The Test Kitchen has been named no. 28 in the World’s 50 Best Restaurants for 2015. It is the only South African restaurant to crack the list of eminent restaurants announced on 1 June 2015 in London, and also wins this year’s continental award for the Best Restaurant in Africa.
The Test Kitchen, located at the Old Biscuit Mill in Woodstock, Cape Town, with executive chef Luke Dale-Roberts and head chef Ivor Jones at the helm, has been South Africa’s Restaurant of the Year at the Eat Out Restaurant Awards for an unprecedented three years running, taking home top honours in 2012, 2013 and 2014. Luke was also named the Chef of the Year in 2008 and 2011.
The Test Kitchen moves up 20 places from last year’s ranking of number 48. (Read our 48 reasons to love The Test Kitchen.) “I’m over the moon,” he told us in a message from London directly after the ceremony.
“Luke is a genius chef who excites and challenges the palates of his diners through flavour, ingredients, innovation and attitude. Every year it gets better and better,” said Eat Out awards judge Abigail Donnelly in the 2015 Eat Out magazine. Her thoughts were echoed by fellow judge Kate Wilson: “Luke’s cooking feels almost effortless, even when you know it’s anything but.”
Last week, The Tasting Room at Le Quartier Français in Franschhoek, the current number 3 in the 2014 Eat Out Mercedes-Benz Restaurant Awards Top 10, was named number 88 in the world. For the first time ever, the World’s 50 Best Restaurants announced the restaurants ranked 51 to 100 ahead of the final 50. Margot Janse’s The Tasting Room shares the 88th spot with Zuma, a Japanese restaurant in Dubai, and is only 15 spots away from The Fat Duck by Heston Blumenthal, which comes in at no. 73.
The World’s 50 Best Restaurants list, sponsored by S.Pellegrino and Acqua Panna, is created from the votes of The Diners Club World’s 50 Best Restaurants Academy, a group of almost 1 000 international leaders in the restaurant community. The academy comprises 27 separate regions around the world, each of which has 36 members (food writers, chefs, restaurateurs and highly regarded gastronomes), who can cast seven votes each. Of those seven, at least three votes must recognise restaurants outside of the member’s own region. Members list their choices in order of preference, based on their restaurant experiences of the previous 18 months.
The top three restaurants in the world for 2015 are Noma in Copenhagen with the inimitable chef René Redzepi; Massimo Bottura’s Osteria Francescana in Modena, Italy; and the best restaurant in the world, El Celler de Can Roca, run by the Roca brothers Joan, Josep and Jordi in Girona, Spain. See the full 2015 list here.