Nederburg was the wine star at this year’s Luxe Restaurant Awards presentation event at Rosebank’s new Ethos restaurant held earlier this week (29 March), where foodies clinked their glasses in honour of the hottest names in South African cheffing.  

The prestigious awards celebrate top local culinary talent, with the winners chosen by food critics and the public, via digital vote. The judging panel was led by Chad Fourie, managing director of The Hospitality Counsel (HOSCO), the organisation that convenes the awards, now in their fourth year.

Nederburg also sponsored the Rising Star Award that went to thirty-one-year-old Moses Moloi, identified by the judges as South Africa’s most exciting new restaurant hero. He is currently the head chef at Sandton’s Zioux (pronounced Zoo), leading a team under seasoned aficionado, David Higgs. Moloi is a protégé of Cape Town luminary Peter Tempelhoff, having worked under him at The Marine Hotel in Hermanus, the Greenhouse at Cellars Hohenort, and most recently in the role of head chef at FYN. He also has worked under Luke Dale Roberts and Candice Philip. He was chosen for his blend of classical expertise and fine-honed Asian-inspired technique that he has brought to Zioux’s exciting menu. 

Thrilled by the affirmation, Moloi said: “This is a dream come true for a township kid like me. I hope it motivates other young, up-and-coming township talents. Being given a chance is the first step. Look for your chance and show in every way that you are making the most of it!”

Overall, twenty-five winners were announced from a wide and inclusive set of categories of the Luxe Restaurant Awards 2022, that ranged from Culinary Icon of the Year to Street Food Experience of the Year, with the winner of the prestigious Chef of the Yearaward earning an exclusive luxury BMW experience. (See below.)

Jackie Olivier, Nederburg’s marketing manager, said the entire team at the Paarl winery, established in 1791, was proud to be an ongoing benefactor to the South Africa’s restaurant sector.

Nederburg had played an active role in supporting the hospitality trade during the pandemic. The brand was a key supporter of the Eat Out Restaurant Relief Fund, launched to help restaurants survive Covid19 trading restrictions and to maintain community feeding schemes. It also spent close on R1m last year, working with around 150 restaurants nationwide, in a campaign to encourage diners to eat out.

The brand is also highlighting exciting new food talent via its new food and wine show, called I’ll Bring The Wine, broadcast via its Youtube channel.

“It gets right under the skin and down to the bone of traditional South African food. But it’s about more than just food. It explores and honours the unsung places, people, and heritage behind our local cuisine.”

Nederburg also sponsors the prize awarded to the annual Eat Out Rising Star.

The 2022 Luxe Restaurant Awards winners are:

1. Restaurant of the Year: La Colombe

2. Chef of the Year: Wandile Mabaso

3. New Restaurant of the Year: Pier

4. Style Award: Zioux

5. Culinary Icon: Siba Mtongana

6. Culinary Media Personality of the Year: Zanele van Zyl

7. Culinary Innovation: Candice Philip

8. Culinary Rising Star: Besele Moses Moloi

9. Sustainability: The Test Kitchen Fledgelings

10. Service Excellence: Basalt

11. Pioneer: Luke Dale Roberts

12. Cookbook of the Year: Hosting with The Lazy Makoti, by Mogau Seshoene

13. African Restaurant of the Year: Emazulwini

14. Bistro of the Year: Embarc

15. Burger Joint of the Year: BGR

16. Café of the Year: Le Parc by Tashas

17. Coffee Shop of the Year: Truth Café

18. Fine Dining Restaurant of the Year: La Petite Colombe

19. Hotel Restaurant of the Year: Aurum

20. International Restaurant of the Year: Ethos

21. Lifestyle Restaurant of the Year: Tang

22. Pop Up Experience of the Year: Katlego Mlambo at The Marabi Club

23. Steakhouse of the Year: The Blockman

24. Street Food Experience of the Year: How Bao Now

25. Wine Service: Michelle Moller, La Colombe


Q&A with Moses Moloi:

  1. Where are you from, where did you complete your schooling, and how did you start off in the restaurant industry?

I grew up in Botshabelo in the Free State, approximately 50km from Bloemfontein. The initial plan was to study to become a mechanical engineer, but my passion was for food and flavours, ignited by my mother and grandma.  I joined the Olive Chef School in Bloemfontein, and from there, after graduation, I went on to work at The Marine Hotel in Hermanus and relocated to the US for some international work experience. Upon my return, I joined The Greenhouse in Cape Town, working under and learning from rockstar chef Peter Tempelhoff. That led me into a stint at The Saxon in Johannesburg, under another legendary chef, Luke Dale Roberts, and later under a previous Eat Out Rising Star winner, Candice Philip. And that was just the start! It was at FYN, in Cape Town, that I really cut my teeth, once again having had the chance to work under chef Peter Tempelhoff, this time as head chef. I’m most proud of leading this restaurant to the 92nd position in the World’s Best Restaurants 50-100 list as a new entry, just three years after opening. Last year, in 2021, I returned to Johannesburg to become head chef at Zioux in Sandton. It’s been an absolute blast!

  • How would you describe your food?

Simple and straightforward, flavourful comfort food. Certainly not dramatic or overboard in any way. 

  • What makes you curious, driving you to keep on discovering and bettering your best efforts? 

I have an innate curiosity when it comes to the amazing array of food products I get to work with.  It’s fuelled by the opportunity of action – trying new ideas, being innovative and creative. 

  • What is the most challenging thing you’ve ever done or experienced?

Running the kitchen at FYN – something I’m most proud of! The pressure was huge. But you know what! That stuff builds character. I really learned a lot about the day-to-day running of a restaurant, dealing with staff and diner complexities, the works! It was a completely real experience of being a head chef at a top establishment.

  • Who are those individuals in your own life who have served as great inspiration?

Most definitely my mom and grandma.  They’re my roots, my sustenance, my foundation.  Their guidance and inspiration have led me to the person I am today.  And the tradition of our family’s favourite recipes remains to this day.  I cook what my mom used to cook (and still cooks), and my mom copied by gran.  So, the legacy lives on. 

  • What is it about wine that captivates you?

What about it is not appealing? I just love drinking red wine. I’m most definitely a Cab man. 

  • How do you see your life unfold?

I’ll be a food entrepreneur – watch this space!

  • Your message to other young South African chefs?

Sacrifice the time to learn the industry, work for the best chefs and establishments.  Earn your stripes. Pay your dues. Invest in yourself through learning, reading, studying, asking questions and working really hard.