2015 Eat Out Mercedes-Benz Restaurant Awards winners announced

The Sunday lunch of the year set the scene for the announcement of South Africa’s top culinary talent at the 2015 Eat Out Mercedes-Benz Restaurant Awards.

The Test Kitchen did it again, taking top honours among South African Restaurants as the Restaurant of the Year for the fourth consecutive time. Scot Kirton of La Colombe won the coveted title of Eat Out S.Pellegrino Chef of the Year. Guests were also treated to one of his signature dishes at the awards celebration, which was held at the SunExhibits Centre at GrandWest in Cape Town on Sunday, 15 November.

Franschhoek-based restaurant The Tasting Room at Le Quartier Français was recognised for maintaining the highest level of service with the Service Excellence Award for the second year running. The winner of the Lannice Snyman Lifetime Achievement Award, presented by associate sponsor Novus Holdings, was grande dame of hospitality, the late Liz McGrath.
The Nederburg Rising Star Award went to Carmen Muller of The Tasting Centre at Rupert & Rothschild in Franschhoek for her promising talent, and the Wine Service Award for a top sommelier was won by Lloyd Jusa of Five Hundred at The Saxon in Johannesburg. Greenhouse at The Cellars-Hohenort received the Boschendal Style Award.

Below is the detailed 2015 winners’ list:

Eat Out S.Pellegrino Chef of the YearScot Kirton
Restaurant of the YearThe Test Kitchen
Top 10 Restaurants2. La Colombe
3. The Tasting Room at Le Quartier Français
4. Greenhouse at The Cellars-Hohenort
5. Five Hundred at The Saxon
6. The Restaurant at Waterkloof
7. Restaurant Mosaic at The Orient
8. Terroir
9. The Pot Luck Club
10. Jordan Restaurant
Service Excellence AwardThe Tasting Room at Le Quartier Français
Nederburg Rising StarCarmen Muller of The Tasting Centre at Rupert & Rothschild
Wine Service AwardLloyd Jusa of Five Hundred at The Saxon
Lannice Snyman Lifetime Achievement Award
(in association with Novus Holdings)
Liz McGrath
Boschendal Style AwardGreenhouse at The Cellars-Hohenort
Woolworths TASTE Eat Out BursaryCharlton de Ruiter

The judges who worked alongside Eat Out Editor and Chief Judge Abigail Donnelly to determine the winners this year were Jackie Cameron, the award-winning former chef at Hartford House and owner of the Jackie Cameron School of Food & Wine; Benny Masekwameng, MasterChef SA judge and professional chef; and Siba Mtongana, award-winning food writer and celebrity TV chef.
Says Donnelly: “It’s been a phenomenal judging season with seemingly endless opportunities to enjoy fantastic food. South African dining really is of a world-class quality – I am honoured and humbled to have experienced such excellence this year.”
Claudia Walters, Marketing Communications Manager for Mercedes-Benz passenger vehicles commented: “At Mercedes-Benz we continuously celebrate our brand claim of the best or nothing. With this group of culinary stars, we are doing just that – recognising true excellence in South Africa’s restaurant industry, which perfectly aligns with the Mercedes-Benz brand essence of constantly being at the pinnacle of excellence. Congratulations to all the deserving winners.”
To find out more, visit www.eatout.co.za.
For a full list of the winners go to www.eatout.co.za/article/winners-2015-eat-mercedes-benz-restaurant-awards. Follow @Eat_Out on Twitter and search #EatOutAwards for commentary from the day. Visit Eat Out’s Instagram page @eatoutguide and Facebook page www.facebook.com/EatOutMag for photographs of the awards dinner.
Issued by MANGO-OMC on behalf of the Eat Out Mercedes-Benz Restaurant Awards.
For more information contact:
Naomi Willemse
021 447 8048
082 707 6394

About Eat Out

SA’s best guide to SA’s best food, Eat Out is one of South Africa’s most loved and respected food brands. What started as the country’s definitive restaurant guide seventeen years ago has evolved into a brand covering all aspects of food and operating on multiple media platforms.

The revamped magazine launched in 2014 includes the Eat Out 500, a power list of great restaurants across South Africa, as voted by a panel of food and restaurant industry experts. In addition to the restaurant reviews, the dynamic format also features content on influential local foodies, trends and South Africa’s favourite restaurant dishes.

One of the cornerstones of the brand, the Eat Out Restaurant Awards celebrate the best of the South African restaurant industry. Held annually in November, the ceremony honours the country’s Top 10 Restaurants, Chef of the Year, and further industry winners.

At the centre of the brand is the website, www.eatout.co.za, which is updated daily and supported by a newsletter, mobile app and strong social media presence, including Twitter (@Eat_Out), Facebook (www.facebook.com/EatOutMag) and Instagram (@eatoutguide).

