American Express® pays tribute to the chefs and restaurants that are changing the game in the pursuit of delivering the perfect culinary experience, with this year’s installation of the American Express Platinum Fine Dining awards, South Africa’s premier dining awards ceremony.

The Awards have been at the forefront of fine dining for over 18 years, and this year’s installation of the awards lists American Express®’s choice of the country’s 100 exceptional restaurants.

The Cape Town incarnation of the Awards takes place this year at The Werf Restaurant at Boschendal Estate, Franschhoek, on Monday 5 September. The Johannesburg awards will take place a week later, on Monday 12 September at Marble Restaurant in Rosebank.

Reflecting on the journey, convenor of the American Express® culinary judging panel, Tamsin Snyman drew this illustration to explain the relationship between the chefs and the ingredients as follows; ‘There is a playful dance between a chef and his or her perfect dish – an essential process which demands hundreds of hours spent focusing, experimenting, eliminating, pushing boundaries and refining the culinary experience. Creating the perfect plate in the pursuit of excellence requires an exploration into, and a complete understanding of every element on the plate. Notably, it requires the chef’s choice of the key ingredient as the hero for the dish and how it works in harmony with other elements in the mix, to ultimately create the perfect culinary excellence.’

‘The awards now reflect the growth and diversity of new restaurants in our country, along with a tangible elevation of our culinary talent. South Africa is truly owning its place as a foodie nation, and this is manifested by the arrival of a wide variety of new avant-garde and contemporary establishments which have emerged in the past few years. More importantly, our best restaurants are reflecting the dynamic and multicultural nature of our country, encompassing a wide spectrum of styles, ethnicities and ambiences,’ said Snyman.

Snyman is joined on the judging panel by Anna Trapido, a renowned author, journalist, broadcaster and commentator on food and wine, as well as Jackie Cameron, chef, author and owner of the Jackie Cameron School of Food & Wine.
The judging process focusses on the selected restaurants’standards which are re-evaluated annually by the judges. As such, the annual nominations for the awards are not renewed automatically as consistent quality is a must.

‘We are delighted to bring this year’s Awards as part of our longstanding partnership with American Express®. As the exclusive issuer and merchant acquirer of American Express-branded cards in South Africa, we are able to offer our clients access to the best restaurants and culinary experience. This also serves as a much needed support for South Africa’s culinary industry which boasts impeccable high gourmet and service standards which we are proud to celebrate through the awards,’ explains Pamela White, Head of Corporate Card for American Express® at Nedbank.

Restaurants meeting the judging criteria which include quality and creativity of cuisine, service, wine list, décor and ambience as well as overall excellence, fit into the following categories:

  • Chef-Patron restaurants
  • Wine Farm restaurants
  • Game Lodge restaurants
  • Hotel restaurants
  • Business Consortiums restaurants
  • Revolving Category

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