Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 June 2019

Tiny beach restaurant Wolfgat is named best in the world

The inaugural World Restaurant Awards took place in Paris this week

Wolfgat is located in Paternoster, South Africa. World Restaurant Awards
Wolfgat is located in Paternoster, South Africa. World Restaurant Awards

A new award ceremony celebrating the best restaurants in the world took place in Paris this week. And while eateries from every corner of the world were honoured, it was a tiny restaurant found in a fishing village in South Africa’s Western Cape that took home the top prize.

Wolfgat, run from a 130-year-old cottage, was named as Restaurant of the Year after seriously impressing with its seven-course tasting menu. The Paternoster eatery is headed up by chef Kobus van der Merwe, who described the win as an “amazing honour”.

"There's no kitchen hierarchy so it's all about collaboration and learning from one another,” he told CNN. “I'm incredibly proud of them. They don't come from any formal food background, so this achievement is all the more amazing."

The judges said of Wolfgat: "If mother nature erected a sign saying ‘build restaurant here’, it would surely point to Wolfgat. Chosen from all the inspected big plates, our inaugural Restaurant of the Year is a small, remote haven of purity and good taste in every sense."

The inaugural awards aim to recognise diversity in global dining, and focused on a number of categories away from food such as collaborations, social media use and atmosphere. The judging panel was made up of 100 gender-balanced culinary professionals, journalists and influencers.

The full list of winners are below:

Big Plates winners:

Restaurant of the Year

Wolfgat. Paternoster, South Africa

Arrival of the Year

Inua. Tokyo, Japan

Atmosphere of the Year

Vespertine. Los Angeles, United States

Collaboration of the Year

Paradiso X Gortnanain. Cork, Ireland

Enduring Classic

La Mère Brazier. Lyon, France

Ethical Thinking

Refettorio (Food For Soul). Various locations, Italy

Event of the Year

Refugee Food Festival. Paris, France (and worldwide)

House Special

Lido 84. Lombardy, Italy

Forward Drinking

Mugaritz. San Sebastián, Spain

No Reservations Required

Mocotó. São Paulo, Brazil

Off-Map Destination

Wolfgat. Paternoster, South Africa

Original Thinking

Le Clerence. Paris, France

Small Plates winners:

Instagram Account of the Year

Alain Passard (@alain_passard). Paris, France

Long-Form Journalism

Lisa Abend - The Food Circus. Fool Magazine

Red-Grape Serving Restaurant

Noble Rot. London, United Kingdom

Tattoo-Free Chef

Alain Ducasse. Paris, France

Trolley of the Year

Ballymaloe House. Cork, Ireland

Tweezer-Free Kitchen

Bo.Lan. Bangkok, Thailand

Updated: February 22, 2019 04:37 PM

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