The 2016 Eat Out magazine, filled with professional reviews and curated content on South Africa’s top 500 restaurants, will be on sale from Monday 16 November 2015 at major retailers for R49.90.

Eat Out S.Pellegrino Chef of the Year_Scot Kirton

Nederburg Rising Star winner Carmen Muller receives her Award from Jeanine Smith of Nederburg. Left Abigail Donnelly of Eat Out

Nederburg Rising Star winner Carmen Muller receives her Award from Jeanine Smith of Nederburg. Left Abigail Donnelly of Eat Out

MC Elana Afrika-Bredenkamp with all the nominees


Here at Oryx, we’re proud that the unique desert salt we bring to our customers is sustainable and renewable. The underground streams in the Kalahari desert converge and replenish an ancient underground lake of 55 million tons from which the salt water is pumped, laid on the pan under the hot Kalahari sun and sun-dried. This process lives in harmony with the natural rainfall and the surrounding environment. We only extract what nature provides.

But that’s not enough for us.

We’re determined that our packaging is as sustainable as the product that it contains. Our pure cotton bags are sold in recyclable polyprop bags and our drawstring bags can be reused in the home too. Some ideas are to use them as marble bags, store small puzzles and games, and one of our customers tells us that she uses them to store re-useable plastic food bags to keep her kitchen drawers neat and tidy.

Apart from that, we use quality imported grinder heads, which are made with a superior ceramic mechanism that ensures that not only are they super-smooth grinding, but also they last much longer than standard commercial grinder heads. This is why we’re so passionate about making our 500g coarse salt refill bags available to you. Rather refill your grinder!

Being made of glass, our bottles are also long lasting as we’ve taken care to print directly onto them so they’re easy to keep clean and smart looking so you don’t have to worry about labels coming unstuck. More good news is that you don’t have to be restricted to having Oryx Desert Salt just at home. We’re happy to tell you that we’re now in around 200 restaurants country-wide, so Oryx Desert Salt is very likely available in a favourite restaurant near you.  We encourage our restaurants to re-use and re-fill too!

Salt brings a recipe to life. With its gentle, fuller flavour, Oryx will only enhance a meal. Chefs from around the world taste the difference, and are switching to Oryx Desert Salt in their kitchens.

As Margot Janse, Head Chef at the renowned Le Quartier Français restaurant in Franschhoek, Western Cape, says, “It’s the only salt I use. It really has a fantastic flavour. In comparative tastings, the difference is immediately noticeable”

Often, it’s the small things that make the biggest difference. Your taste buds will notice the difference too.

If you prefer to shop online, there are many ways to get your Oryx delivered to your door. Commerical orders can be purchased through our new online store, (link: http://oryxdesertsalt.co.za/products/), or if you only need a to replenish your Oryx at home, personal customers can buy Oryx online at Yuppiechef.com <http://Yuppiechef.com> (link: http://www.yuppiechef.com/oryx-desert-salt.htm).


This is your chance to be on TV

A letter from Philip Nolte of Quizzical Pictures...

I trust that you are well.

I am from Quizzical Pictures, a film and television company. We have produced numerous shows, including Masterchef South Africa. (see
www.quizzical.co.za for more info.)

We are currently busy with a cooking show called “Op die Spyskaart”, for a new Afrikaans channel (Via) on DSTV channel 147 launching on 9 November.

The show is about two junior or amateur chefs (they should at least be able to produce a fine dining or just a great dish); as well as experienced chefs in the industry looking to make it big; cooking off against each other for a famous chef/restaurateur. The prize for the winning dish is having their dish on the restaurant’s menu for a week to month. It might even be permanent! That all depends on the restaurateur.

If the restaurateur is very impressed he or she might ask the contestant to work in his restaurant; either for a short while or permanent.

The dishes they cook have to be in line with the restaurateur’s style and philosophy of the restaurant. For example, if the restaurant is Italian, the contestant need to prepare an Italian dish. We are also busy confirming the restaurateurs; but the dishes will have to be fine-dining. Some of the restaurateurs include Michel Morand from Bistro Michel and Johannes de Bruijn from the Winehouse.

The channel and show is Afrikaans; and we would prefer Afrikaans-speaking or bilingual contestants.

The shooting dates for this show will be 10-26 November 2015 in Johannesburg. The contestants will be required on set for shooting not more than one day.

The contestants can be any age, with or without formal training, just as long as they have a passion for cooking!

The entry form is below if you are interested in entering! It’s going to be a lot of fun!

Please email the entry form to me at philip@quizzical.co.za

I look forward to hearing from you.

