Category Archives: Awards

Eat Out Awards 2019: a prediction of the Top 10 Restaurants in South Africa!

Each year I attempt a prediction of the Eat Out Top 10 Restaurants in South Africa, from the restaurant guide’s Top 30 nomination short list. Each year it seems to get more difficult to predict which restaurants will make the top of the grade, the new Head Judge Margot Janse pulling many surprise punches in her Top 10 List last year, and even this year in her Top 30 nominations list. On Sunday 17 November the Restaurant industry ‘Oscars’ will be presented to the Top 10 South African Restaurants at GrandWest. Continue reading →

Food blogger in ‘Death Cup’ murder mystery by Irna van Zyl modelled on WhaleTales Blog!

Last week I found a reference to my name in a review written about author Irna van Zyl’s second book, called ‘Death Cup: Murder is on the menu’, a play on words with a mushroom by the same name, naming me as the model for one of the main characters in the book, as the writer of the ‘infamous food blog’. As I had been told this verbally on another occasion too, I had to go to Exclusive Books to buy a copy of the book. There is no mistaking the blog of the ‘food blogger’ as being my WhaleTales Blog! Continue reading →

40th edition of Platter’s by Diners Club International 2020 South African Wine Guide launched, with a record of 125 5-star wines!

On Friday evening I attended the launch of the 40th edition of the Diners Club International 2020 South African Wine Guide, at the Table Bay Hotel in the Waterfront, an event that is pretty much the same in format every year, yet was different this year, in the interest of making the event shorter.   

More than 8000 wines from more than 900 producers were rated for the 2020 Platter’s Wine Guide edition. Of the 125 5-star wines awarded, 26 went to Chenin Blanc brands, 18 to Shiraz/Syrah, and 11 to Chardonnay brands. 

Continue reading →

TripAdvisor announces 2019 Top 10 Travellers’ Choice Awards ‘Best Fine Dining Restaurants’ in South Africa, La Colombe makes a meal of it!

It amuses me how much weight La Colombe places on the TripAdvisor Travellers’ Choice Awards, clearly because it is the only awards ranking in which it comes first, and in which it beats its arch enemy The Test Kitchen, despite most serious restaurant diners knowing how questionable a TripAdvisor rating, and therefore this Award ranking, is! Continue reading →

The Eat and Meat of a Michelin Restaurant Inspector! A star job, eating out 275 times a year?

The local JHP Gourmet Guide once again tried to link itself to the Michelin star rating of our local restaurants, by awarding top local restaurants one, two, and three plate accolades, as if they are equivalent to Michelin one, two, and three stars. I have been critical of this exaggerated and dishonest link by Jenny Handley and her Gourmet Guide Awards, especially as I know how the restaurant visits are done by her. (See the Blogpost link at the end of this article). A recent Forbes article ‘The Secret Life of an Anonymous Michelin Restaurant Inspector’ therefore attracted my attention, and I summarise it below, so that I could double check my view on this. Continue reading →

Eat Out announces its 2019 Top 30 Restaurant shortlist! Shock exclusions! Liam Tomlin’s Chefs Warehouse & Canteen falls off the list!

Eat Out released its Top 30 shortlist for the 2019 Top 10 Restaurant Awards minutes ago. The biggest shock is that Chef Liam Tomlin’s Chefs Warehouse & Canteen has not been nominated! Just two years ago Eat Out awarded Tomlin the Chef of the Year Award! 

When I first wrote that Chef Liam’s restaurant on Bree Street did not belong on the Eat Out Top 20 shortlist, when it was nominated for the first time four of five years ago, not conforming to the criteria for fine dining, Chef Liam denigrated me in Facebook and banned me from his restaurants! It seems that the new judging team at Eat Out has seen the light, and feels the same about it! Continue reading →

JHP Gourmet Guide announces 2020 top restaurants, but does not release the list until January 2020! Read it here first!

The publishers of the Gourmet Guide 2020 have made it really difficult to write this post, in that it is not revealing its full list of 36 restaurants that received its one, two, or three plate awards on Monday, until January 2020, its website states. One can surmise that it wants the Gourmet Guide 2020 to be bought so that it can generate income. By January these Awards will have long been forgotten! Continue reading →

American Express announces Top 2020 Dining Award winners, with a Johannesburg bias!

It was a multi-Award day on Monday this week, with both American Express (for the Western and Southern Cape), as well as the Gourmet Guide (National) announcing their 2020 Restaurant Award winners. A week earlier American Express had announced its Gauteng, Free State, and KwaZulu-Natal Awards. There were many similarities in the winners, yet some strange winners in the American Express Dining  awards documented in this post. Continue reading →

Little-known hospitality consultancy Hospitality Counsel announces Top 10 Chefs and Restaurants 2019!

It was a Facebook post by Chef Jan-Hendrik van der Westhuizen of South African/French restaurant JAN in Nice that alerted me to the Hospitality Counsel 2019 ranking of our countries top ten Restaurants as well as Chefs, when he thanked them for being included in the Top 10 Chef List. No other restaurant or chef on the two lists appears to have announced the accolades from the Hospitality Counsel, awarded at an event called the 2019 Luxury Tourism Awards! Continue reading →

Four young chefs from Africa/Middle East go through to the global S.Pellegrino Young Chef Grand Finale in Milan in 2020, three from SA!

In a surprise announcement, not only one but four finalists in the Africa and Middle East region of the S. Pellegrino Young Chef Regional Semi-Final held in Cape Town on Monday, will be sent to Milan for the Grand Finale in May next year. But only one of the four young chefs will compete for the Global title of S. Pellegrino Young Chef 2020, being Chef Paul Thinus Prinsloo of The Restaurant at Waterkloof. Continue reading →