PRUDENTIAL EAT OUT TOP 10
1. La Colombe
2. Jardine (closed)
5. Restaurant Mosaic at The Orient
6. Rust en Vrede Restaurant
7. The Tasting Room at Le Quartier Français
8. Roots at Forum Homini
9. Bistrot Bizerca
10. Hartford House
PRUDENTIAL EAT OUT CHEF OF THE YEAR
Constantia Uitsig Wine Estate, Spaanschemat River Road, Cape Town]
PRUDENTIAL EAT OUT RESTAURANT OF THE YEAR
Constantia Uitsig Wine Estate, Spaanschemat River Road, Cape Town
PRUDENTIAL EAT OUT SERVICE AWARD
Kleine Zalze Wine Estate, Strand Road (R44), Stellenbosch
PRUDENTIAL EAT OUT LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD Frank Swainston (pictured), “known for his generosity: with his staff, his guests and on his plates.”
The Woolworths Taste Bursary Award went to Nerita Bharuth
Arnold is no stranger to living the high life. He spent a year as executive chef to actor Michael Douglas and had a brush with royalty when he wowed the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia with his culinary flair. The glitz and glamour is, however, only one facet of this talented restaurateur and master patissier’s career. Arnold is also a member of the South African Chef’s Association and is the continental director for the Africa of the World Association of Chefs Societies. He owns a Johannesburg-based consultancy, Food on the Move, and recently joined the voting panel of the southern African team of The World’s 50 Best Restaurants.
Q: How has the local restaurant industry evolved over the last 10 years?
A: We produce fantastic ingredients. You can get almost any ingredient under the sun at reasonable prices. Service remains at an all-time low for most restaurants, though. Chefs who are barely out of their nappies are made executive chefs because restaurateurs refuse to pay decent salaries. Con(fusion) food still reigns supreme, but the fascination with spheres, caviars and foams will be the next apocalypse of food fashion, as chefs who have not honed this craft, unleash kilos of lecithin, agar and gelatine onto the unsuspecting public in mainstream restaurants.
With the 2010 Soccer World Cup less than 1000 business days away, there needs to be a drastic shift in training budgets as well as re-investment and empowerment of staff within the restaurant industry.
Dario has been in the industry for 17 years and is regarded as one of the leaders in the culinary field in South Africa. At one time, he owned, managed and developed four successful restaurants (Yum, Oven, Salt and Essence) across three different provinces. He has had the honour of eating in the best restaurants in the world and in South Africa. Currently he owns and runs Yum Nostalgia in Rivonia, which has been enjoying high acclaim over the past seven years. Food is his life, and he never tires at the thought of enjoying his next good meal.
Q: How has the local restaurant industry evolved in the last 10 years?
A:I feel that, although chefs may have the same knowledge in their profession as their counterparts in the business world, they will never be held in the same esteem. South Africa is an emerging food market and has a “the customer is always right” type ethos and this means stagnancy in the restaurant world.
The fast food plague that aims to cut out the independent operator with price wars doesn’t help either. The dinosaur, who has become the diner, can’t let go of the apron strings of the Sunday braai that delivers the same conversation, potato salad and chauvinism it has for eternity.
The longevity of independently operated establishments is thus challenged and often leads to them falling prey to statistics.
So, to answer the question, apart from a select few, the industry has not evolved. If anything, it’s sliding backwards.
Letitia is the founder of the Institute of the Culinary Arts in Stellenbosch, has been a judge for the Jeunes Commis Rôtisseurs (Young Chefs) Competition for more than 14 years and serves on the current panel for The World’s Fifty Best Restaurants Awards. She wasrecently appointed Counseiller Culinaire on the national committee for the Chaîne des Rôtisseurs’ Cape Chapter and received the 2007 Award of Excellence from the IACP (International Association of Culinary Professionals) as an Entrepreneur Finalist. Her gastronomic influences include Roger Vergé, under whom she trained in her early career, as well as her grandmother, Ems, whose way with food greatly inspired her.
Q: How has the local restaurant industry evolved over the past 10 years?
A: Although there will always be a market for “eating out”, it is on the side of the more elegant “dining out” experience that South African restaurants have evolved dramatically over the past 10 years. There has been an influx of better trained and informed chefs and a strong movement towards working with local, seasonal produce. Chefs are also getting more picky about where the produce they select originates from.
We are experiencing many top establishments willing to be assessed for the likes of the Eat Out Awards. This recognition is important for our professionals as it encourages them to achieve more, while still measuring and judging themselves against their own colleagues and industry partners.
There is always room for improvement, however. Our restaurants often lag behind in creating the proper ambiance that forms such an integral part of every diner’s experience.
A native Londoner, Peter has been a chef for more than 20 years. He was clasically trained at the Beverly Hills Hotel in Umhlanga Rocks and later returned to London where he worked for several top chefs’ award-winning restaurants. He returned to South Africa to open the La Couronne Hotel & Winery in Franschhoek, later named one of the 50 most exciting restaurants in the world by Conde Nast Traveller in 2000. Peter went on to open a consultancy firm, PGW eat, in 2001 and launched his Kitchen Cowboys cooking workshops in 2003. He has authored two books, been food editor for GQ magazine since 2000 and has made freelance contributions to several esteemed foodie mags.
