A number of changes (yet again) have been introduced, and one wonders how well they will go down with the chefs, for whom the event is the highlight of their year!
*. The biggest change is that the event will be held at lunchtime, motivated by Eat Out as ‘the epitome of South African food heritage‘.
*. The event venue may not find favour, being Mistico Equestrian Centre on the R312 in Paarl, given the drink and drive dilemma of the guests attending the awards event. The venue is an active equestrian centre, as well as a venue for weddings and events. A new venue is currently being built, which is able to seat 4500 guests in the grandstands, and 3000 guests in the hall. Two further existing indoor venues can each seat 950 guests, and their 1000 cars. The Booking policy forbids that food and beverages be brought into the Centre, which will be interesting, given that the country’s top chefs have in the past lent a hand in preparing the meal for the awards event!
*. The Awards event will focus on where it originally began, only presenting the Eat Out Top 10 Restaurant Awards, as well as the Chef of the Year, Restaurant of the Year, and Service Excellence awards.
*. The ‘Best of’ awards will be presented at two events, in Cape Town and Johannesburg, in October, to be renamed ‘Best Everyday Eateries’ (the name of a newly created award, which went to Chef’s Warehouse last year), recognizing ‘those casual eateries that people love to visit every day’. In the past, best steakhouse, best Italian restaurant, best Asian restaurant, and most stylish restaurant
have been recognized.
It will be interesting to see what response Eat Out will receive, with so many changes to the event format, taking away some of the glamour and stature of the event!
POSTSCRIPT 26/8: Eat Out has just announced the price for its Gala Awards Lunch on 15 November, at R1495, down from its excessive R1800 Gala Dinner disaster last year!