Local celebrity chefs clean up at the Luxe Restaurant Awards

Lorna Maseko and The Lazy Makoti were just some of the other famous faces who bagged prizes for their culinary prowess at this annual event

05 November 2020 - 06:29 By Toni Jaye Singer
From left: celeb chefs David Higgs, Chef Nti, Lorna Maseko, The Lazy Makoti, and Gary Kyriacou of Marble.
From left: celeb chefs David Higgs, Chef Nti, Lorna Maseko, The Lazy Makoti, and Gary Kyriacou of Marble.
Image: Supplied/The Hospitality Counsel

Restaurateurs would likely agree that if 2020 was a dish, it would have a bitter aftertaste given the challenges they've faced in keeping their businesses afloat during the pandemic.

That's why we're sure many welcomed the chance to revel in each other's achievements at The Hospitality Counsel's annual Luxe Restaurant Awards.

The awards*, which aim to “celebrate the finest contributions to the South African restaurant sector”, were handed out at a glam ceremony in Johannesburg on Wednesday.

This event might have been “intimate” (read: Covid-conscious), but there was no shortage of star power with celeb chefs Lorna Maseko, Chef Nti and Mogau Seshoene aka The Lazy Makoti in attendance to collect their trophies.

According to their social media posts, Maseko was “so excited” to have bagged the Icon Award, while The Lazy Makoti “still can't get over” being hailed as 2020's Culinary Rising Star.

Chef Nti took home a pair of accolades: she was dubbed the Culinary Media Personality of The Year, and her Maboneng eatery, Taste Kitchen, was named African Restaurant of The Year.

Thank you for this amazing recognition ... I’m a woman with a dream and I’m so grateful to be living it. Cheers to more wins and victories,” she enthused on Instagram.

Other celebrities on the winner's list included actor Maps Maponyane whose Linden restaurant, Buns Out, won Burger Joint of The Year, and My Kitchen Rules SA judge David Higgs, who was honoured with a Lifetime Achievement Award.

Higg's upmarket Rosebank eatery, Marble, also received the Service Excellence Award.

Chantel Dartnall of Restaurant Mosaic was named Chef of The Year at the The Hospitality Counsel's Luxe Restaurant Awards, which were hosted in collaboration with The House of BNG.
Chantel Dartnall of Restaurant Mosaic was named Chef of The Year at the The Hospitality Counsel's Luxe Restaurant Awards, which were hosted in collaboration with The House of BNG.
Image: Supplied/The Hospitality Counsel

It was Pretoria's famed Restaurant Mosaic, however, that scooped up the most prizes on the night including the titles of Restaurant and Wine List of the Year. It's chef patron Chantel Dartnall was voted Chef of the Year, while head sommelier Moses Magwaza got the Wine Service Award.

At Restaurant Mosaic, we pride ourselves on delivering unforgettable dining experiences that showcase SA's talent, passion and produce as truly world-class — these awards remind us that we are continually realising our dreams!” said Dartnall on Instagram.

All the winners of the 2020 Luxe Restaurant Awards:

  • Restaurant of The Year: Restaurant Mosaic, Pretoria
  • Chef of The Year: Chantel Dartnall of Restaurant Mosaic
  • New Restaurant of The Year: Aurum, Joburg
  • Style Award: Ethos, Joburg
  • Icon Award: Lorna Maseko
  • Culinary Media Personality of The Year: Chef Nti
  • Culinary Innovation Award: Gate, Stellenbosch
  • Culinary Rising Star: The Lazy Makoti
  • Lifetime Achievement Award: David Higgs
  • African Restaurant of The Year: Taste Kitchen, Joburg
  • Burger Joint of The Year: Buns Out, Joburg
  • Café of The Year: Tin Roof Café, Pretoria
  • Coffee Shop of The Year: Vintage Coffee, Pretoria
  • Country Restaurant of The Year: Almost Orange, Hartbeespoort
  • Fine Dining Restaurant of The Year: La Colombe, Constantia
  • Food Truck of The Year: The Filthy Moustache, Joburg
  • Service Excellence Award: Marble, Joburg
  • Sustainability Award: Grei, Joburg
  • Wine Service Award: Moses Magwaza of Restaurant Mosaic
  • Wine List of The Year: Restaurant Mosaic, Pretoria

* How the judging worked: A shortlist of 100 nominees in the various awards categories was drawn up by The Hospitality Counsel, and the winners chosen based on the results of a survey issued to their more than 10,000 members.