Cape Town dominated this year’s Eat Out DSTV Food Network Restaurant Awards, scooping all three coveted awards: Best Chef, Best Restaurant and Best Service Awards. The glittering culinary awards ceremony, which was held at the Rotunda at the Bay Hotel in Camps Bay on Sunday night, was a spectacle of glamour as ‘foodies’ from across South Africa gathered to honour their colleagues.
Luke Dale-Roberts from The Test Kitchen won the Chef of the Year prize. Dale-Roberts was coy in his acceptance speech and said; “There are many amazing chefs…they are all hard working, share the same obsession for food and have the same passion and pay the same attention to detail. How do the judges pick one winner?”
The other winners were: The Greenhouse, which took the prize for Best Restaurant and The Roundhouse, which won the Service Excellence Award. A list of Top 10 restaurants was announced to great surprises and applause.
Another big winner for the night was Zahir Isaacs who received the Woolworths TASTE Bursary. Isaacs, who works at Knead in Claremont, Cape Town, said; “A few months ago I wouldn’t have imagined sitting where I am. Winning this award has changed my attitude completely. I am determined to go for my dream of learning as much as I can and hopefully even going overseas and see what more I can become.” He added that what set him aside from other applicants is his belief in ‘having fun in the kitchen’.
This year saw a new growth in the awards, signaling a shift to more collaborations and partnerships with international partners. Eat Out editor, Abigail O’Donnelly, spoke about the award’s association with DSTV and the Food Network and what she called the “need to build associations while determining how you will grow”.
Discussing the task of judging an event of this magnitude, O’Donnelly said: “I have been full for the past six months. I have eaten at every single restaurant in the nominations list together with some of the reviewers.”
Restaurants are judged on food, service and ambience, as well as other aspects that make or break the eating out experience.
“The judging process involves a variety of factors, ranging from food composition, the use if local ingredients, presentation, food taste, balance and the matching of food with wine,” added O’Donnelly.
Growth in the awards saw the addition of the Best New Restaurant, as well as the Boschendal Style Award. And, for the first time, Eat Out also added new categories including; the best Asian restaurant, Steakhouse, Italian restaurant, Country-style restaurant and Bistro.
Entertainment for the evening was provided by funnyman, Riaad Moosa who kept the guests in Stitches and music trio, GoodLuck, kept the mood jovial with their unique sound.
A complete list of the winners:
The top 10 restaurants, are: The Greenhouse 2. The Test Kitchen 3. The Tasting Room at Le Quartier Français 4. The Roundhouse 5. Overture 6. Terroir 7. DW Eleven-13 8. Jordan Restaurant 9. Nobu and La Colombe. The Prize for the Best Bistro was won by Bizerca Bistro. The Local Grill in Boksburg, Parktown North and Sandton took home prize for the Best Steakhouse. The Best Country Style Restaurant was won by The Table at De Meye. Kitima won the Best Asian Restaurant and Keerom on 95 was the winner of the Best Italian Restaurant. The Boschendal Style Award was won by Makaron. The City Press ViP Sunday Breakfast Award was won by Salvation Café. And the Lannice Snyman Lifetime Achievement Award, sponsored by Paarl Media was awarded to Garth Stroebel. Zahir Isaacs won the Woolworths TASTE Bursary.