Q: How has the local restaurant industry evolved over the past 10 years?
A: The SA restaurant industry is heading slowly in the right direction. We are beginning to see a couple of restaurant whose offerings could compete anywhere in the world. Elements such as consistency in the kitchen and service on the floor are still letting us down, though. But we have come a long way and, as more foreign visitors grace our shores and we continue to compete as an international destination, we are having to raise our game.
Adele Stiehler (AS)
Adele was a crime reporter for the daily Afrikaans newspaper Beeld before she succumbed to her passion for cheese and cookery books and enrolled at the Prue Leith Chef’s Academy. She worked in restaurants and in catering before returning to Prue Leith as a lecturer. Her writing now focuses on food and she’s a contributor on various publications.
Allison Smith (ANS)
Allison has worked in the hospitality industry for 35 years and has had exposure to international cuisine when travelling with chefs overseas. She currently specialises in promotions in the food and beverage industry. Allison enjoys food with fresh flavours, she thinks a good sauce is imperative and is on a quest for the perfect créme brulée.
Anelde Greeff (AG)
Anelde has two great loves: food and fashion. In her previous job, as features editor of Woolworths TASTE, she ate and wrote about food for a living and dabbled in fashion in her spare time. These days as editor of the Edgars Club Magazine, she reads, writes, sleeps and breathes fashion – and eats as much as she possibly can in her spare time. The only problem now is that she can’t fit into any of those fashionable clothes…
Bridget Fourie (BF)
A former Capetonian, Bridget has lived in the Eastern Cape for 15 years where she has been involved in establishing and running safari lodges. A self-taught cook and avid food enthusiast, she caters for small private functions and is constantly devouring any contact with current trends. Frequent visits back home to Cape Town are a highlight, but the Eastern Cape remains a constant source of inspiration .
Bridget Hilton-Barber (BHB)
Bridget is the author of seven books, including the brand new Garden of My Ancestors (Penguin). She has written extensively on travel and food, and was editor of the SAA inflight magazine, Sawubona, and travel correspondent on Radio 702. Bridget now lives wildly and happily in Agatha in Limpopo province.
Charl Leslie (CL)
Primarily a radio presenter, Charl is a mostly self-taught cook (with help from ouma a million years ago). His on-air feature Charl Cooks, now four years old, has an equivalent newspaper column in the Afrikaans newspaper Die Burger (Eastern Cape). He is delighted to be eating out professionally – and tax-deductibly – at last.
Charlotte Pregnolato (CP)
Charlotte is a regular contributor to a number of South African restaurant guides and magazines. Her ‘day job’ is as an instructor of written communication and related classes at the University of Phoenix’s online campus and she is also a yoga instructor in Knysna. Food is never far from her mind and on her travels she collect new tastes and recipes in lieu of souvenirs. She has a cookbook-in-progress, Market Day Cooking.
Clifford and Maryke Roberts (C&MR)
As fulltime journalists, Clifford and Maryke Roberts occupy themselves with words, but it’s after-hours that they tuck into another of their favourite pastimes – exploring the Cape’s treasure trove of restaurants. They have plied their trade for among others, Hotel & Restaurant, Good Taste, Die Burger, Wine Magazine, Wineland, Fynproe and the John Platter wine guide.
Coenie Visser (CV)
When Coenie is not doing ‘research’ in the trendy coffee shops in Cape Town, you’ll find him tending to the donkeys and goats on his farm, or in the popular Oak & Vigne Café in Greyton, which he started almost 10 years ago. And he has been writing since the day his first story, on his first day as reporter for the Afrikaans newspaper Die Burger (at the age of 18), made the front page.
Diane de Beer (DdB)
Diane is an arts journalist at the Pretoria News newspaper who also writes for the national Tonight, a section of The Star newspaper, covering books, restaurants, theatre, movies, music and, of course, food. She feels that Pretoria has opened up and spread itself much more generously since 1994 and with the diplomats arriving and the government taking on a different profile, the restaurants have also taken flight. For her, Pretoria is a city where the venue, the vibe and the experience is as good as the food. She loves discovering yet another food adventure in one of the many restaurants in the leafy suburbs.
Francois Ferreira (FF)
Francois is known for his contemporary and quirky approach to the country’s rich and diverse food culture. From beetroot and biltong mielie-rys (corn rice) risotto to innovative cheese sushi – Francois contributes greatly to the appreciation of South African cuisine with near-evangelical enthusiasm.
Frank Chemaly (FC)
Frank is a lover of all the forbidden pleasures of life: great food, good company, top vintages and exotic travel. In between all these epicurean moments, he is news editor for the Sunday Tribune newspaper. He also reviews for Wine Magazine.
