A NEWCOMER BLAZES TO VICTORY!
Rare Grill in Kenilworth takes top honours with Little Havana in Umhlanga Rocks the runner up and The Local Grill in Parktown North in third place.
The Wolftrap Steakhouse Championships 2017 saw over 150 steakhouses competing to become South Africa’s Steakhouse Champion. In the first round during May, the public seeded the field by voting, via Facebook, for their favourite steakhouse. The Top Ten Finalists, as voted by the public, were then visited unannounced during June by expert judges led by Pete Goffe-Wood, well-known MasterChef personality, and assessed according to a strict score sheet that focussed on the steak on the plate, as well as looking at the side dishes and the quality of the hospitality. Ultimately it was debut entrant Rare Grill in Kenilworth that claimed top honours.
This marks the first Cape winner in the five years of The Wolftrap Steakhouse Championships. The runner up, Little Havana from Umhlanga Rocks was the winner in 2015, and in third place, The Local Grill from Parktown North, has an incredible three titles to its name.
Rare Grill owner Greg Bax was overwhelmed to claim the Championship title, as well as Newcomer of the Year, a new award this year. “For an intimate steakhouse like Rare Grill, such an accolade is really going to put us on the map!” Bax said. Pete Goffe-Wood, head judge, added: “Rare Grill is a gem, an owner-operated steakhouse where Greg personally mans the grill and takes immense pride in the quality of his beef.”
The other two new awards this year were Steakhouse Legend of the Year which was awarded to The Godfather in Centurion, a stalwart in the industry, and Steakhouse Chain of the Year which went to the Cattle Baron Group for having four outlets in the top 30: Cattle Baron Tyger Waterfront, Cattle Baron George, Cattle Baron Tableview and Cattle Baron Mossel Bay.
The 2017 Awards were announced at a steak feast hosted by last year’s winner, The Local Grill in Parktown North, on Tuesday 18th July. Most of the Top Ten Finalists were present as well as an excited group of media and friends from the industry. Steve Maresch, owner-patron of The Local Grill, and his dedicated team pulled out all the stops at the luncheon, treating the guests to a 4-course lunch, served with The Wolftrap wine.
The Wolftrap Steakhouse Championships is a blend of public involvement and expert arbitration – and the ultimate winner is therefore not only very good indeed, but also a public favourite. To the victor belong the spoils: the ultimate bragging rights of being the Champion for a year, and also a full year’s supply of The Wolftrap wine.
The Wolftrap Steakhouse Championships results for 2017 are:
1. Rare Grill, Kenilworth
2. Little Havana, Umhlanga Rocks (2015 Champion)
3. The Local Grill, Parktown North (2013, 2014 and 2016 Champion)
4. The Godfather, Centurion, Pretoria
5. The Cricketer, East London
6. Beef Boys Grill, Potchefstroom
7. HQ, Cape Town
8. Karoo Cattle and Land, Irene, Pretoria
9. Jayz Grill, Pietermaritzburg
10. The Grumpy Griller, George
Newcomer of the Year: Rare Grill, Kenilworth
Steakhouse Legend of the Year: The Godfather, Centurion
Chain Steakhouse of the Year: The Cattle Baron Group
Steak is a South African passion and the steakhouse is our favourite national restaurant – The Wolftrap Steakhouse Championships is proud to celebrate South African steakhouses and thanks them for all the hard work!
How did people vote for their favourite steakhouse?
All voting took place on www.facebook.com/SteakHunter. Each voter was allowed only one vote for one restaurant, during the month of May.
What defines a Steakhouse?
A steakhouse is a restaurant that specialises in grilled beef and that has a menu solely based on steak or with a clear and dominant section of the menu dedicated to steak and grills. It should be clear that steak is the primary focus of the restaurant.
What were the judges looking for?
Judges rated the steakhouses according to a wide-ranging, standardised score sheet which examined all aspects of dining out and encompassed the total experience, but focussed on the quality of the steak and the side dishes that are part of a steak meal.
Steakhouse Championships Awards and Prizes
In addition to Awards for the Ten Finalist Steakhouses and the Trophy for the 2017 Steakhouse of the Year, this year there were three new Special Awards:
Newcomer of the Year – for a first time entrant;
Chain Steakhouse of the Year – for any steakhouse chain that has two or more outlets (individual owner or franchise) with the highest placed outlet in the top 50 of the leaderboard as well as at least one other outlet in the top 50;
Steakhouse Legend of the Year – for a steakhouse that has been open 30 years or more and is highest placed in the Championships.
The 2017 Champion will also receive one 12-bottle case of The Wolftrap wine each week for the duration of the Championship year and will host the following year’s Championships Awards ceremony.
The Wolftrap Steakhouse Championships is now in its fifth year.
Previous winners are: Little Havana, Umhlanga Rocks (2015); The Local Grill, Parktown North (2013, 2014 and 2016)