Fine dining awards reach new heights

Good food, good service… Anna Trapido (American Express culinary judge), Vusumuzi Nkwinika (Bistro Michel) and Pamela White (head of corporate card issuing for American Express) at the annual American Express Platinum Fine Dining Awards which took place at Katy’s Palace Bar in Kramerville, Sandton.

The awards, now in their 17th year, seek to recognise the enormous artistic, social and business contribution that the finest chefs and restaurants make to South African life. The awards also recognise restaurants for consistent excellence in service and food. They celebrate those who are at the forefront of redefining notions of fine dining in a modern and international context and, as such, reflect cutting-edge trends and the diversity of South Africa’s food industry.

This year, 100 restaurants were honoured by American Express, and eight of those received the prestigious 10-Year award. “The number of new restaurants entering the programme has more than doubled since last year,” said Pamela White, head of corporate card issuing for American Express.

“We are delighted to see that our iconic chefs are being joined by an exciting cadre of young chefs rising through the ranks.”

Convenor of the American Express culinary judging panel, Tamsin Snyman, added that the hospitality industry plays a key role in the economy. “It is a pleasure and a privilege to be part of something that recognises this role,” said Snyman.

She added that the judging panel is particularly proud that they are at the forefront of redefining notions of fine dining in a modern, international context. “For many years, fine dining meant silver service and French food, but excellence can and, indeed, does exist across a wide spectrum of styles, ethnicities and ambiences,” she explained.

“South Africa is a multicultural and dynamic country. Our food industry professionals are well travelled and internationally relevant, but also rooted in a national and regional culinary identity.”

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