South Africa’s biggest restaurant awards are back after two years, and the judges have traversed the country to uncover the best places to dine. Their verdicts will be announced at the Eat Out Woolworths Restaurant Awards at the Grand Arena in Cape Town on 20 November 2022.
The event has become a culinary highlight unto itself. The food served at the Eat Out Awards aims to capture the essence of fine dining in South Africa and has delighted hundreds of guests over the years.
Cooking at this year’s anticipated ceremony will be some of South Africa’s leading chefs, educators, and innovation specialists. Each of these chefs was chosen not only for their passion, technical skills, and expertise, but also for how they are helping to motivate, develop and improve the local food industry.
Chief judge Abigail Donnelly says, “This year, we want to keep the menu simple, with a focus on local flavours that I’ve discovered throughout my judging experience this year. All the ingredients will be supplied by Woolworths, who champion quality, freshness and flavour. It will be a celebration of South African homegrown chefs and South African ingredients, while acknowledging different regional styles of eating – from Gauteng to KwaZulu-Natal to the Western Cape. And we also want to shine a spotlight on young up-and-coming chefs who are cooking incredible food.”
The 2022 awards have also been a dream partnership with headline sponsor Woolworths, who offer the kind of sustainably farmed, high-quality fresh produce and ingredients that allows South Africans to create restaurant-quality dishes at home.
“We are really excited to be partnering with the Eat Out Awards this year. It’s no secret that at Woolworths we pride ourselves on offering a wide variety of the best quality and flavour of food products, from ingredients to ready-made meals, sourced or made with the customer and environment in mind.Chan Pillay, Woolworths Foods divisional director: commercial
“To be part of this highly anticipated annual event that celebrates the best of what our country has to offer on the food front is an honour, and a total alignment where values are concerned, as it’s the hope of both Woolworths and Eat Out to inspire South Africans to eat well.”
Meet the chefs
Jackie Cameron is KwaZulu-Natal born and raised. She held the position of head chef at Hartford House, a five-star boutique hotel Mooi River that garnered many Eat Out awards over the years and is now the founder of the Jackie Cameron School of Food & Wine, where she lives out her passion for teaching, training, and developing young chefs.
Scott Parker is the culinary innovation research and development manager for Woolworths Foods, including Food Services. He says, “As a Woolworths team, we are all proud to be part of this occasion and it’s an honour to have our dish sit on the same menu as some of the country’s leading chefs.”
Jason Lilley (aka Captain Bread) has cemented himself as one of Cape Town’s most sought-after bakers, reinventing classics with his own South African interpretation. His restaurant, Jason Bakery, has a cult following for its top-notch breads, pastries and coffee. Jason spent years honing his skills in hotels before he was bitten by the bread bug and can be credited for elevating the artisanal bread scene in the Mother City.
Moses Moloi is the head chef at Joburg hotspot Zioux, which is part of the Marble Group. He’s worked at the Ritz Carlton Hotel in Florida, Greenhouse in Constantia, Grei Restaurant in Gauteng and, more recently, at FYN in Cape Town. Moses says, “Being involved in these specific awards feels like an award, literally! The Eat Out Awards are what everybody in the culinary space looks forward to. Honoured is an understatement, I am grateful to be cooking this year.”
Vusi Ndlovu has made a name for himself working in some of the best restaurants in South Africa and Europe. He was also ranked among the top seven chefs at the global San Pellegrino Young Chef finale in 2018. He’s one of the founding members of the African Culinary Library, a resource dedicated to preserving and promoting African food culture and cuisine.
Anouchka Horn and Neil Swart are the duo behind Cape Town’s Belly of The Beast. “We couldn’t be more excited to have the awards back after the pandemic,” says Neil. “It’s a giant step to getting back to normal after a very tough couple of months for the industry. We’ve been following the awards for many years. Twelve years ago, we worked as students at one of the awards and it’s mind-blowing to think that we get to cook this year ourselves. Woolworths has great produce and we’re happy to showcase their ingredients in a proudly South African dish.”
Bertus Basson is a chef, entrepreneur, TV personality and uber-restaurateur best known for his group of restaurants in the Cape Winelands. “The last two years were the toughest the restaurant industry in South Africa has ever faced,” he says. We are all very excited that the Eat Out Woolworths Restaurant Awards are back, celebrating excellence in South African hospitality.”
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