30 November 2012 by Denise Slabbert

Eat your heart out

The Western Cape has yet again been hailed as the ‘culinary epicentre of South Africa’, with eight deserving winners in the annual Eat Out DSTV Food Network Restaurant Awards.

Chef Luke Dale-Roberts, the brains behind The Test Kitchen

That's it. I'm packing my bags and moving to the Western Cape. The reason? Good food. Actually, make that superb, excellent, delicious food. You see, the winners of the 2012 Eat Out DSTV Food Network Restaurant Awards were announced recently, and there are eight Western Cape restaurants on the eagerly awaited top 10 list – along with Hartford House in the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands and DW Eleven-13 in Johannesburg.

Margot Janse was named Chef of the Year. Image supplied by Le Quartier Francais

These annual awards showcase the top restaurants in South Africa, and the top 10 list is always eagerly awaited. While there are loads of foodie awards that happen around the year, the Eat Out Awards are a fantastic barometer of quality. United Kingdom-based food columnist (and contributor to Wall Street Journal Europe) Bruce Palling was one of the judges, and he was quick to point out that our chefs can hold their own anywhere in the world.

‘Some of the chefs would rank in my personal top 20 anywhere in the world,’ he told the media. (And he should know, he’s also on the panel of the World’s Best 50 Restaurants.)

Chef Luke Dale-Roberts and The Test Kitchen in Cape Town took the Restaurant of the Year accolade, while Margot Janse of The Tasting Room, at Le Quartier Francais in Franschhoek, was named Chef of the Year.

Here's the list of winners:

  1. The Test Kitchen, Cape Town
  2. The Tasting Room, Franschhoek
  3. Jordan Restaurant, Stellenbosch
  4. Overture, Stellenbosch
  5. Rust en Vrede, Stellenbosch
  6. DW Eleven-13, Johannesburg
  7. La Colombe, Cape Town
  8. The Greenhouse, Cape Town
  9. Terroir, Stellenbosch
  10. Hartford House, KwaZulu-Natal Midlands

Other notable awards went to Carne SA (Best Steakhouse); 9th Avenue Bistro (Best Bistro); Saigon (Gardens) (Best Asian Restaurant); Fresh at Paul Cluver Estate (Best Country-style Restaurant); and the Café del Sol (Best Italian Restaurant).

Some of the chefs would rank in my personal top 20 anywhere in the world.

The Lannice Snyman Lifetime Achievement Award (sponsored by Paarl Media) went to Alicia Wilkinson of the Silwood School of Cookery, while the Boschendal Style Award, in Association with Visi magazine, went to Green House at Babylonstoren.

Cheers to all the winners and here’s to hoping for a few more wins from Jo'burg next time around.

The Test Kitchen, Cape Town. Images Eat Out magazine

Category: Food & Wine

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