On Sunday 17 November, the ICA attended what was yet another magnificent evening of South African culinary achievement – the annual Eat Out Mercedes Benz Restaurant Awards.
Firstly, huge compliments to the organizers! The Eat Out Awards remains the country’s most credible and prestigious platform for recognising the extraordinary work that chefs do within the SA culinary arena.
As always, ICA commends and congratulates all the winners and nominees on this year’s list! La Colombe was named SA’s best at no. 1 – a truly admirable accomplishment for hard work and dedication throughout the year.
MOST OF ALL, ICA APPLAUDS ITS ALUMNI (the most from any chef training school being nominated or listed as Eat Out Award winners) FOR STAYING AT THE FOREFRONT OF THE SOUTH AFRICAN CULINARY SCENE.
- The Eat Out Woolworths Sustainability Award went to ICA graduate, Michael Cooke from Camphors at Vergelegen in Somerset West (No. 11 on the awards list). This is the 2nd year that Chef Michael won this commendable award, which pays tribute to his complete and utter dedication towards sustainability within the culinary industry. Recognising sustainability and restaurants’ responsibility in providing alternatives that are mindful of the health of the environment, human health and social justice, sustainability has become a global topic that affects all areas of our lives, emphasizing just how significant an award this is to receive. First in 2017 and now again in 2019, Michael received this accolade for consistent understanding of the importance of responsible sourcing, community impact and environmental impact, reflecting this year’s event’s sustainable focus.
- Ranked in the top 5 positions, two more ICA graduates, Kobus van der Merwe (Wolfgat, Paternoster – No. 4, second consecutive year and 2018 Chef of the Year) and Peter Tempelhoff (newcomer FYN Restaurant, Cape Town – No. 5) keeps the bar high. Being one of the ICA’s very first graduates, Peter Tempelhoff has 22 years of experience and although he already has numerous Eat Out Top 10 awards under his belt, the fact that FYN Restaurant opened just over a year ago and is already rated so highly is certainly remarkable! Besides taking 5th place, FYN Restaurant was also awarded the Eat Out John Psillos Award for Outstanding Contribution to Service as well as the Eat Out Style Award!
- ICA graduates once again dominated the nominations list, adding to the above winning names alumni-couple Arno Janse van Rensburg and Liezl Odendaal’s restaurant, Janse & Co, in line for the New Restaurant of the Year award and Jason Kosmas as contender for the Eat Out Nederburg Rising Star Award.
- Besides ICA-trained chefs being honoured for their contribution to the SA restaurant scene, yet another two ICA alumni shared the lime light on stage with Zola Nene and Herman Lensing acting as co-hosts and awards presenters! Just another testimony that ICA truly does produce the most influential and leading culinary arts professionals.