If you’re from Johannesburg or Durban, you have to wonder about the inescapable truth that the restaurant awards are governed from the Mother City, and speculate about the possibility that, were the carrier magazine published in Gauteng and its judges mostly based there, the outcome might not be very different.
History repeats itself. La Colombe had a brilliant chef who grew an international reputation for the Constantia restaurant and earned it a slew of awards. Then he left and started his own, more modest, eatery. La Colombe found a brilliant replacement, who clawed back its international reputation and earned it a slew of awards. But now he too has left and opened his own, more modest, restaurant.
This dinner is the highlight of the South African foodie calendar and has become a fabulous and very stylish event over the years. But if McCarney didn’t put a word wrong, others did fluff their lines. Eat Out editor Abigail Donnelly did the customary thanking of sponsors, including ‘Wild Cock’, quickly correcting herself while the audience convulsed. Wild Peacock may never live that one down.
History repeats itself at La Colombe, where chef Franck Dangereux’s stupendous food put the restaurant on the local and global map, before Franck left to eventually open his own eatery in Noordhoek (The Foodbarn). Now chef Luke Dale-Roberts, after four years at La Colombe and intimations of moving into more of a ‘consultancy’ role, has set up his own restaurant, The Test Kitchen, due to open on November 24 at the trendy Old Biscuit Mill premises.
How on earth is 9th Avenue Bistro, which has a nondescript al fresco area overlooking a plain-as-chips parking lot, better than the Tasting Room at le Quartier Francais or Overture with its world-beating view and Margot Janse’s fabulous cuisine? I don’t buy it.