La Colombe named 2020 Best South African and African Restaurant in inaugural World Culinary Awards!



La Colombe has been announced as Best South African as well as African Restaurant in the inaugural 2020 World Culinary Awards. Its sister restaurant Epice at Le Quartier in Franschhoek was named Best New Restaurant in Africa. South Africa was named Best Culinary Destination in Africa.

The World Culinary Awards ‘serves to celebrate and reward excellence in the culinary industry through our annual awards programme. World Culinary Awards is the sister event of World Travel Awards, itself inaugurated in 1994’, its website states.

I have been fortunate to eat at a number of the award-winning restaurants.

On the website more information is provided: ’World Culinary Awards was developed in reaction to overwhelming demand from the culinary industry for a programme that was fair and transparent, a programme with a mission to serve as the definitive benchmark of excellence, and to help to foster a new era of growth on a global scale’.  Odd is the clear finger-pointing at existing restaurant awards such as World’s 50 Best Restaurants, probably the best-known international awards for the restaurant industry. There is La Liste, the World Restaurant Awards, and others too.

There is no information about the methodology of selecting the winners in the World Culinary Awards categories, its website sharing deadlines for entries closing as 17 December 2020, nominees being announced THE FOLLOWING DAY, voting taking place from 19 – 26 December, and the winners announced on 31 December! This gives me a bad feeling about the credibility of these Awards, possibly just a money-making exercise, especially given that World’s 50 Best Restaurants did not announce 2020 winners due to the impact of the Corona Virus pandemic on the global restaurant industry.  Overkill seems to be the description of the winners in the World Culinary Awards website of the winning restaurants being ‘truly outstanding achievers and leaders in their respective fields – who have risen above the competition to lift the 1st annual World Culinary Awards trophy’, given that the organisers did not visit the restaurants, nor did a panel of judges!

Winners on the extensive World Culinary Awards List, almost  every country in the world being included in five categories: Best Restaurant, Best Fine Dining Hotel Restaurant, Best New Restaurant, Best Landmark Restaurant, and Best Training Institution, are highlighted as follows:

#.  Dubai was named the World’s Best Culinary Destination, a surprise to many.

#.  La Maison 1888 at the InterContinental Danang Sun Peninsula Resort in Vietnam was named the World’s Best Fine Dining Hotel Restaurant.

#.  Mirazur in Menton in France was named the World’s Best Restaurant

Restaurant Review: Mirazur French foraging restaurant in Menton, 6th World’s 50 Best Restaurant, Michelin 2-star!

#.  At.Mosphere Burj Khalifa in UAE was named the World’s Best Landmark Restaurant.

#.  Al Muntaha at Burj Al Arab in Dubai was named the World’s Best Hotel Restaurant.

#.  Davies & Brook @ Claridges in London won World’s and Europe’s Best New Restaurant Awards

#.  Peru was named Best Culinary Destination in South America. Central in Lima was named Best Restaurant in Peru and in Latin America.

Restaurant Review: Peruvian Ecosystem central to Central in Lima in Peru, focus on Altitude but has no Attitude as the 6th Best Restaurant in the World!

#. Le Bernardin in New York was announced as North America’s Best Restaurant.

Restaurant Review: Le Bernardin French focus, seafood specialist, 24th Best in World!

#. World’s Best Training Institution was announced as Culinary Arts Academy Switzerland.

#. Attica in Melbourne, Australia was named Oceana’s Best Restaurant

#  DEN in Tokyo, Japan was named Best Restaurant in Asia.


The Awards included the following :

#.  La Colombe as Africa’s and South Africa’s Best Restaurant

#.   Sesamo @ Royal Mansour Marrakech in Morocco as Africa’s Best Hotel Restaurant

#.   The Lookout Café at Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe as Africa’s Best Landmark Restaurant

#.   Africa’s Best New Restaurant as Epice in Franschhoek, Sourh Africa

#.  Africa’s Best Culinary Training Institution as Morocco Culinary Institute.

#.  Azure at the Twelve Apostles Hotel in Camps Bay, Cape Town as South Africa’s Best (Fine Dining ?) Hotel Restaurant

#.  Europe’s Best Culinary Destination as Italy

#.  Austria’s Best Restaurant as Steiereck

#.  England’s Best Restaurant as CORE by Clare Smyth in London, and Best Hotel Restaurant as The Ritz Restaurant @ The Ritz in London.

#   Germany’s Best Restaurant as Da Yvonne Trattoria Toscana, not sounding very German at all!

#.  Italy’s Best Restaurant as Osteria Francescana

#.  Spain’s Best Restaurant as Mugaritz

#.  Sweden’s Best Restaurant as Gastrologik

#.  Aramburu in Buenos Aires as Argentina’s Best restaurant

#.  D.O.M. in São Paulo as Brazil’s Best Restaurant

I will be watching the World’s Culinary Awards very closely….. !


Chris von Ulmenstein, WhaleTales Blog: Tel +27 082 55 11 323 Twitter:@Ulmenstein Facebook: Chris von Ulmenstein, My Cape Town Guide/Mein Kapstadt Guide Instagram: @Chrissy_Ulmenstein @MyCapeTownGuide

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