Eat Out Mercedes-Benz Restaurant Awards 2017

It was exhilarating when the country’s top restaurants and the shining stars of South Africa’s restaurant industry were honoured at the 2017 Eat Out Mercedes-Benz Restaurant awards on Sunday, 19 November at GrandWest in Cape Town. 

This year more restaurants were recognised for their star quality, with a countdown from 20 before the much-anticipated Top 10 restaurants were revealed. 

The Test Kitchen was once again confirmed as the country’s top restaurant when it was awarded the Restaurant of the Year title for the sixth consecutive year. 

The 2017 Eat Out S.Pellegrino & Acqua Panna Chef of the Year is Liam Tomlin. The Eat Out Service Excellence Award went to Restaurant Mosaic at The Orient. Moses Magwaza, sommelier at Restaurant Mosaic at The Orient, was named the Eat Out Wine Service Award winner. The elegance of Fermier in Pretoria was recognised with the Eat Out Style Award, while La Petite Colombe in Franschhoek was the recipient of the Eat Out Retail Capital New Restaurant of the Year Award. Morné Wessels of La Petite Colombe received the Eat Out John Psillos Award for Outstanding Contribution to Service. 

The winning restaurants were determined by the scores of a panel of judges, led by Eat Out editor and head judge Abigail Donnelly, who dined around the country anonymously. Aside from Abigail Donnelly, the identities of the judges have not been revealed.

“2017 has been an exceptional, exciting and competitive year of eating out,” said Donnelly. “Restaurateurs, chefs, producers, waitrons and sommeliers have upped their game to offer world-class dining experiences. It goes beyond quality and consistency; it’s a commitment to excellence.”

This year the chefs at the 30 nominated restaurants were given the opportunity to vote for a champion chef amongst their peers. The winner of the inaugural Eat Out Graham Beck Chefs’ Chef Award is Kobus van der Merwe of Wolfgat in Paternoster. 

Letitia Prinsloo, founder and principal of the Institute of Culinary Arts in Stellenbosch, was honoured with the Eat Out Lannice Snyman Lifetime Achievement Award.

Camphors at Vergelegen received the Eat Out Woolworths Sustainability Award in recognition of its commitment to implementing environmentally and socially responsible practices. The winner was selected by a separate panel of judges, consisting of Abigail Donnelly of Eat Out, Pavitray Pillay of WWF-SASSI, Sonia Mountford of Eategrity and Karen Welter of the Longtable Project. 

Selvin Govender, Marketing Director of Mercedes-Benz Cars, said, “I’m inspired by the way that our awarded chefs and restaurants push boundaries and always strive for the best. Congratulations to everyone!”

All the winners celebrated at the 2017 Eat Out Mercedes-Benz Restaurant Awards are: 

Eat Out S. Pellegrino & Acqua Panna Chef of the Year: Liam Tomlin

Eat Out Restaurant of the Year: The Test Kitchen

Top 10 Restaurants: 

1. The Test Kitchen
2. Restaurant Mosaic at The Orient
3. The Restaurant at Waterkloof
4. Chefs Warehouse at Beau Constantia
5. Greenhouse at The Cellars-Hohenort
6. Camphors at Vergelegen
7. La Colombe
8. The Shortmarket Club
9. Overture
10. The Pot Luck Club

Restaurants ranked from 11–20

11. Jardine Restaurant
12. Foliage
13. Wolfgat
14. Jordan Restaurant
15. Fermier Restaurant
16. Thali
17. DW Eleven-13
18. Hartford House
19. Luke Dale-Roberts X The Saxon
20. La Tête

Eat Out Service Excellence Award: Restaurant Mosaic at The Orient 

Eat Out Rising Star: Kayla-Ann Osborn of The Chefs Table 

Eat Out Retail Capital New Restaurant of the Year Award: La Petite Colombe 

Eat Out Graham Beck Chefs’ Chef Award: Kobus van der Merwe of Wolfgat 

Eat Out Wine Service Award: Moses Magwaza

Eat Out Lannice Snyman Lifetime Achievement Award: Letitia Prinsloo

Eat Out Style Award: Fermier Restaurant 

Eat Out John Psillos Award for Outstanding Contribution to Service: Morné Wessels of La Petite Colombe 

Eat Out Woolworths Sustainability Award: Camphors at Vergelegen

Woolworths TASTE Eat Out Bursary winner: Bryan Mlotshwa

“From the 30 nominees to our final 20 and the Top 10, plus all our individual winners, Eat Out has shone a light on an incredible group of restaurants that have elevated the dining experience in this country. With talent like this, it is easy to see why South Africa is viewed as a world-class food destination,” said Aileen Lamb, MD of New Media, which owns Eat Out.