It’s been close to two weeks since our sassy, bold new 2014 mag has been on sale and, judging by the compliments we’ve been receiving, the new look is being loved by readers at home as well as those in the industry.
It’s no mean feat putting together a bumper annual restaurant guide – even with a great team like ours. So, today I’m dedicating my blog to this amazingly passionate group.
It all started out with a huge research panel headed up by our incredible new GM, Aileen Lamb, and our dedicated account director, Claire Buchanan, who travelled far and wide, along with Francesca Tiganis, to collate feedback from our stakeholders, including chefs, restaurateurs and the public.
Under the guidance of editor-in-chief extraordinaire Anelde Greeff, we then brainstormed how to make the selection process more transparent and who would review the restaurants. We implemented a system that called for restaurant submission and we chose 50 food aficionados around SA to rate their top restaurants. Junior writer Kelly Pluke mastered and managed a huge list of these forms and compiled an inspiring story on our top chefs’ ice cream bucket list for the mag.
Then there is the new look, with visuals that are just on another level! Mark Serra, head of creative for the consumer division of New Media, turned this mag into something so beautiful through design, together with his senior designer, Lené Roux. Mark also photographed the magnificent chefs’ portraits and I did a bit of styling; it was such fun flinging a huge fish over Luke Dale-Roberts’s shoulder and throwing flour over Chef of the Year, David Higgs.
Then there were the words. Probably the most patient person on the team, copy editor Linda Scarborough has a very special way with them. She tweaked and wrote for the mag while online editor Katharine Jacobs held down the fort on the website with fabulous articles and regular newsletters, ably assisted by Wazeer Bassadien. Our managing editor, Alicia Erasmus, made us feel assured we’d get the job done and kept it all together logistically during the hectic judging time.
As sales are reading this, I’m sure they’re thinking, “What about us?” But I could never have forgotten you, Werner Hayward and Mandy Petim, the wonderful money team. You’re always so committed to your clients and to making the magazine something to be proud of.
Thanks, guys, for sharing, guiding and inspiring every single day!