Eat In Awards 2011



Eat In took a new approach with their awards ceremony this year. I attended the Eat In awards ceremony last year, when the format was a private lunch. This year they decided to change the format to a night market with many of the nominees having stands so that the public could try and buy their goods. I think this is a great idea and would even suggest they do the market more often, at least twice in the year as it’s great to have a chance to be exposed to these great products and to meet the interesting and passionate people behind them.

The event was well attended so I’m sure the vendors would have been pleased with the exposure and sales they had at the event. That’s one of the drawbacks of artisanal products, they are often difficult to find or get hold of. So a specialised (as in all high quality and environmentally & socially positive) market is always appreciated.

I was quite disappointed with the actual awards though. Because there were so many people there, and many of them were not paying attention but chatting, it was very difficult to hear and see what was going on. After a while I gave up and wandered off to check out some of the stands. I would suggest that the actual awards take place half an hour before the market is opened to the public. Those that are interested can then arrive earlier to attend the actual awards ceremony.

Another thing I didn’t really like was that my goodie bag didn’t contain any of the winning products! Last year we took samples of many of the winning products home and I really enjoyed tasting them.

On a positive note, the catering was excellent. I was pleased to see Sense of Taste catering again as they did an excellent job last year. The awards were sponsored by SAB and the snacks were paired with certain beers. All of the snacks were really tasty and interesting (eg fillet & sweetbread kebabs) and some of the pairings worked really well.

I’m sure the team will learn some lessons from this event and the next one will be even bigger and better. Below are the winners of the various Eat In Awards. I’d recommend getting hold of the magazine to see the very strict criteria for each category as well as the extensive listing of quality food shops around the country (and some great recipes and catering ideas). There is also some information and other great content on their website

The 2011 SAB Eat In Produce Award winners:

Best New Product: Totally Wild Aloe & Baobab Juice, Cape Town.
South African Heritage: Enaleni Farm, Pietermaritzburg.
Best Producer – Organic: Kimilili’s Witzenberger cheese, Tulbagh, Western Cape.

Small Produce Awards
Paddock: Chuck and Bob’s
Earth: The Drift Farm’s range of organic fruit and veg, Napier, Western Cape.
Bakery: The Foodbarn’s ciabatta and rye bread, Noordhoek, Western Cape.
Dairy: Swissland St Maure cheese, Balgowan, KwaZulu-Natal Midlands.
Grocery: Quality Pickles’ range of chutneys, atchars and pickles, Hex River Valley, Western Cape.
Merit winner: The Kitchen Garden sprouts, Tokai, Cape Town.

Best Markets and Stores: Outlets
North: Braeside Meat Market, Pretoria;
Pretoria: Boeremark.
South: Get Stuffed Enterprises’ The Real Cheese, Cape Town;
Neighbourgoods Market, Cape Town.
East: Everfresh La Lucia; The Food Market, Durban North
Central: The Valley Market, Magaliesberg.


3 responses to “Eat In Awards 2011”

  1. Jessica

    Don’t you mean the SAB . . . Eat In awards 🙂

  2. johan vd merwe

    I thought the awards were a bit of a joke, SAB is not exatly a small producer however there beer was the only beer I saw that was available, what about darling breweries or jack black even mitchels is a small brewery. How is it possible that a small producer like Ile De Pain did not make it there, for there bread is far superior to any bread in South Africa if not the world, I just wonder who is judging and what criteria is is being judged on, seems like a money making event now just like the eatout awards has become and every year they try and keep as many peple happy rather than being honest, who cares if the same producer wins every year if they are the best then it is up to the others to catch up.

    1. Hi Johan

      From what I understand they ask for people to send in nominations. Then they select winners from the nominations. However there are criteria that need to be met, eg. organic, socially responsible, etc. So not every small producer qualifies. The awards and the criteria are explained in detail in the Eat In magazine. I recommend that you get a copy and you’ll find most of your questions will be answered. Perhaps next year you can nominate some producers you feel need recognition. That would be appreciated, I’m sure.

      As for your comments on SAB. The awards need a fairly significant sponsor and they can’t get someone who stands to be a winner to be a sponsor because there would be a conflict. So SAB is quite a good sponsor because they can afford it, they are local and they are not competing. They also subscribe to many of the principles that the Eat In awards are trying to promote such as social upliftment and natural products.

      The beer that was being served was not a large scale production beer. It was by definition a craft beer, lovingly made in a small quantity by the very passionate brewer at Newlands brewery. Everyone that tasted both the stout and weiss beer were very impressed with them.