A small restaurant in South Africa was named “Restaurant of the Year” in Paris on Monday by the World Restaurant Awards, a new ranking that aims to promote the diversity of the international culinary scene.
Wolfgat’s chef Kobus Van der Merwe, who only started cooking at the age of 30, delights in the concept of local products to the extreme and makes his own bread and butter.
Wolfgat – whose staff, mostly female, and with no formal training – opened two years ago in a 130-year-old cottage in a cave on Paternoster Beach on the west coast, 150 km from Cape Town.
“I don’t feel like I deserve it, it’s my collaborators, who go out every day to pick herbs, succulent plants and spinach that should be here,” the 38-year-old chef told AFP.
‘’.. It’s their baby. I look forward to celebrating with them with a tall glass of South African sparkling wine.’‘
Votes were cast by a 100-member jury, with 50/50 gender parity composed of famous leaders such as Elena Arzak, Alex Atala, Massimo Bottura, David Chang, Hélène Darroze, and René Redzepi, as well as journalists and influencers.