South Africa’s Restaurant Plate Ratings for 2024

JHP Gourmet Guide

The 2024 JHP Gourmet Guide™ launch took place at beyond Restaurant on the Buitenverwachting wine estate in Constantia, Cape Town on Monday 30 October, where 45 Plated restaurants, and the Haute Performance awards for chefs and restaurants were announced.

  • One plate is awarded for excellent cuisine,
  • two for exceptional dining that demands a detour, and
  • three plates for world-class destination dining worthy of a flight.

The digital guide, which won the ‘Best in the World’ in the digital category at the Gourmand World Cookbook Awards in 2023, showcases the best fine-dining establishments in South Africa. It rewards excellence and consistency in the industry and is highly respected for its authenticity and credibility. Established in 2016, it is the first restaurant rating system in South Africa that equates to global standards of international benchmarking.

ADDRESS BY MINISTER OF TOURISM

Premium restaurants, having grown from last year’s 36 to 45 in total, received their Plate Ratings at the ceremony. Minister of Tourism, Patricia de Lille, thanked the restaurants and chefs for their contribution to gastronomic tourism in South Africa, and presented the plates.

Jenny Handley, founder and curator of the guide, reminded the chefs that they are not in the food business, but in the people business. The challenge is to match global standards, and to tap into their diverse kitchens to understand and promote all genres of SA cuisine. She encouraged them to support local, to be more sustainable, to practice genuine upliftment and more transformation. “The most important meal served in a restaurant is the one with your team before service, when you come together as a family. You begin to understand one another’s history and heritage and culture, and only then can you showcase our diverse cuisine,” said Handley.

HAUTE PERFORMANCE AWARDS

The Haute Purpose & Passion Award, in partnership with Wesgro, the Tourism, Trade and Investment Promotion Agency for Cape Town and the Western Cape, was won by The Test Kitchen Fledgelings. The criteria included: community impact, involvement, and upliftment, strategy for sustainability and futureproofing, the ability to influence others positively, and to harness the passion of their team.

In this vibrant atmosphere of culinary ambition, students are nurtured by the combined expertise of Luke Dale Roberts, renowned for his innovative approach to gastronomy, and the talented head chef Nathan Clarke. Here, amidst the clatter of pans and the sizzle of gourmet creations, future culinary luminaries are sculpted into polished gems of the industry.

Guided by their mentors, these aspiring chefs and hospitality professionals delve into the intricate art of gastronomy, mastering the delicate balance between creativity and precision. Their education transcends the confines of a traditional culinary curriculum, encompassing the nuanced interplay between flavours, textures, and presentation that characterizes a truly exceptional dining experience.

FIRST GREEN PHILOSOPHY PLATE AWARDED

The JHP Gourmet Guide™ is proud to partner with the WWF Southern African Sustainable Seafood Initiative (SASSI) in awarding the first-ever green philosophy plate. WWF-SASSI drives change in the local seafood industry by working throughout the seafood supply chain to:

  • Shift demand away from over-exploited marine species, and
  • distil complex science into easy-to-use tools categorizing seafood per a ‘traffic light’ system, enabling sustainable seafood decisions.

A cornerstone of the SASSI programme is to drive an increase in awareness of sustainable seafood by asking three questions: What are you eating? Where is it from and how was it caught or farmed? This enables full traceability and transparency within the culinary industry.

FYN was awarded the inaugural Green Philosophy Plate, and this award celebrates chefs Peter Tempelhoff, Ashley Moss and their team who are making remarkable strides in sustainability. WWF-SASSI recognises that sustainability is a journey, and success is not achieved overnight. These chefs have made it their daily ambition to keep sustainability at the heart of everything they do.

Other Haute Performance awards were bestowed on deserving chefs and restaurants:

Haute Pioneer – The Happy Uncles

Haute Promise – Carla Schulze

Haute Property – Galjoen

Haute Pride – Siba Mtongana

Haute Partnership – Ryan Cole

Haute Programme of wine, in association with the SA Sommeliers Association – La Colombe

HAUTE PROVENANCE

Seven provenance awards were given to chefs and restaurants:

Basalt, Bertus Basson, beyond, Emazulwini, Klein JAN, The LivingRoom and Wolfgat.

All Haute Performance award winners received a bespoke, hand-crafted trophy from Mervyn Gers Ceramics, who have been sponsoring the JHP Gourmet Guide™ awards since 2018. The range of ceramics reflects and celebrates the diversity of South Africa, as seen in our cuisine. Each commemorative plate, trimmed with real bronze, silver or gold, is proudly displayed by the restaurants.

A detailed list of all winners is in the guide. Please use this link to access the 2024 JHP Gourmet Guide™ to view the Plated restaurants and Haute Performance award winners.

www.gourmetguide.co.za/jhp-gourmet-guide/

INNOVATIVE DISTRIBUTION ON LOCAL PRODUCTS

Rio Largo, local producer of award-winning, quality olive oil, is the first to display the book cover and QR code on their beautiful decanters – testament to the ethos of the book of supporting local. The free online guide went live on 1 November.

AUCTION FOR STREETSMART

The euphoric evening ended on a high, with R42 000 being raised by auctioneer Joff van Reenen in an auction of the biggest gastronomic feast ever! Generous gift vouchers for dining experiences were donated by more than 25 of the restaurants, allowing the final bidder to dine their way around the best South African restaurants. All proceeds went to StreetSmart.


DINE, WINE AND TRAVEL

The guide will be available online from 1 November, on www.gourmetguide.co.za. Go between the covers to discover the stories of the chefs and restaurants. It has been designed by Wilna Combrinck as a visual feast with breath-taking food photography, art and quotes from the chefs. Curator and author of the guide, Jenny Handley, holds formal qualifications in food and nutrition and owns a brand performance business. Handley is the author of three best-selling business books – Raise your GameÓ, Raise your Profile and Raise your Leadersä.