South Africa’s 2023 Restaurant Plate Rating.

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The launch of the 2024 JHP Gourmet Guide just happened at Beyond Restaurant on the Buitenverwachting wine estate in Constantia, Cape Town. During the event, they revealed 45 plated restaurants and announced the Haute Performance awards for chefs and restaurants.


Having secured the ‘Best in the World’ title in the digital category at the 2023 Gourmand World Cookbook Awards, the digital guide highlights premier fine-dining venues. Acknowledging excellence and continuity within the field, the guide has earned widespread esteem for its genuine and reliable approach. Originating in 2016, it stands as South Africa’s inaugural restaurant rating system, aligning with the global standards of international comparison.

During the ceremony, a total of 45 premium restaurants, up from last year’s 36, were awarded their Plate Ratings. Minister of Tourism Patricia de Lille expressed gratitude to the restaurants and chefs for their valuable role in promoting gastronomic tourism in South Africa, presenting the plates personally.

The guide’s founder and curator, Jenny Handley, emphasized to the chefs that their focus should not only be on food but also on the people they serve. Meeting global standards and exploring the diversity of their kitchens to showcase all aspects of South African cuisine remains a significant goal. She urged them to prioritize local support, adopt sustainable practices, engage in genuine upliftment, and actively promote transformation within the industry.

Handley highlighted the significance of the pre-service meal with the team, emphasizing it as a moment for the restaurant family to unite. It’s during this time that they delve into each other’s backgrounds, traditions, and cultural influences, fostering an environment conducive to highlighting the richness of their diverse cuisine.

 

The Test Kitchen Fledgelings secured the Haute Purpose & Passion Award, in collaboration with Wesgro, the Tourism, Trade, and Investment Promotion Agency for Cape Town and the Western Cape.

The criteria encompassed aspects such as community impact, engagement, and empowerment, a sustainable strategy for future readiness, the capacity to inspire others positively, and the adeptness in cultivating their team’s passion.

Within this dynamic culinary environment, aspiring students are mentored by the collective knowledge of Luke Dale Roberts, celebrated for his inventive culinary methods, and the skilled head chef Nathan Clarke. Here, amid the bustling sounds of cooking utensils and the aromatic essence of gourmet dishes, prospective culinary stars are shaped into refined gems of the industry.

Under the guidance of their mentors, these up-and-coming chefs and hospitality experts explore the complex realm of gastronomy, honing the skillful fusion of creativity and accuracy. Their learning extends beyond the boundaries of a typical culinary syllabus, embracing the subtle interplay of flavors, textures, and presentation that defines an extraordinary dining venture.

The JHP Gourmet Guide is delighted to collaborate with the WWF Southern African Sustainable Seafood Initiative (SASSI) to present the inaugural green philosophy plate. WWF-SASSI instigates transformations within the regional seafood sector by engaging across the entire seafood supply chain to:

Encourage reduced consumption of over-exploited marine species, and

Streamline intricate scientific information into user-friendly tools that classify seafood using a ‘traffic light’ system, facilitating informed sustainable seafood choices.

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