The lowdown on the 2011 nominees

Who’s won the most times before and who’s new in the zoo? In the run-up to the announcement this Sunday of the 2011 Eat Out DStv Food Network Restaurant Awards winners, here’s the low-down on the 20 nominees.

The newbies
There were quite a few surprises in 2011’s list of nominees for the top 10 spots. To qualify, a restaurant has to have been open for a full year with the same chef. This year, Azure Restaurant, with Henrico Grobbelaar at the helm, is new to our shortlist, as are Babel, Planet Restaurant at the Mount Nelson, The Test Kitchen, Nobu, Pierneef a La Motte and the newly revamped Tokara Restaurant, which recently celebrated a year with Richard Carstens in charge.

The past winners

Bosman’s, DW Eleven-13, Hartford House, Jordan Restaurant, Roots, Overture, The Tasting Room at Le Quartier Français, and Terroir were all in last year’s top 10.

The Tasting Room has been in the top 10 more times than any other restaurant – eight times since 1998. Chef Michael Broughton has made it into the top 10 six times – four times whilst at Terroir, and twice at his previous restaurant, Broughtons.

La Colombe and Bosman’s have each made the cut an impressive four times. Overture and Restaurant Mosaic, Hartford House have managed the feat twice, while The Greenhouse, and The Roundhouse have also been included in the Top 10 once before.

Luke Dale-Roberts and George Jardine, chefs at The Test Kitchen and Jordan Restaurant respectively, have both won the Chef of the Year award in the past. Luke was honoured while at La Colombe, while George has won the award twice during his time at Jardine (which also made the Top 10 three times).

The regions
There’s always a debate regarding the regional distribution of the nominees; it seems some provinces are unfairly blessed with gourmet establishments. This year, there are nine nominees spread between Stellenbosch, Franschhoek and the surrounding winelands, seven in Cape Town, three in Gauteng, and one in KwaZulu-Natal.

The battle of the sexes
Amongst this year’s nominees, we’ve got four women battling it out against sixteen male chefs. Simone Rossouw of Babel, Jackie Cameron of Hartford House, Chantel Dartnall of Restaurant Mosaic and Margot Janse of The Tasting Room at Le Quartier Français are representing the ladies.

The foreigners
Six of our nominees this year hail from overseas. Roland Gorgosilich of Bosman’s is Austrian; Jordan’s George Jardine is from Scotland; Darren Roberts of The Restaurant at Grande Provence is Australian; Nobu’s Hideki Maeda is Japanese; The Tasting Room’s Margot Janse comes from The Netherlands; and The Test Kitchen’s Luke Dale-Roberts is British. The other fourteen are proudly South African.

Make sure you are the first to know the results of the Eat Out DStv Food Network Restaurant Awards 2011 by following us on twitter at @Eat_Out and the official hash tag #eatoutawards on Sunday 20 November 2011. Alternatively, subscribe to our weekly newsletter – a special edition is going out on Sunday night.

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