TV & Radio Personality JEN SU attended the recent 2015 Mercedes-Benz Eat Out Awards for the Next 48hOURS.
Talk about a gourmet extravaganza! The 2015 Eat Out Mercedes-Benz Restaurant Awards – aka the “Foodie Oscars” – was the talk of the town over the weekend. As The Next 48hOURS Editor Naushad Khan and I were whisked to the venue in a gorgeous Mercedes-Benz S63, I checked my phone to discover that #EatOutAwards was already trending before the event even started.
A last minute change in venue to the SunExhibits Centre at GrandWest did not deter any of the guests, and in fact, the turnout – as it is every year – was absolutely tremendous, with hundreds in attendance. The Sunday lunch of the year set the scene for the announcement of South Africa’s top culinary talent, with The Test Kitchen taking top honours again among SA restaurants as Restaurant of the Year for the fourth year in a row.
Scot Kirton of La Colombe won the coveted title of Eat Out San Pellegrino Chef of the Year. Guests were also treated to one of his signature dishes at the awards celebration, accompanied by a brief “how-to” video on how the dish was put together (a nice addition this year!) Franschhoek-based restaurant The Tasting Room at Le Quartier Français was recognised for maintaining the highest level of service for the second year in a row, with the Service Excellence Award.
The winner of the Lannice Snyman Lifetime Achievement Award, presented by associate sponsor Novus Holdings, was the grande dame of hospitality, the late Liz McGrath. The Nederburg Rising Star Award went to Carmen Muller of The Tasting Centre at Rupert & Rothschild in Franschhoek for her promising talent, and the Wine Service Award for a top sommelier was won by Lloyd Jusa of Five Hundred at The Saxon in Johannesburg. Greenhouse at The Cellars-Hohenort received the Boschendal Style Award.
The EatOut Top 10 Restaurants in SA for 2015 are…
1. The Test Kitchen (Cape Town)
2. La Colombe (Cape Town)
3. The Tasting Room (Franschhoek)
4. Greenhouse at The Cellars Hohenort (Cape Town)
5. Five Hundred at The Saxon (Johannesburg)
6. Waterkloof Restaurant (Somerset West)
7. Restaurant Mosaic – at The Orient (Gauteng)
8. Terroir (Stellenbosch)
9. The Potluck Club (Cape Town)
10. Jordan Restaurant (Stellenbosch)
The judges, who worked alongside Eat Out Editor and Chief Judge Abigail Donnelly, were Jackie Cameron, the award-winning former chef at Hartford House and owner of the Jackie Cameron School of Food & Wine; Benny Masekwameng, ‘MasterChef SA’ judge and professional chef; and Siba Mtongana, award-winning food writer and celebrity TV chef.
Some of the celebrities in attendance included Roxy Louw, who wore gorgeous jewellery from The Legacy Collection, as well as Elana Afrika, who was the emcee in a resplendent long white chiffon gown. J’Something from Mi Casa – who’s becoming renowned for his gourmet chef talents as much as his music – also enjoyed the gourmet extravaganza with his manager, Dale Herbst.