South Africa’s biggest restaurant awards are back after two years, and the judges have traversed the
country to uncover the best places to dine. Their verdicts will be announced at the Eat Out Woolworths
Restaurant Awards at the Grand Arena in Cape Town on Sunday, 20 November 2022.
The event has become a culinary highlight unto itself. The food served at the Eat Out Awards aims to
capture the essence of fine dining in South Africa and has delighted hundreds of guests over the years.
Cooking at this year’s anticipated ceremony will be some of South Africa’s leading chefs, educators and
innovation specialists. Each of these chefs was chosen not only for their passion, technical skills and
expertise but also for how they are helping to motivate, develop and improve the South African food
Chief judge Abigail Donnelly says: “This year, we want to keep the menu simple, with a focus on local
flavours that I’ve discovered throughout my judging experience this year. All the ingredients will be
supplied by Woolworths, who champion quality, freshness and flavour. It will be a celebration of South
African homegrown chefs and South African ingredients, while acknowledging different regional styles of
eating – from Gauteng to KwaZulu-Natal to the Western Cape. And we also want to shine a spotlight on
young up-and-coming chefs who are cooking incredible food.”
The 2022 awards have also been a dream partnership with headline sponsor Woolworths, who offer the
kind of sustainably farmed, high-quality fresh produce and ingredients that allows South Africans to create
restaurant-quality dishes at home.
Chan Pillay, Woolworths Foods Divisional Director: Commercial, says: “We are really excited to be
partnering with the Eat Out Awards this year. It’s no secret that at Woolworths we pride ourselves on
offering a wide variety of the best quality and flavour of food products, from ingredients to ready-made
meals, sourced or made with the customer and environment in mind. To be part of this highly anticipated
annual event that celebrates the best of what our country has to offer on the food front is an honour, and
a total alignment where values are concerned, as it’s the hope of both Woolworths and Eat Out to inspire
South Africans to eat well.”
MEET THE CHEFS
Jackie is KwaZulu-Natal born and raised. She held the position of head chef at Hartford House, a five-star boutique hotel Mooi River that garnered many Eat Out awards over the years, and is now the founder of the Jackie Cameron School of Food and Wine, where she lives out her passion for teaching, training, and developing young chefs.
She says: “Hearing that the Eat Out Woolworths Restaurant Awards are back was the best news for us all in this industry and then being asked to be involved again was the cherry on the top! Besides having to cook for over 700 of the most food-loving guests in the country, we as a team at Jackie Cameron School of Food and Wine feel honoured and thankful. We are excited to work with the team and Woolworths on this.”
Scott is the Culinary Innovation Research and Development Manager for Woolworths Foods, including Food Services.
He says: “As a Woolworths team, we are all proud to be part of this occasion and it’s an honour to have our dish sit on the same menu as some of the country’s leading chefs. To be able to
showcase a dish that our team has worked hard in creating a dish that uses incredible local ingredients and is presented in a simple but fun way. Hopefully, it will put a smile on the guests’ faces for more reasons than one.”
Jason (aka Captain Bread) has cemented himself as one of Cape Town’s most sought-after bakers,
reinventing classics with his own South African interpretation. His restaurant, Jason Bakery, has a cult following for its top-notch breads, pastries and coffee. Jason spent years honing his skills in hotels before he was bitten by the bread bug and can be credited for elevating the artisanal bread scene in the Mother City. His passion and knowledge of bread and pastry can be seen and tasted in all his mouth-watering morsels.
Jason says: “I love being involved in the awards and am super stoked that they’re back. Baking for
the awards is a great creative challenge. I get to play with flavours, colours and textures and present to a captured audience of over 700 people. I have always believed in using the best ingredients I can get my hands on so I was very happy to hear that for our courses this year we will be using ingredients from Woolworths. Their quality and innovation is really awesome!”
Moses is the head chef at Joburg hotspot Zioux, which is part of the Marble Group. He’s worked at the Ritz Carlton Hotel in Florida, Greenhouse in Constantia, Grei Restaurant in Gauteng and, more recently, at FYN in Cape Town.
Moses says: “Being involved in these specific awards feels like an award, literally! The Eat Out awards are what everybody in the culinary space looks forward to. Honoured is an understatement, I am grateful to be cooking this year.”
Vusi Ndlovu has made a name for himself working in some of the best restaurants in South Africa and
Europe. He was also ranked among the top seven chefs at the global San Pellegrino Young Chef finale in 2018. He’s one of the founding members of the African Culinary Library, a resource dedicated to preserving and promoting African food culture and cuisine.
“It’s an honour to be cooking again at the awards after the crazy period we all went through,” he says. “Cooking with Woolworths is fun, and the quality of their produce is great to work with at this level.”
Anouchka Horn and Neil Swart
Anouchka and Neil are the duo behind Cape Town’s Belly of The Beast.
“We couldn’t be more excited to have the awards back after the pandemic,” says Neil. “It’s a giant step to getting back to normal after a very tough couple of months for the industry. We’ve been following the awards for many years. Twelve years ago, we worked as students at one of the awards and it’s mind-blowing to think that we get to cook this year ourselves. Woolworths has great produce and we’re happy to showcase their ingredients in a proudly South African dish.”
Bertus Basson is a South African chef, entrepreneur, TV personality and uber-restaurateur best known for his group of restaurants in the Cape Winelands.
“The last two years were the toughest the restaurant industry in South Africa has ever faced,” he says. We are all very excited that the Eat Out WoolworthsRestaurant awards are back, celebrating excellence in South African hospitality. We are honoured to have been asked to cook for this year’s ceremony and our team has been hard at work on a very special course for the event. Having Woolworths as a partner makes it easy to cook with great ingredients.”