SEARCH FOR EXCELLENCE
Capetonian Tamsin Snyman, World’s 50 Best restaurant judge for Africa & Indian Ocean Islands, was in Bilbao, Spain, for the announcement of these prestigious awards
Dubbed the Oscars of the food world, the event saw the coming together of the greatest chefs on the planet, the academy chairs responsible for the votes, sponsors and hospitality media. Since 2002 The World’s 50 Best Restaurants has promoted and reflected the diversity of the global culinary landscape, becoming one of the most influential and respected gastronomic tastemakers in the world.
It is an honour to represent the region, Africa & Indian Ocean Islands, as academy chair and be responsible for my panel of 40 voters in my region. Our region is one of 26. Every year I arm each gourmet globe-trotting voter with 10 votes. They receive a secret password directly from the team in London and vote for their 10 best restaurant experiences.
Six of their 10 votes need to be for restaurants in their own region; the remaining four for restaurants in other regions. My team of voters remains anonymous and the process is strictly confidential and independently audited by Deloitte.
I change 25% of my voters every year.
There is no predetermined checklist. There is no hidden secret or recipe. There are no criteria, but there are strict voting rules. The list is the result of the collective views of independent experts who celebrate creativity, quality, innovation, passion, dedication, delicious food and great restaurants.
We celebrate the world’s diverse and innovative gastronomy and unite a unique community of extraordinary talent. South African restaurants have always shone on this prestigious list.
Last year, with the event in Melbourne, Australia, The Test Kitchen tumbled off the list from 22 to 63 as the restaurant went through refurbishment and transformation. This year sees Luke, Ryan and his super team at The
Test Kitchen climb a whopping 13 places to land in 50th position, ahead of legendary greats like The Fat Duck, The French Laundry and St John. They are clearly doing something incredibly inventive to own this space and I look forward to watching them climb again.
The World’s 50 Best Restaurant Awards takes place in a different country every year, and having played out in New York in 2016, detoured to Melbourne, Australia, last year and now Bilbao in Spain, the world waits in anticipation of the announcement of the next city to host the world’s gourmet greats.
“My team and I have taken some risks over the last year and worked extremely hard to evolve The Test Kitchen to what it is today. It’s thrilling that it has paid off.” CHEF LUKE DALE ROBERTS THE TEST KITCHEN
A dish from the winning restaurant, Osteria Francescana, Modena, Italy; Below: Luke Dale Roberts and a dish from The Test Kitchen