The Wolftrap Steakhouse Champ is Crowned!

The Local Grill in Parktown North takes top honours for the third time and Little Havana in Umhlanga Rocks, the 2015 Champion, receives the 2016 Runner-Up award.

The Wolftrap Steakhouse Championships 2016 saw 115 steakhouses competing to win the crown and become South Africa’s Steakhouse Champion for 2016. The public battled it out by voting, via Facebook and SMS, and their favourite Twenty Steakhouses went to the judges' round – and ultimately it was The Local Grill in Parktown North that claimed top honours for the third time in four years.

This makes The Wolftrap Steakhouse Championships a blend of public involvement and expert arbitration – and the ultimate winner is therefore not only very good indeed, but also a public favourite. For the winner the spoils: the ultimate bragging rights of being the Champion for a year, and also a full year’s supply of The Wolftrap wine.

The Top Twenty, as voted by the public, were visited unannounced by expert judges led by Pete Goffe-Wood, well-known MasterChef judge, during May, and assessed according to a strict score sheet. While the Top Twenty are South Africa's favourites for 2016, when it came to judging, eight of the Finalists stood out above the rest receiving scores over 80%, but it was The Local Grill in Parktown North, hotly pursued by Little Havana in Umhlanga Rocks, who received the top scores, followed by The Godfather in Centurion, a stalwart in the industry. 

The 2016 Top Eight Steakhouses including the Winner and Runner-Up were announced at a steak feast hosted by last year’s winner, Little Havana in Umhlanga Rocks, on Tuesday 21st June. Most of the Top Twenty Finalists were present as well as an excited group of media and friends from the industry. Martin Lombaard, owner-patron of Little Havana, and his dedicated and passionate team pulled out all the stops at the luncheon, treating the guests to a 4-course lunch, served with The Wolftrap wine.
The Winning Steakhouses for 2016 are:

· Winner: The Local Grill, Parktown North, Johannesburg - Gauteng (2013, 2014 and 2016 Champion)
· Runner-Up: Little Havana, Umhlanga Rocks - KwaZulu Natal (2015 Champion)
· 3rd place: The Godfather, Centurion, Pretoria - Gauteng
· 4th place: Longhorn Grill, Bloemfontein - Free State
· 5th place: Havana Grill, Durban - KwaZulu Natal
· 6th place: The Cricketer, East London - Eastern Cape
·7th place: The Grumpy Griller, George - Southern Cape
· 8th place: Cattle Baron, Mossel Bay - Southern Cape

The scores were extremely close, especially at the top, but ultimately, it was The Local Grill's expertise in presenting the full meat experience that earned them the crown yet again. 

“We are extremely pleased with the growth of this competition on all levels. Our steakhouses just get better year after year. One thing that really stood out for us was the vast improvement in the quality and variety of the veggies served on the side. We do feel however that there is room for improvement when it comes to the fries and the sauces served. We congratulate the 2016 Finalists, especially the Top Three, for their immense effort, the public for their enthusiastic participation and The Wolftrap wine for their phenomenal support”, commented Pete Goffe-Wood.

An ecstatic Steve Maresch, owner of The Local Grill in Parktown North, was overcome with emotion on receiving top honours for the third time. “We did not expect this honour in a year where we have experienced the worst drought in 100 years, and especially after our main competitor, Little Havana, treated us all to a steak extravaganza of note today. We pay homage to the bovine and are extremely grateful for this recognition thanks to the support of our loyal patrons, the judges and The Wolftrap wine.        

Steak is a South African passion and the steakhouse is the favourite national restaurant. The Wolftrap Steakhouse Championships is now in its fourth year. Previous winners are: The Local Grill, Parktown North (2013 and 2014); Little Havana, Umhlanga Rocks (2015), The Local Grill, Parktown North (2016). •       
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