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La Petite Colombe and Jardine in top 10

La Petite Colombe in Franschhoek and Jardine restaurant in Stellenbosch were named as two of EatOut’s top 10 restaurants for 2018.

The winners of this year’s edition of the annual awards were announced at the 2018 Eat Out Mercedes-Benz Restaurant Awards ceremony held in GrandWest on Sunday 18 November.

Numbers 11 to 20 were dominated by restaurants from Franschhoek and Stellenbosch with Jordan Restaurant, Foliage, Le Coin Français, Chefs Warehouse at Maison and Overture also making the list.

For the first time since 2012, there’s a new number one. The Restaurant at Waterkloof was confirmed in the top position when it was awarded the Restaurant of the Year title. It moved two places up from number three in the Top 10 last year.

Said triumphant chef Gregory Czarnecki: “We cook for pleasure and we cook to fulfil our passion and to get recognised for it is an amazing feeling. I am truly proud of the team and what they were able to achieve. It’s just incredible.”

The 2018 Eat Out S.Pellegrino & Acqua Panna Chef of the Year is Kobus van der Merwe of Wolfgat. No stranger to these awards, Kobus was named the Eat Out Rising Star in 2014 and was chosen as a champion by the other nominated chefs to win the 2017 Eat Out Graham Beck Chefs’ Chef Award.

The Eat Out Diners Club Service Excellence Award went to The Test Kitchen. Moses Magwaza, sommelier at restaurant Mosaic at The Orient, was named winner of the Eat Out Wine Service Award for the second year running.

Newcomer Saint was recognised with the Eat Out VISI Style Award, while Janse & Co was the recipient of the Eat Out Retail Capital New Restaurant of the Year Award. Germain Lehodey received the Eat Out John Psillos Award for Outstanding Contribution to Service.

The winning restaurants were determined by the scores of a panel of anonymous judges, convened by Margot Janse, who dined around the country unannounced. Although the winners have been announced, the panel will remain anonymous. This allows judges to remain on the panel to ensure consistency from year to year.

Janse will remain at the helm of judging for the restaurant awards, as she takes up the position of chief judge.

She said: “I am a chef at heart, and I know what it takes to make a restaurant unique and successful. I understand the pressures of maintaining and exceeding expectations. It has been my absolute honour to convene the judges this year, and I am looking forward to becoming Eat Out’s chief judge.”

The chefs of the 30 nominated restaurants were given the opportunity to vote for a champion chef among their peers. In a first-ever tie, two chefs share this award, receiving admiration in equal measure from the nominees.

The winners of the Eat Out Graham Beck Chefs’ Chef Award are Chris Erasmus of Foliage and Ivor Jones of Chefs Warehouse at Beau Constantia.

Abigail Donnelly was honoured with the Eat Out Lannice Snyman Lifetime Achievement Award. The former editor of Eat Out, Abigail was recognised for her contribution to the industry and the brand over the last decade.

The Werf Restaurant at Boschendal received the Eat Out Woolworths Sustainability Award in recognition of its commitment to implementing environmentally and socially responsible practices.

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