Four of the world's top 300 chefs are right here in Mzansi

04 October 2018 - 11:11 By Zola Zingithwa
Chantel Dartnall beat out celebrity chefs like Heston Blumenthal and Peter Gilmore in the 2018 ranking of the world's top 300 chefs.
Chantel Dartnall beat out celebrity chefs like Heston Blumenthal and Peter Gilmore in the 2018 ranking of the world's top 300 chefs.
Image: Supplied

A trio of South Africans, and a Frenchman who has made Mzansi his culinary home, have been named among the top 300 chefs in the world at the 2018 Best Chef Awards in Milan, Italy.

These prestigious awards rank chefs based on their talent, experience and potential. The focus is on the chef as a person, including their personality, and not necessarily the restaurant they work in.

Spain's Joan Roca of El Celler De Can Roca was named the world's number one chef for the second year in row, with other European chefs largely dominating the top 10.

When it comes to the South African contingent, Chantel Dartnall of Restaurant Mosaic at The Orient in Pretoria led the pack ranking at number 79.

She was followed by Peter Tempelhoff (#134) from The Greenhouse at the Cellars Hohenort Hotel in Cape Town, Frenchman Gregory Czarnecki (#223) from Restaurant at Waterkloof in Somerset West, and Michael Deg (#272) from Delaire Graff Restaurant in Stellenbosch.

One critique of the Best Chef Awards is that there are only three women in the top 50, which is possibly why the organisers felt the need to include a separate Best Chef Lady award — a contentious issue on its own.

Dartnall took home this title in 2017 and, despite having dropped significantly from last year's ranking at number 32, she remains one of the top five female chefs in the world.

Issues aside, having four local chefs named among the world's 300 best is an honour that positions our country as a culinary destination that is worth exploring, and one that will hopefully continue to inspire excellence in Mzansi restaurant kitchens.

WORLD'S TOP 10 CHEFS ACCORDING TO THE BEST CHEF AWARDS 2018

  1. Joan Roca (Spain)
  2. René Redzepi (Denmark)
  3. David Muñoz (Spain)
  4. Björn Frantzén (Sweden)
  5. Jonnie Boer (The Netherlands)
  6. Niko Romito (Italy)
  7. Alex Atala (Brazil)
  8. Massimo Bottura (Italy)
  9. Yannick Alléno (France)
  10. Vladimir Mukhin (Russia)

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