Award Winners


Chef of the Year: Reuben Riffel
Restaurant of the year: Reuben’s
Eat Out Johnnie Walker Top Country Kitchens: Mariana’s and Vergelegen Guest House
Restaurants were not ranked within the Top 10, and are presented alphabetically below:

95 Keerom
Auberge Michel
Linger Longer
Lynton Hall



Phillippa Cheifitz

Phillippa is the Food Editor of Femina, House and Leisure and Taste magazines. She abandoned a serious education in psychology to follow a passion for food, and has never regretted it. Through the magazines and cookbooks (six in all), she has shared recipes for home cooking, stressing the pleasure of quality, delicious, everyday meals. Insatiably curious, she loves eating out, in Cape Town and away, to glean new ideas and global trends. For her, there is nothing as intoxicating as a good meal in a buzzing contemporary café. Her most recent cookbooks are The Monday to Sunday Cookbook and Cape Town Food. And watch out for Seasons which will be published in April.

Hilary Biller

Hilary is well-known as The Star’s Angela Day and is widely respected for her innovative approach to cooking. Hilary has been instrumental in establishing the Angela Day Kitchen, the face of the Angela Day page where both international and local chefs are hosted and cookery classes are offered. She is the author of several successful food titles – The Step by Step Cookbook, Tastes, Thoughts on South African Food and Feast – and is currently working on a new book. Hilary lives in Emmarentia in Johannesburg with her husband Peter and two children, Matthew and Caitlin. For her the biggest treat is to have someone else prepare the food … even if it is something as simple as scrambled eggs.

Garth Stroebel

Garth Stroebel is one of the most respected figures in the restaurant industry and is highly regarded by his peers – he has been awarded the Pinnacle Chef Award by the South African Chefs Association for lifetime achievement to the hotel and culinary industry. Having been both the Executive Chef of the Mount Nelson Hotel as well as Corporate Executive Chef of the African Collection of Orient Express Hotels, from 1991 until February 2004, he is now the co-proprietor of SA Chefs Academy, a culinary school for aspiring chefs. His first book, Modern South African Cuisine, was launched in October. It encapsulates the new food and wine culture of our country as well the integration of South Africa’s culinary heritage with exotic new flavours and influences from abroad.

Review Team


Abigail is food editor for Fair Lady magazine. Her life-long passion for food started when she was very young, helping her grandmother in the kitchen. In later years she began collecting recipes – mostly clippings from various magazines – and this inspired her to become the one creating them. Her philosophy is that food should be creative yet simple, cooked with care and generosity.

Adelle is a freelance travel journalist and editor and author of The Cape Route Finder. She wanders far and wide looking for interesting things to write about – and then eat. As former managing editor of Eat Out, she’s having a whole lot more fun visiting these restaurants, rather than editing the copy.

Babalwa graduated from Peninsula Technikon in Cape Town, where her staple diet was Pro Vita and crunchy peanut butter. She’s since moved on to Jozi and finger foods thanks to her job as the Sunday Times’s entertainment columnist and resident party animal. Far from being a culinary goddess herself, she admits to making a mean scrambled egg.

David is a freelance writer with a controversial weekly column in the Sunday Times. He is also presenter of the SABC3 Car Torque show. He doesn’t claim to be an expert on food but has been eating out long enough to know what he does and doesn’t like.

As the arts editor of the Pretoria News, writing about restaurants forms part of Diane’s brief. She believes Pretoria is buzzing – much to the delight of the resident foodies. But the purple city is still the country’s best kept secret – and that’s the way she likes it.

Frank is chief subeditor of the Daily News and has been writing about his culinary and travel experiences for the last decade – his 28-inch waist is a distant memory. He believes there is no finer enjoyment than munching on the freshest ingredients, beautifully and simply prepared, with a top-notch vintage, while watching the moon rise over the Indian Ocean.

Graham, journalist, critic and traveller, writes passionately about global cuisine. A seasoned contributor to many local and British publications, he is wine and food editor of Habitat and correspondent for Wine & Spirit International. When not wining and dining or globetrotting on exotic travel assignments, he works off all epicurean indulgences on long walks with his wife and Jack Russells on Table Mountain.

Herman is a former arts critic and restaurant writer for Die Burger, and now teaches Journalism at the University of Stellenbosch. He is seriously in touch with his culinary side: not only does he know how to light a braai, he can also effortlessly order food from a menu.

Ingrid is senior arts and lifestyle writer of the Sunday Tribune’s magazine supplement, SM. She unashamedly admits that writing about food and restaurants is her main passion and occupation in life. Sad, but true.

Janine has worked in entertainment for the past 20 years. In 1999 she was inducted as a Chevalier, Dame de la Chaîne of the Chaîne des Rôtisseurs and in the same year was a founder member of the South African Food and Wine Writers Guild. Languid Sunday lunches with fabulous food, wonderful complementing wines and good company make her heart beat a little faster. So does Colin Firth.

This Namaqualand boy loves to treat his tongue, but no afval please. Johan was a senior reporter for Die Burger, but readers of Visi, Insig and De Kat will also know his enticing profile interviews. He was appointed chief subeditor of Tuis in 2004. He’s at his happiest with his books, his garden and an empty pot to experiment with.

