ICA Head of Faculty, Merizle Mitrovich and Senior Cooking Chef Lecturer, Pierre van Zyl, attended the glamorous event on 20 November. What a privilege to congratulate and celebrate former ICA students and their achievements.



South Africa’s most cherished restaurant and chef awards platform has turned a new leaf.

As of 2022, it’s all about the STARS!

ICA wishes to congratulate each and every restaurant and chef celebrated and recognized at the 2022 Eat Out Woolworths Restaurant Awards ceremony on Sunday 20 November.

Being shortlisted is in itself a massive accomplishment. It is no secret that surviving and thriving through a challenging 2 years following the global pandemic required chefs of a special calibre – chefs who could remain innovative, adaptable, committed, and creative in order to emerge stronger and better than ever before.

These qualities are precisely what the ICA aims to teach students alongside their nationally and internationally accredited cooking and pâtisserie qualifications:

Patience, Perseverance, and Precision will ultimately lead to Perfection!

Chief Judge Abigail Donnelly, together with a panel of five expert judges, made a significant and important shift in the judging process by introducing a star rating system that recognizes excellence among a broader range of restaurants. The judges considered elements such as menu composition, presentation, taste & technique, beverages, service and ambience. After inputting all their scores, and further extensive discussions and deliberations, 42 restaurants were selected to receive stars at the glitzy awards ceremony at Grand West.

Of the 42 restaurants shortlisted, no less than 9 are headed by ICA-trained chefs – it amounts to over 20% of the total amount of chefs obtaining their culinary arts training at the ICA! ICA chefs continue to make their mark in an extremely competitive market, yet remain humble and part of the larger cheffing community as a whole. The camaraderie and shared respect for fellow industry partners were tangible and emphasized how the pursuit of culinary excellence continues to elevate the quality and innovation of South African chefs and restaurants.

Not only was ICA well represented by its graduates at this glamorous event, but the evening was MC’d by yet another proud ICA graduate, Zola Nene, who did a stellar job of recognizing local talent and the incredibly hard work that is needed to stand out from the crowd. Herman Lensing, another ICA graduate, was also selected to present one of the stars awards as part of the event’s celebrity assembly.

From winning the 2021 S. Pellegrino Young Chef Academy Social Responsibility Award in Milan, Italy, to being awarded the Eat Out Retail Capital Best New Restaurant Award for his new venture, Dusk in Stellenbosch, ICA graduate Callan Austin joined the ranks of ICA-trained professional chefs at this year’s awards.

To recap – the 42 listed restaurants (in alphabetical order, ICA-trained chefs indicated in gold) were:

Out of the total number of stars awarded on the night, 15 now proudly shine next to the names of chefs who received their culinary training at ICA:

The Institute of Culinary Arts remains the training ground for culinary leaders. Our world-class culinary curriculum and the average lecturer-to-student ratio of 1:6 ensures that students are trained to global standards. To be the BEST, learn from the BEST.