Gerhard Uys (GU)
Gerhard is a freelance journalist, photographer and copy editor based in Pretoria. A combination of good food and good friends are the things that make him the happiest. That is why the best restaurants, according to him, are the ones where you can relax for hours. When not hanging with friends he tries to get into the mountains as much as possible, where his backpack is inevitably filled with grub that makes the outdoors just that much better.
Graham Howe (GH)
Graham is wine and food editor of Habitat, an associate editor of Travel magazine and a regular gourmet travel columnist for many South African publications. An appetite for adventure takes him on exotic assignments around the globe, lately from North Africa and the Middle East to India and Tasmania. When he’s not travelling the Cape countryside in search of new culinary gems for Eat Out, he keeps his palate on the pulse of gastronomic trends by eating his way around the world.
GREG LANDMAN (GL)
Based in Cape Town, Greg lives in a cottage in Blouberg, from where he roams the Cape looking for great places to eat and unwind, and, of course, to drink wine. His background in film distribution and marketing has taken him eating in the film capitals of the world, from Cannes to Hollywood, but for now his table is set right here. He is a regular writer on many subjects for Country Life, and loves to cook.
Ingrid Shevlin (IS)
Ingrid edits the Sunday Tribune’s arts and leisure and travel supplements and its TV guide. It leaves her little time for a personal life – or for writing. Her only solace is food and dining out and her restaurant column. Sad but true.
Jane Broughton (JB)
Jane writes on a freelance basis about food and travel for the Financial Mail, Conde Nast House & Garden and the US Conde Nast Traveler. During the day, she is fulltime mother to Sarah and Elijah. ‘With a chef for a husband, it’s a rare moment when we are not talking, reading or writing about food – or sitting down to eat it!’
Janine Walker (JW)
Janine Walker has always been passionate about food; whether it’s cooking it, eating it or writing about it. Deciding on a last meal provides her with a real conundrum. It would have to be at least nine courses featuring foie gras paired with Vin de Constance; marrow bones on hot toast, and figs, buffalo mozzarella and proscuitto vying for contention.
Jenny Morris (JM)
Jenny Morris – AKA The Giggling Gourmet – is one of SA’s most-loved food personalities. She is an author of two books, writes for magazines and is a regular Cape Talk radio presenter as well as a TV presenter. She’s a celebrity chef, teacher, caterer, the producer of her own brand food products and a culinary tour guide who has had an ongoing love affair with food since she was a child.
Josef Talotta (JT)
Joburg-based Josef is co-founder of BrandDrive, a communications consultancy specialising in lifestyle industries. He is also a writer and award-winning columnist. US-born, Talotta moved to South Africa in 1992 where he conceptualised and was founding editor of Leisure Options. He also conceptualised and co-founded Veuve Clicquot MediaSalon, a monthly charity drinks fundraiser.
Leigh Robertson (LR)
For Leigh, the editor of lifestyle magazine Winelands Living, there’s a fine line between work and play and eating, drinking and living well are prerequisites for both. She’s previously written about food, wine and other topics in a variety of publications, and thinks there’s no excuse for bad coffee, not having cold wine in the fridge or using cheap imported, rather than locally produced, olive oil.
Lindsay Williams (LW)
Lindsay was a galley slave on a gin palace in the South of France for a year,
flambéing fish in pastis on the sun deck and falling in love with the Mediterranean food. He moved to Cape Town with his wife Marilyn this year, and still broadcasts the country’s top business radio show,Classic Business Day, on Classic FM.
Lynne and John Ford (L&JF)
Lynne and John run a successful business in Sea Point called Main Ingredient where they sell gourmet food ingredients and fine wines. They are passionate about raising standards in the food and wine industries. They dine in and out regularly and have travelled extensively, eating and drinking for pleasure. They are members of the International Wine and Food Society. They both hold the Cape Wine Academy Diploma.
Chef and cookbook author Marita Pieterse trained at Leith’s in London, did catering both abroad and in South Africa, and now runs a cookery school in Pretoria where she hosts classes for hobby cooks and other interested parties like companies that prefer teambuilding with a different flavour.
Peter, one of South Africa’s leading entertainment journalists, has been in the industry for more than 40 years, covering films, music, theatre and especially food. He was engaged in so many business lunches that he developed a passion for the art of eating out, and his appetite has, thankfully, not waned.
Chef Rinette has 18 years of national and international experience and training under her belt and is a Silwood Kitchens Graduate. Her infectious passion for food is what transpires most as she teaches her students at the Olive Chef School to strive for culinary excellence.
Vicki Sleet lives and works in Kalk Bay. She is a self-confessed seafood addict and has recently also become somewhat of an Asian food freak. She is a lifestyle journalist with a penchant for food and travel stories. Her food background comes from time spent working for a caterer as a student, running a deli in London and then working for Melissa’s for a few years before moving into the magazine world.
Xoliswa Zulu is a 24-year-old foodie and has a passion for dining out. She resides in Port Shepstone, the ‘Paradise of KwaZulu-Natal’. If she’s not at her favourite haunts, she’ll be found at the beach taking in the South Coast sun.