Josef is a Johannesburg-based journalist and columnist. He has written for Condé Nast House & Garden, GQ and Time Out Johannesburg in SA; and Wallpaper, Spruce and Conde Nast Traveller in the UK. He is cofounder of the Thursday Club, a charity drinks gathering in Johannesburg and Cape Town that raises money for Starfish, a benefit organisation for HIV/AIDS orphans.

Leatitia is head of publications at the University of the Free State and has lectured in the hospitality service department at both the Free State Technikon and the Bloem College. She has a certificate in wine and was cofounder of a wine tasting club in Secunda.

Food, wine, fashion and similar feel-good topics are what drive and inspire lifestyle writer and editor Leigh Robertson. Her first food memories, thanks to imaginative parents, are moules marinières, huevos rancheros and a sip of her mum’s margarita…

Lesley loves to cook, to eat, and to write about food. Based in Johannesburg, Lesley is New Media’s consulting food editor. Her current culinary achievement is a 13-month-old laatlammetjie who bypassed baby food in favour of porcini mushroom risotto, aubergines and chickpea curry.

Mariëtte is a full-time food lover and freelance writer. For her, food is a love letter to her dinner guests. She cooks to please, charm and delight people – herself included – with honest food. It thrills her to use indigenous ingredients creatively in contemporary dishes.

Marlene loves to throw impromptu feasts for her friends with lots of merrymaking, eating and drinking. Her mean cocktails are well-documented specialities. She travels off the beaten track whenever she can in search of fun food. She also collects beautiful cookbooks and the language is irrelevant!

Food and travel writer and consultant Marty Klinzman is author and co-author of over a dozen cookbooks and has written for and edited a number of magazines. She enjoys travelling locally and overseas to review restaurants and keep up on food trends.

Born and raised on a farm in the beautiful Eastern Free State, Mathabo’s fondest gastronomic memory is of sitting cross-legged with her nanny, Bettie, on the grass and eating putupap from a driebeenpot. It was a jolly ritual and laid the foundation for this Taurean’s love of down-to-earth food, good company and rollicking laughter. Her taste for wine developed a little later.

Singer/Songwriter/Author Nataniël has written and staged more than 40 theatre productions, released 11 albums and published 10 books, including three top-selling cookbooks. He regularly does cooking demonstrations and contributes to features for magazines and television. Nataniël believes in fresh ingredients, simple food, perfect table settings and good conversation.

Neil is a reformed mathematician, drinks columnist for the Sunday Times and wine writer for the Financial Mail. As a lifestyle journo, he’s had more restaurant meals than he cares to remember and has engaged in various picaresque quests like searching for the hottest curry and finest hamburger in Jo’burg. Neil is also a taster for the John Platter Wine Guide and a judge at wine shows.

For this journalist-turned-food-stylist a block of dark chocolate dunked in an espresso is a beautiful start to the day! She lives and works in Cape Town freelancing for magazines and couldn’t live without Marmite, Tabasco, German wurst or Vietnamese pho soup.

Orielle is food and wine editor of The Next 48hOURS. She has contributed to Food & Home, Wine magazine, The Star, Argus Tonight and the Pretoria News. An international judge of the Slow Food Movement, she recently opened her own deli and café in Darling on the West Coast.

Paul teaches at Bishops in Rondebosch where he is the senior history master. He recently co-edited Leipoldt’s Food and Wine and writes his own column “Murray’s Food Trails” for LitNet, combining his two passions, food and history.

Penny is a general news reporter for the Sunday Times. She has fond memories of her mom’s mouth-watering curries and incredible roasts in Durban. As an adult in Johannesburg she has had to learn to cook for herself, but she finds it therapeutic. Her proudest achievement to date is her falling-off-the-bone lamb shank and her darling nine-month-old son Neo!

Peter is a freelance journalist who loves cooking (and dishwashers), but does not mind being served good food. A Stellenbosch graduate, he works for several magazines including Tuis, Wegbreek, Visi and Sarie Bruid. He’s a Mondi winner and was named Media24 Magazines’ first journalist of the year in 2001 for his work on Insig.

Rosanne was the deputy editor of Food & Home Entertaining magazine until June this year and now lives in Grahamstown, where she has opened a book-and-coffee shop. Baking cakes and muffins is now her thing. It’s bliss to be out of the rat race!

Food writer and photographer Russel Wasserfall owes the ever-changing landscape of his physique to fine food and good company. His favourite meals are as much about ingredients and cooking as the people who share them. Atmosphere is vital. Fussy food irritates him and he’ll never eat in a place where he can’t wear jeans.

When this journalist of 13 years isn’t news editing two major newspapers in the Eastern Cape, she spends her time furrowing out new and unusual eateries in Port Elizabeth. Especially those that ooze ambience, good, simple food and warm service. Her pet hates are fussy, pretentious cuisine and limp lettuce.

Sam eats bread and butter while reading glorious cookbooks. Her favourite foodie word is “reservations” and the flavours she loves are cinnamon (all that melkkos as a child …), garlic and chilli. She would also sell her soul for a coastal oyster. But mostly she loves books.

Winnie started her journalistic career more than 40 years ago and thought she had done it all – till Eat Out asked her to look at restaurants in Limpopo and Mpumalanga. Wandering from place to place in fairly remote corners, she discovered some interesting and unconventional eateries. Here home cooking is the norm, and most of it surprisingly good!

Promoted Restaurants