Plated restaurants and awarded chefs were announced at an unforgettable function in Cape Town on 21 October 2019. It was also the unveiling of KitchenAid Africa’s new state-of-the-art venue. Chefs from all over the country came together to celebrate their part in cementing South Africa as a culinary destination.
IT’S NOT ONLY WHAT’S ON THE PLATE
In many countries restaurants aspire to a one, two or three-star rating. In South Africa, restaurants aim for one, two or three plates, the ultimate accolade. The prestigious plate rating, which equates to global standards of evaluating and rewarding refined and fine-dining establishments, has been lauded for its authenticity, impartiality and credibility. It celebrates the uniquity of South African cuisine, from classic and conservative to daring and different.
One plate highlights exceptional cuisine, two plates are presented for exceptional dining that demands a detour, and three for a world-class dining experience that is worthy of a flight.
“To be selected as one of South Africa’s three-plated restaurants and featured in the JHP Gourmet Guide is a major honour, it is humbling, and a huge boost of motivation. One of the ultimate accolades in South Africa, like being awarded three Michelin stars, through hard work, dedication and perseverance. Receiving this award acts as reassurance for us that we are on the right track, we receive confirmation that we are doing not only the right things, but that we are also doing them right,” said chef Chantel Dartnall of Restaurant Mosaic.
This year sees the total of plated restaurants impressively expanding from 25 last year, to 36 this year – a true testament to an industry hard at work. At the launch, 20 one-plated, 11 two-plated and five three-plated restaurants were applauded. Indochine joined Greenhouse, La Colombe, Restaurant Mosaic and The Test Kitchen in the highest accolade of a three-plate status.
Restaurants are evaluated on the entire experience, but with the focus on the cuisine. Initial visits are anonymous, and only the visit at which the chef is interviewed, is announced and hosted. Restaurants that rate highly are considered for a plating. As consistency is one of the more important criteria, restaurants can only be evaluated for a plate after a chef has completed a season in the restaurant, and no restaurant is immediately awarded three-plate status.
The Haute Performance Awards were given to those creating footprints in an industry that is people-centric:
- Haute Passion – Reuben Riffel of Reuben’s,
- Haute People (team) – Faber,
- Haute Pride – Giles Edwards of La Tête,
- Haute Promise – Carolize Coetzee of Tokara and
- Haute Property – Lord Nelson at the Belmond Mount Nelson.
The first-ever ABALOBI Provenance Awards were handed to:
- Influencer Nanda Cardoso of Chefs Warehouse & Canteen,
- Champion Bertus Basson of Eike and
- Advocate Christiaan Campbell of The Werf Restaurant at Boschendal,
for leading by example to create awareness and inspire change.
Global icon Peter Tempelhoff of FYN received the SWISS Culinary Innovation Award, for his unique concept of perfectly marrying Japanese cuisine and indigenous Cape flavours, winning two business-class tickets to Europe on Swiss International Air Lines.
Handley, who holds formal food qualifications, owns a brand performance business, and in addition to producing and curating the annual JHP Gourmet Guide™, has written three bestselling business books aimed at inspiring and empowering people in business says, “Our focus is on elevating in an industry that is ripe for transformation, working with the restaurants and chefs to elevate their performance and business skills. As there is no barrier to entry, often people enter with the right attitude, but need mentoring and development. Our training focuses on personal brand, teamwork, leadership and service excellence.”
JHP GOURMET GUIDE
The printed guide is a collector’s keepsake of inspiring behind-the-scenes stories of the plated restaurants and awarded chefs that have elevated SA into a prime culinary destination. Chefs have shared their signature recipes. “I am proud of the chefs in our country and how their talents have cemented the country as a sought-after culinary destination. The 2019 JHP Gourmet Guide was chosen to represent SA in the Culinary/Tourism category at the Gourmand World Cookbook Awards, and we have no doubt that this refined, streamlined book, with recipes, will hold its own in 2020,” says Handley.
The 2020 guide will be available in leading bookstores, Woolworths and participating restaurants at R299, from November 2019.