Kind regards,

Philip Nolte

Olympic menu and Springbok blazer at Chefs of Distinction

Culinary Team South Africa - The Springboks of the culinary world -  presented their interesting menu to the public for the first time this week at a dinner for 100 guests at Punchinello's, Southern Sun, Monte Casino in Fourways. This was an opportunity for them to practice the dishes they will be presenting to judges of the 2016 IKA Culinary Olympics in Germany. These young chefs will be representing South Africa against 32 nations in the Olympics next year.

Starter - Cape Lobster ‘Malay’ – poached crayfish, pressed carrot terrine, carrot mayonnaise and Malay curry sauce

Main course - Springbok ‘Masakhane’ – pan roasted loin of springbok, rolled veal sweetbreads, red cabbage and cider puree, savoy cabbage and Boulangére potato

Dessert - White chocolate and coconut mousse, rose gel, coconut sorbet and pulled sugar


The winner of the Unilever Food Solutions Master your Passion – the Mentorship Movement competition – is Abdul Fredericks of Southern Sun Cape Sun, who was mentored by Stuart Cason, executive chef at Radisson Blu Gautrain Hotel, and went up against four other finalists in a mystery basket cook-off on 29 October in the Unilever kitchens in Johannesburg, walking off with the top prize of a culinary experience in London worth R50 000.

The Mentorship Movement competition invited senior chefs to nominate their young chefs for mentoring sessions with one of five leading chefs during September. Chef Alfred Henry nominated Abdul Fredericks and won a R10 000 South African weekend getaway for nominating the winning young chef.

The Master your Passion – the Mentorship Movement competition – is all about developing young talent in the culinary industry, says Unilever Food Solutions MD Remco Bol. “Mastering you passion in the kitchen makes you a master chef, a chef who is in control of all the demanding aspects of the successful and innovative preparation of meals, which includes mastering time. We believe that young chefs can learn a vast amount from top chefs in the industry and we introduced the Mentorship Movement competition to encourage the sharing of insight, knowledge and time-saving tips by the experienced chefs to help the younger chefs achieve success on their culinary journeys.”

Bol congratulated Fredericks on his win. “Culinary mystery basket time trials are invariably intense – and this one was no different, but he kept his cool in the most demanding circumstances and came through with flying colours, producing innovative dishes worthy of a highly experienced and top-class chef. Congratulations too to Stuart Cason who mentored the winner.

The five finalists were challenged to beat the clock in a mystery basket cook-off, incorporating Unilever Food Solutions’ professional ingredients. The event included menu writing assisted by the mentor, a cooking off session with the mentor, a cooking session without the mentor, followed by the judging and awards.

Fredericks’ delicious mystery basket starter was seared scallops with a smoked prawn and mussel tortellini, butter poached prawn leek and caramelised onion puree and tomato chutney, which.

The main course was rolled deboned quail, pan fried springbok loin with butternut puree, wild berry and beetroot and sautéed mushroom.

The other finalists, their nominating chefs and their mentors, were :

·         Thembane Isaac of The Wanderers Club Silvasale Events, nominated by Leanne Galloway and mentored by James Khoza of Sandton Convention Centre. Thembane won a culinary course from FBI Chefs School.

·         Matthew Paulsen of Belmond Mount Nelson Hotel, nominated by Rudi Liebenberg and mentored by Craig Cormack of The Goose Roasters, who received a Lindt chocolate course.

·         Andile Ndlovu of Fairmount, nominated by Dean Uren and mentored by Leon Hatton-Jones of Hilton Hotel, Namibia. Andile won a culinary course from FBI Chefs School.

·         Bianca Groener of The Fernery Lodge in the Eastern Cape, nominated by Barry Schmidt and mentored by Dion Vengatass of Belmond Mount Nelson Hotel, who won Cordon Bleu course from Al Fresco.

“Working with professional chefs to help them save time in the kitchen, without compromising on quality or taste in their culinary creations and while running profitable operations, is Unilever Food Solutions’ mission. We believe this competition goes the extra mile in passing on the secrets of success that five top South African chefs have learned over the years and ensures that every mentored young chef is a winner in this competition, whether they walked away with the top prize or not.”

Executive Head Chef of Unilever Food Solutions, Craig Elliott, and Managing Director of Unilever Food Solutions South Africa Remco Bol with winner Abdul Fredericks.

The judges: Craig Elliott (Executive Head Chef of Unilever Food Solutions), Heinz Brunner (Manager: Culinary Team South Africa), Remco Bol (MD of Unilever Food Solutions South Africa), Trevor Boyd (Michelangelo Hotel) and Martin Kobald (former President of SACA and owner of MLK Catering)

The mentors: Craig Elliott (Executive Head Chef of Unilever Food Solutions), Leon Hatton-Jones (Hilton Hotel, Namibia), Siyabulela Kobo (mentor standing in for James Khoza), Stuart Cason (Radisson Blu Gautrain Hotel), Dion Vengatass (Belmond Mount Nelson) and Craig Cormack (The Goose Roasters).