SOUTH AFRICA’S PLATE RATING
“Time and passion are the best ingredients.”
It all begins with you, food-loving diners and chefs who nominate restaurants that you believe are worthy of a plate. After initial, anonymous reviews, should the experience be noteworthy and be considered a contender, a final review is arranged. It is complimentary, hosted and announced so that we may experience what the chef wishes to showcase. In this way, each restaurant and chef is given the equal opportunity of shining.
Our trusted reviewers, credible and proficient, professional and experienced, have worked hard to ensure that we meet global expectations. They remain anonymous. We do not have advertisements in this guide, thereby accentuating the fact that the plate rating is an impartial, neutral process. All restaurants are evaluated to a lengthy list of vital criteria that involve more than merely cuisine. The evaluation begins with a reservation and welcome, incorporating many interactions and touch points. Value, which is an individual perception, is not taken into consideration as with high-end dining, many patrons will pay a premium price for a stellar, personal, unforgettable experience and setting – priceless!
This is not a competition, this is a programme that recognizes ongoing excellence. It’s not a sprint, it’s a marathon. We are celebrating and lauding a community of craftsmen and their dedication, passion and talent. With consistency being such an important aspect of a restaurant evaluation, and caution being one of the cornerstones of our brand, we do not award plates lightly. Plates are awarded to a restaurant, not a chef. Should there be any doubt, the restaurant is re-evaluated the following year. It is far better to wait for a chef to take their place on the stage than to award a plate prematurely and run the risk of them not being plated the following year. A restaurant is therefore initially awarded one or two plates, never immediately reaching three-plate status.
Working with restaurants and chefs in the pursuit of excellence has been a privilege, and we are encouraged and gratified that the industry is hard at work. Every year we re-evaluate, therefore restaurants are not automatically awarded plate status. Seeing an increase from 25 plates in 2019 to this year’s 37, bears true testament to the talent and efforts of chefs and their teams. Congratulations one and all.
One plate – excellent cuisine
Two plates – exceptional dining that demands a detour
Three plates – world-class destination dining – worthy of a flight