Paternoster eatery Wolfgat, headed by chef Kobus van der Merwe, has secured a spot on the World's 50 Best Restaurants list for 2021.
A new entry into the prestigious awards, Wolfgat nabbed the 50th spot, winning the title of Best Restaurant in Africa.
Located in the charming fishing village of Paternoster in the Western Cape, Wolfgat has received a string of accolades over the years in recognition of its innovative approach to seasonal local cuisine.
Commenting on the award win, Van der Merwe said in a post on Instagram: "All our heroes – local and international chefs and restaurants that we admire and have been looking up to – are featured here, so it seems quite surreal and undeserved that we should be ranked amongst them. But we are honoured to be selected, and proud to represent South Africa, and Paternoster in particular, on the global stage.
"Given the extremely challenging past year-and-a-half we've faced globally, especially in the hospitality industry, recognition of this kind comes as a welcome morale boost, as well as an incentive to keep doing what we do in our own small way – moreover since our slightly unconventional, West Coast approach to food and service does not necessarily fit the average idea of what constitutes 'fine dining'.
"I am immensely proud of the passionate Wolfgat team: Rochelle Karolus, She-Earl Pietersen, Emily Williams, Emmerson Bester and Alicia Bester – who, with no formal hospitality training, are recognised for their hard work amongst the best in the industry, internationally. What a rewarding moment for the community of Paternoster, and a shining example for the next generation of young South Africans."
Last month, La Colombe and Fyn were announced as runners up in the World's 50 Best Restaurants list, those eateries rated 51 to 100. La Colombe and Fyn placed at No 81 and No 92 respectively.
This year’s World's 50 Best Restaurants winners were revealed at an awards ceremony in Antwerp in Belgium. Last year’s awards were cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The annual restaurant list is created from the votes of The World’s 50 Best Restaurants Academy, an influential group of more than 1,000 leaders made up of food writers and critics, chefs, restaurateurs and international culinary experts, with a 50/50 gender balance. To counter the restrictions on international travel and limited dining opportunities of the last year, the 2021 list has been created from a combination of votes cast in January 2020 (which have never been published) and a ‘voting refresh’ which took place in March 2021.
Each voter had the chance to update their 2020 selections based only on restaurant experiences in their own region in the 14 months since the previous voting round, reflecting the increased importance of local dining. The 2021 list has therefore been created from a combination of wider pre-pandemic experiences and, where possible, contemporary local updates.View the full list of winning restaurants here.