On Monday 12th September, American Express® revealed the country’s most coveted culinary list, the American Express Platinum Fine Dining Awards, at a chic event held in Johannesburg. I was extremely proud to collect the Londolozi Game Reserve award on behalf of the Londolozi Kitchen Team.

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Anna Ridgewell, Londolozi Executive Chef upon receiving the American Express Platinum Fine Dining Award. Photograph courtesy of American Express

Johannesburg’s hottest new restaurant, Marble, was the location for South Africa’s premier dining awards ceremony as American Express paid tribute to the chefs and restaurants that are changing the game in the pursuit of delivering the perfect culinary experience.

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Marble, Johannesburg’s hottest new venue where the awards were held. Photograph courtesy of American Express

This year saw the introduction of Game Lodge restaurants, nationally for the awards, which are judged on criteria such as quality and creativity of cuisine, service, wine list, décor and ambience as well as overall excellence.

Tamsin Snyman was joined on the judging panel by Anna Trapido, a renowned author, journalist, broadcaster and commentator on food and wine, as well as Jackie Cameron, chef, author and owner of the Jackie Cameron School of Food & Wine.

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Celebratory bubbles at Marble, the venue for the Johannesburg awards ceremony. Photograph courtesy of American Express

The awards now reflect the growth and diversity of new restaurants in our country, along with a tangible elevation of our culinary talent. South Africa is truly owning its place as a ‘foodie nation’, and this is manifested by the arrival of a wide variety of new avant-garde and contemporary establishments which have emerged in the past few years. More importantly, our best restaurants are reflecting the dynamic and multicultural nature of our country, encompassing a wide spectrum of styles, ethnicities and ambiences.

I would like to dedicate this award to each and every chef that works in the Londolozi Kitchen team, in honour of the never-ending commitment, passion and dedication they give each and every day – come hell or high water, rain or full sun! In the true meaning of Ubuntu – I am because of each of you.

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The very proud and excited Londolozi Kitchen team. Photograph by Amy Attenborough

When I first arrived at Londolozi in 2012, I thought to myself, “how on earth do we get all this food out to 5 camps every day 4 times a day?” Still to this day, this thought runs through my mind, yet when I look up all I see are the constant smiles and reassurance from these great chefs who support me unconditionally throughout the year, and then I breathe and thank them again!

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Londolozi’s team of Sous Chefs. Photograph by Amy Attenborough

Thank you to my Sous Chefs – Thoko Ngobeni, Eric Sithole, Wistance Sibuyi, Sipho Khosa, Virginia Mthabini, Connie Mthabini and my Executive Sous Chef – Eric Ubisi.

Filed under Cuisine

About the Author

Anna Ridgewell

Executive Chef

A lodge like Londolozi, although famous for its wildlife, is about far more than just that. The superb culinary experience which awaits every guest at Londolozi is thanks to the continued efforts of Anna, who has been instrumental in the development of new ...

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17 Comments

on Londolozi Wins American Express ® Platinum Fine Dining Award

Join the conversationJoin the conversation

Jacqueline
Guest

A well-deserved award Anna and all! Congratulations for your beautiful work which makes the Londolozi family even more special.

Anna Ridgewell
Guest

Thank you Jax, look forward to seeing you again soon

Debbie
Guest

A huge big wonderful Congrats to the amazing Londoz Kitchen Team – you create magic and miracles every single day – I am in awe

Henry Smith
Guest

This is such exciting news Anna! