Wholesome beach restaurant named Restaurant of the Year

by: Angie Kwon
28 Feb 2019

Wolfgat, a small beach side restaurant in the Western Cape (South Africa) has snatched the top honour at the inaugural World Restaurant Awards 2019, held in February.

Created as an IMG partnership between Joe Warwick and Andrea Petrini to celebrate and award restaurants as culture, similar to that of film, art and music. The event in question took place in Paris on 18 February, attended by the industry’s leading players in fine dining, known for modern and innovative offerings, through to more humble restaurants and off-map destinations. The latter being an award in itself that was also won by Wolfgat, which seats only 20, staffed mostly by people with no formal training, with a focus on “seasonal (cuisine), inspired by the weather, with a naturalist approach and minimum intervention”, with the judges commenting, “It feels like a restaurant that’s giving back to the community.”

WOM Guide was right in the middle of the action at The World Restaurant Awards in Paris. Here are some of the winners:
South Africa wins big as Wolfgat in Paternoster – tucked away in a 130-year-old ocean-side cottage on the historic Wolfgat cave, with a menu specialising in local seafood and plants foraged from the Western Cape – is crowned ‘Restaurant of the Year’ as well as ‘Off-Map Destination’

France’s Le Clarence in Paris takes home ‘Original Thinking,’ while La Mère Brazier in Lyon is awarded ‘Enduring Classic’

Lido 84 overlooking Lake Garda in northern Italy wins ‘House Special’ for its cacio e pepe cooked inside a pig's bladder

Some other quirkier awards included “Best tattoo-free chef” won by Alain Ducasse and “Best instagram of the year”, won by Alain Passard. We also saw some familiar names including Yat Lok, our favourite roast goose restaurant in Hong Kong that made it into the “House Special” shortlist, as well as Godenya, which was shortlisted for the “Forward Drinking” award.

Angie Kwon