For an unprecedented fifth consecutive year, The Test Kitchen was named Restaurant of the Year at the 2016 Eat Out Mercedes-Benz Restaurant Awards that took place at the Grand Arena at Grand West in Cape Town.
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, restauranteur 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 Scirocco of Urbanologi in Johannesburg for his promising talent, and the Eat Out Wine Service Award for a top sommelier was won by Tinashe Nyamudoka of 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.
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.
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 Award and 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.