A characteristic that South Africans share with Americans the desire to tell everyone about what we’re best at (rugby, for one, but let’s not even get into that conversation!). The tallest this, the biggest that, the longest so-and-so, the deepest watchamacallit, the oldest thingamabob – you name it, we will find a category in which ours is the best. But somehow you often find yourself wondering if these are just patriotic urban legends, and that the thingamabob is only the oldest if you don’t look too hard in the rest of the world…
So it’s nice sometimes when the world confirms our general fabulousness and a South African product, person or event is honoured among the globally recognised best in the world. This was the case when the 2009 S.Pellegrino World’s Top 100 Restaurants were recently announced – and there were more South African restaurants in the top 100 than ever before!
The S.Pellegrino awards have been going for 8 years. To arrive
at this year’s results a total of 4,185 votes will have been cast by 837 restaurant experts – all well-travelled restaurant commentators, chefs or restaurateurs. Emanating from a unique polling of world’s best travelled and most polished palates the San Pellegrino World’s 50 Best Restaurants Awards has proved itself time and again to be an insightful barometer of culinary trends.
So which South African restaurants feature?
* Le Quartier Francais at no. 37 (up 13 places, and at least its 6th appearance on the list)
* La Colombe at no. 38 (re-entry into the top 100 from 2006)
* Jardine at no. 79 (up 14 places!)
* Aubergine at no. 96 (new entry)
* Rust en Vrede at no. 98 (new entry)
Given the fact that there are only 18 restaurants in the Top 100 from countries outside Europe and the USA (and only 2 from Australia!), I think that’s pretty impressive, and proves that we really have upped our culinary game to compete on a world stage.
And the good news does not end there – apparently all the restaurants in the top 50 have been persuaded to donate a meal for two to be auctioned off on EBay in aid of Action Against Hunger – check out the details here.
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