In a major change, Eat Out 2022 Head Judge Abigail Donnelly has announced her four fellow judges on the panel evaluating our country’s Top restaurants for the November 2022 Eat Out Awards.
The Eat Out Awards will be hosted for the first time in two years. No date or venue details are available to date.
Another new introduction is that the top restaurants will be rated and no longer ranked! The industry’s ‘unsung heroes’ will be recognised too.
Only seven of the Top 10 Eat Out Awards of 2019 have survived the Corona pandemic.
The Judging panel consists of the following :
# Head Judge Abigail Donnelly, long standing Judge and co-ordinator of the Eat Out Awards. She is Food Director of Woolworths TASTE magazine, and a creative stylist for Woolworths.
#. Chef Jan-Hendrik van der Westhuizen, owner of one Michelin star JAN restaurant in Nice, Maria in Nice, Restaurant Klein Jan in Tswalu in the Kalahari, and the Jan Innovation Studio in Cape Town. This is a shame, as Restaurant Klein JAN would be an automatic certainty for the Eat Out Top 10 list, and its number one slot. Even if he recused himself from the final Top 10 evaluation, it would lack credibility that he is a judge.
# Karen Dudley, former owner of The Kitchen in Woodstock. She is a food writer, cookbook author, and TV personality
# Anna Trapido, described as a food activist and journalist
# Mokgadi Itsweng, former editor of True Love magazine, and a chef and food activist. She is plant-based.
# Moses Magwaza, former Head Sommelier at former Restaurant Mosaic in Pretoria.
In its media statement yesterday, Eat Out wrote :
‘In a first for Eat Out, chief judge Abigail Donnelly has announced her judging panel for the upcoming Eat Out Restaurant Awards. Joining her in 2022 are Michelin-starred chef and restaurateur Jan Hendrik van der Westhuizen, chef Karen Dudley, sommelier Moses Magwaza, food activist and cookbook author Mokgadi Itsweng, and food writer and broadcaster Anna Trapido.
“Each judge has a distinct perspective and valuable expertise,” Abigail says. “I chose Jan Hendrik because, as a South African, I admire him and the industry does too. He will bring a unique South African philosophy that will inspire young chefs. Karen understands the industry like no other – she has walked and talked about every bit of it. As an award-winning sommelier, Moses will bring a wealth of knowledge and expertise to our South African wine culture. Mokgadi’s understanding and respect for local suppliers – and her belief in sustainability and teaching where our food comes from – is beyond compare. And Anna has an incredible knowledge of South African food, people and ingredients, which I find totally inspiring.”
The Eat Out Restaurant Awards are making a return this year after a two-year hiatus due to the pandemic. This comes after extensive consultation with diverse voices in the restaurant industry. #EatOutAwards2022
Abigail explains: “As the country is emerging from a challenging time, the Eat Out judges will be looking for the best dining experiences in SA, giving the restaurants and chefs a platform to shine and to celebrate greatness. The reviewing panel and Eat Out team will visit and rate approximately 500 restaurants across categories. The judges will then dine at the restaurants and award for the best overall dining experiences including food, drink, service and ambience.”
Eat Out brand custodian Aileen Lamb says the return of the awards marks a celebration of resilience. “The impact of COVID-19 on South Africa’s economy has been devastating, with the restaurant industry being among the hardest hit. Eat Out stands for restaurants, and the people who love them. With the new Eat Out Restaurant Awards, we want to acknowledge the incredible way everyone has pulled together to get through the pandemic. At the same time, we will still be rewarding the abundance of excellence that this industry exudes. Now more than ever, people are seeking out special and unique experiences to share with their loved ones. And there is no experience like a great restaurant.’
Chris von Ulmenstein, WhaleTales Blog: www.whaletalesblog.com www.chrisvonulmenstein.com/blog Tel +27 082 55 11 323 Twitter:@Ulmenstein Facebook: Chris von Ulmenstein, My Cape Town Guide/Mein Kapstadt Guide Instagram: @Chrissy_Ulmenstein @MyCapeTownGuide