecedented fifth consecutive year,The Test Kitchen was named Restaurant of the Year. Gregory Czarnecki of The Restaurant at Waterkloof won the coveted title of Eat Out S.Pellegrino & Acqua Panna Chef of the Year. Czarnecki also collaborated with six other top chefs on the lavish lunch for the event.

 

La Colombe, situated on the Silvermist Wine Estate in Constantia, again took second place on the prestigious list of Top 10 restaurants. This restaurant was also recognised for maintaining the highest level of service with the Eat Out Nespresso Service Excellence Award and the first-ever Eat Out John Psillos Award for Outstanding Contribution to Service, which was awarded to front-of-house manager Jennifer Hugé.

 

The much-admired chef, restaurateur and author Peter Veldsman was the winner of the Eat Out Lannice Snyman Lifetime Achievement Award.
The Eat Out Nederburg Rising Star Award went to Angelo Sciroccoof Urbanologi in Johannesburg for his promising talent, and the Eat Out Wine Service Award for a top sommelier was won by Tinashe Nyamudokaof The Test Kitchen.

 

In another industry first, The Table at De Meye in Stellenbosch was the recipient of the inaugural Eat Out Woolworths Sustainability Award, which recognises a restaurant that is making strides towards sustainability by implementing environmentally and socially responsible practices and being cognisant of the importance of higher animal welfare.

 

The judging panel for the Eat Out Woolworths Sustainability Award was independent from that of the Eat Out Mercedes-Benz Restaurant Awards and consisted of Abigail Donnelly of Eat Out, Pavitray (Pavs) Pillay of WWF-SASSI, Lynsay Sampson of Fairtrade South Africa, Sonia Mountford of Eategrity and Karen Welter of Longtable Project. (Find out more at http://eatout.co.za/sustainability.)

 

Foxcroft, the new restaurant opened by chefs Scot Kirton and Glen Williams of La Colombe, was named the Eat Out Retail Capital New Restaurant of the Year. Marble in Rosebank, Johannesburg, received the Eat Out Boschendal Style Award for its show-stopping interior design and décor. The winner of the Woolworths TASTE Eat Out Bursary was Ayanda Matomela, who was selected for his passion and enthusiasm.

 

Below is the detailed list of the 2016 Eat Out Mercedes-Benz Restaurant Awards winners:

Category Winner
Eat Out S.Pellegrino & Acqua Panna Chef of the Year Gregory Czarnecki of The Restaurant at Waterkloof
Restaurant of the Year The Test Kitchen
Top 10 Restaurants 2. La Colombe3. The Restaurant at Waterkloof4. The Tasting Room at Le Quartier Français5. Restaurant Mosaic at The Orient6. Overture7. Greenhouse at The Cellars-Hohenort

8. The Kitchen at Maison

9. Foliage

10. Camphors at Vergelegen

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

The judges who worked alongside Eat Out editor and chief judge Abigail Donnelly to determine the Top 10 restaurants in South Africa and the Eat Out S.Pellegrino & Acqua Panna Chef of the Year, as well as the winners of the Eat Out Nespresso Service Excellence Award,

 

The Eat Out Wine Service Award, the Eat Out Nederburg Rising Star Award, the Eat Out Lannice Snyman Lifetime Achievement Awardand the Eat Out John Psillos Award for Outstanding Contribution to Service, were Carianne Wilkinson of the Silwood School of Cookery,and chef David Higgs.

 

The winners of the Eat Out Retail Capital New Restaurant of the Year and the Eat Out Boschendal Style Award are chosen by Abigail Donnelly in consultation with Eat Out’s panel of critics around the country. (For more information on the judging for each of the awards, visit http://eatout.co.za/awards.)

 

Says Donnelly: “2016 has probably been my most exciting and inspiring year of eating out. Chefs are capturing our imaginations with imaginative, emotive cooking, and fine producers are elevated yet again. South Africa’s restaurants really are world-class. I’m particularly thrilled about the amazing restaurants popping up in Johannesburg right now, where a new generation of legends is leading the way.”

 

Selvin Govender, Marketing Director of Mercedes-Benz Cars, says: “Once again these fine-dining connoisseurs have displayed their talents in their pursuit of excellence. I congratulate all the winners and thank them for showcasing South Africa’s incredible talents.”

To find out more, visit www.eatout.co.za.

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