imageTop South African restaurants were recognised at a ‘glittering cocktail party‘ held at Klein Constantia last night, with inaugural Condé Nast House & Garden Gourmet Awards presented in seven categories.

Little information about the awards is known. Judges were Condé Nast House & Garden Gourmet editor Bernadette Le Roux, Neil Roake of Freedom Café in Durban, Condé Nast House & Garden editor Leigh Robertson, and Susan Greig from Johannesburg.

Editor Bernadette said of the awards: ‘I feel that the Gourmet Restaurant Awards and their categories are about the joy of food. It’s about the excitement of being one of the first in a newly opened restaurant; the feeling of sitting in a magnificent room that’s been decorated and designed to enhance the experience; the thrill of finding an undiscovered hidden gem off the beaten track; staying over at a luxury hotel that has the added bonus of an exceptional restaurant under one roof; and the surprise factor that comes with working your way through a chef’s tasting menu’.

The finalists and winner in each of the categories are listed conde-nast-mosaic-46737629tastingmenubelow:

Best Tasting Menu 

#.  Adriaan Maree, Fermier, Pretoria

#.  Bertus Basson, Overture

#.  Chantal Dartnall, Restaurant Mosaic at The Orient – winner (photograph above)

#.  Luke Dale-Roberts, The Test Kitchen, Cape Town

#.  Margot Janse, The Tasting Room, Le Quartier Français

Best Decor and Design

#.  De Camdeboo, Drostdy Hotel, Graaff-Reinet

#.  Indochine, Delaire Graff, Stellenbosch – winner

#.  Tasha’s, Sandton

#.  The Shortmarket Club, Cape Town

#.  The Stack, Gardens, Cape Town

Hidden Gem

#.  Blueberry Café, Midlands, KZN – winner

#.  conde-nast-hidden-gem-cheynes-46768193hiddengemCheyne’s, Hout Bay, Cape Town (photograph)

#.  Cleopatra Mountain Farmhouse, Drakensberg, KZN

#.  Fynboshoek Cheese, Storm’s River

#.  The Hub Café, Scarborough, Cape Town

Best Hotel Restaurant

#   Luke Dale-Roberts at The Saxon, Johannesburg – winner

#   Nobu, One&Only Cape Town

#   Greenhouse, Cellars- Hohenhort

#   The Grill Room, The Oyster Box, Durban

#   View, Four Seasons Hotel, Johannesburg

Best New Restaurant

#   Ash, Cape Town

#   Glenda’s, Hyde Park, Johannesburg

#   Marble, Johannesburg

#   Mulberry & Prince, Cape Town

#   The Shortmarket Club – winner

Reader’s Choice Award

#.  DW Eleven-13 in Johannesburg – winner

#   Art of Food, Dullstroom

#   Boiler Room Café, Durban

#   Duchess of Wisbeach, Sea Point, Cape Town

#   The Leopard, Johannesburg

Gold Award for Consistency and Chef Excellence

#.  Chantel Dartnall, Restaurant Mosaic, The Orient, Pretoria

#.  Harald Bresselschmidt, Aubergine, Cape Town

#.  Franck Dangereux, The Foodbarn, Noordhoek, Cape Town

#.  George Jardine, Jordan Restaurant, Stellenbosch – winner

#.  Liam Tomlin, Chefs Warehouse, Cape Town

#.  Michael Broughton, Terroir, Stellenbosch

#.  Scot Kirton, La Colombe, Cape Town

Interesting is comparing the results with the recent Eat Out Restaurant Awards. Only category winner Chantel Dartnall was an Eat Out Top 10 winner. Eat Out Top 20 nominees who were finalists for the Gourmet Awards are La Colombe, Terroir, Chef’s Warehouse, Jordan Restaurant, Indochine, DW Eleven-13, Greenhouse, Nobu, Overture, and The Tasting Room. The biggest shock is seeing Blueberry Café win Hidden Gem – I visited the Café in August, and was shocked by the poor service and dreadful food offering. Johannesburg has a stronger presence in the Gourmet Awards compared to the Eat Out Awards.

Condé Nast House & Garden Gourmet, www.houseandgarden.co.za Twitter: @GourmetMagSA Instagram: @Houseandgardensa

Chris von Ulmenstein, WhaleTales Blog: www.chrisvonulmenstein.com/blog  Tel +27 082 55 11 323 Twitter:@Ulmenstein  Facebook:  click here Instagram: @Chris_Ulmenstein