Not only is it the height of awards season for the wine industry, but it is also full steam ahead for restaurants. With the 2019 Eat Out Mercedes-Benz Restaurant Awards around the corner chefs in and around the country are on tender hooks as they await news as to who has secured the top spot.
While we wait with bated breath there have also been a number of other awards – both local and international – bestowed on deserving Franschhoek eateries.
Regarded as one of the most prestigious culinary competitions in the industry the 2020 American Express Awards announced their Top 24 Restaurants in South Africa, with six Franschhoek restaurants securing a spot on this coveted list. Participating restaurants were judged on food, service, wine, value and the X factor. The competition was only open to restaurants who accept American Express credit cards. The restaurants to secure a spot on the Top 24 list were Babel at Babylonstoren, Foliage, Le Coin Français, La Petite Colombe, Protégé and The Werf Restaurant at Boschendal.
Franschhoek was yet again a popular destination amongst both local and international travellers with the announcement of the 2019 TripAdvisor Traveller’s Choice Awards. Regarded as the world’s largest travel site, which enables travellers to unleash the potential of every trip, tourists from across the globe voted Le Bon Vivant as the 8th best restaurant in Africa, and the 4th best in South Africa.
Adding to this already stellar performance was the announcement of South Africa’s 2020 Plated Restaurants and Awarded Chefs as published in the highly anticipated 2020 JHP Gourmet Guide. Most restaurants around the world aspire to a one, two or three-star rating, whereas in South Africa, restaurants aim for one, two or three plates. Three plates being the ultimate accolade. The guide celebrates the uniqueness of South African cuisine, from classic and conservative to daring and different. At the launch, 20 one-plated, 11 two-plated and five three-plated restaurants were awarded.
Foliage and La Petite Colombe were each awarded a two plate status, with Le Coin Français, Chefs Warehouse at Maison and The Werf at Boschendal each receiving a one plate accolade. At the same event the prestigious Haute Performance Awards were awarded to those creating footprints in an industry that is people-centric, which saw Franschhoek’s Reuben Riffel receive the Haute Passion award. The 2020 guide will be available in leading bookstores, Woolworths and participating restaurants from November 2019.
Ending on a high note was the news earlier this month that Le Coin Français chef Callan Austin received the S.Pellegrino Award for Social Responsibility as voted for by Food Made Good, the internationally recognized voice on sustainability in food. This accolade secured a position for him as a finalist in the Africa and Middle East region of the S. Pellegrino Young Chef Regional Semi-Final. He together with the other three finalists will travel to Milan for the Grand Finale in May 2020.
These latest accolades reaffirm Franschhoek as South Africa’s Culinary Capital, and even more reason to include a visit to one of these fine dining establishments when next visiting the valley.