Tony Jackman is a passionate cook, playwright, and a food and restaurant writer for publications and his Sliver blog. Yesterday he awarded the inaugural ten Sliver Silver Awards to the top chefs and restaurateurs in Cape Town and the Winelands at The Conservatory at the Cellars-Hohenhort Hotel.

Jackman writes in his media statement that there was no ranking in his top ten restaurant list, that the awards were not linked to a specific year, and that winning a Sliver Silver Award may be a once-off.  He writes: ‘They are not in competition with other restaurant awards.  Rather, they play a role of their own in bestowing a singular stamp on a restaurant. They are not given lightly, and they are not there to honour a flavour-of-the-month or a fly-by-night’. The Award is a Jackman one, not selected by a panel of judges.  ‘When you have a Sliver’s Silver, it’s a badge of honour and respect from me to them’. He evaluated the restaurants’ excellence over a number of years, and said that he was ‘consistently impressed with their ability to get it right, again and again’, describing his awards as a ‘mark of honour more than a conventional award’.

Jackman’s top ten Sliver’s Silver Awards list is as follows:

Cape Town:

*   Peter Tempelhoff (with Gerald van der Walt), The Greenhouse, for ‘his exquisite progressive South African cuisine’

*   Giorgio Nava, 95 Keerom, for ‘inspired Italian authenticity and Milanese charm’

*   Sabi Sabharwal, Haiku, for ‘striking Asian versatility and consistency’

*   Luke Dale-Roberts, The Test Kitchen, for ‘wizardry with flavour and texture

*   Henrico Grobbelaar, Azure at the Twelve Apostles, for ‘his finely engineered cuisine

*   Franck Dangereux, The Foodbarn, for ‘texture and nuance with Gallic charm’

*   Peter Weetman of Societi Bistro for ‘most beloved neighbourhood bistro‘.

Winelands:

*   Bertus Basson, Overture, for ‘seasonal expression and detail

*   Margot Janse, The Tasting Room, for ‘Avant-Garde African cuisine that always surprises

*   Michael Broughton, Terroir, for ‘being a saucier par excellence’.

The striking Sliver Silver Award bespoke ceramic plates with koi motif were made by Mervyn Gers Ceramics, each plate unique and different to the others.  Gers launched Kfm (previously called Kontrei FM) almost twenty years ago, and found his creative streak in ceramics, which he has already made for De Grendel, Babylonstoren, Moyo, and Jenny Morris.

Jackman announced at the Awards lunch, which I regrettably missed, that he will be launching Sliver’s Pop-Up Gourmet Dinners, at which food lovers will be served dinners prepared by three top chefs, with a food demo, a charity contribution, and ‘a mystery element inspired by Australian Masterchef‘.

Comparing Jackman’s Sliver Silver Awards with the latest Eat Out Top 10 Restaurant Awards list it is clear that Jackman has only focused on Cape Town and Winelands restaurants.  Missing from the Sliver Silver list is Jordan Restaurant, Rust en Vrede, and La Colombe, which made the latest Eat Out Top Ten restaurant list. Surprise Sliver Silver Award inclusions are 95 Keerom, Haiku, Azure, The Foodbarn, and Societi Bistro, some restaurants not having appeared on the Eat Out Top 10 list ever, and others having done so many years ago. But then this was Jackman’s awards ceremony, as he said right upfront!

Sliver Blog: www.sliver.co.za Twitter: @SliverMorsels

Chris von Ulmenstein, Whale Cottage Portfolio: www.whalecottage.com Twitter: @WhaleCottage

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