Changes to judging panel for Eat Out Mercedes-Benz Restaurant Awards

We have an exciting development to announce about SA’s biggest restaurant accolades, which includes the much-anticipated Top 10 list. The panel of judges for future Eat Out Mercedes-Benz Restaurant Awards will be completely anonymous. This comes after Abigail Donnelly announces that she is stepping down as Eat Out editor and chief judge on 31 January 2018, after 12 years on the brand.

An outside table setting overlooking the gardens at Camphors at Vergelegen, one of the Top 10 restaurants of 2017. Photo supplied.

This move allows Eat Out the opportunity to follow international trends by appointing a judging panel that is completely anonymous, such as those of the World’s 50 Best Restaurants and the Michelin Guide. Members of the panel will be selected by the Eat Out team and will have experience and expertise as chefs, educators in the food or hospitality industry, expert patrons with international dining experience, food critics, hoteliers and/or winemakers. The judges’ identities will not be revealed while they remain on the panel, and the results will be adjudicated by Eat Out and verified by auditing firm A S Pocock to ensure consistency.

One of the magical dishes at La Colombe, one of the Top 10 restaurants for 2017. Photo by Claire Gunn Photography.

Abigail Donnelly will remain at New Media Publishing as food editor of Woolworths TASTE, with a greater focus on her career in food styling and recipe development as she takes on a larger role with Woolworths as Foods Marketing Creative Manager. She says, “Eat Out means the world to me. I will miss the chefs and their brigades, and, of course, the Eat Out team, but I cannot wait to see the next chapter unfold and take this industry, which I am so passionate about, to new levels.”

Eat Out has always evolved to keep up with international trends and the demands of both consumers and the restaurant industry. We look forward to this new chapter in the South African food space.

See the 2017 Top 10 here, and the rest of the awards winners here.

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