14 March 2021


As the country emerges from a challenging time, the Eat Out judges will be looking for the best dining experiences in SA, giving the restaurants and chefs a platform to shine and to celebrate greatness.

Featuring a new, more inclusive approach and a diverse panel of judges, the highly respected Eat Out Restaurant Awards are back after a two-year hiatus, with Abigail Donnelly returning as chief judge. Joining her in 2022 are Michelin-starred chef and restaurateur Jan Hendrik van der Westhuizen, chef Karen Dudley, sommelier Moses Magwaza, food activist and cookbook author Mokgadi Itsweng, and food writer and broadcaster Anna Trapido.

The panel has begun the process that will culminate in the much-anticipated awards ceremony (date to be finalised in conjunction with the headline partner). Find out more about the judges on Eat Out.

The 2022 Eat Out Restaurant Awards judges

Launched in 1998, the annual Eat Out Restaurant Awards celebrate the South African restaurant industry. In the two decades since the awards’ inception, the ceremony has become the biggest night on the industry’s calendar. The last one was in 2019, before the awards went on hiatus due to the pandemic. More than 500 guests, including industry players, celebrities and members of the public, attended this stylish event, where they enjoyed a multi-course fine-dining experience by some of the top chefs in the country.

The return of the awards comes after extensive consultation with diverse voices in the restaurant industry. The revamped approach for 2022 will focus on inclusivity, with new awards that celebrate the industry’s unsung heroes. Significantly, Eat Out will debut a new judging process whereby restaurants will receive a rating rather than a ranking. This is also the first time that restaurants will know the judging panel. However, the judges will continue to dine unannounced and pay for all their meals.

New Media CEO Aileen Lamb says: “With the new Eat Out Restaurant Awards, we want to acknowledge the incredible way everyone has pulled together to get through the pandemic. At the same time, we will still be rewarding the abundance of excellence that this industry exudes. Now more than ever, people are seeking out special and unique experiences to share with their loved ones. And there is no experience like a great restaurant.”

Limited sponsorship opportunities are available. If you’re interested, contact Jeanine Boshoff, the Head of Story Station at New Media.

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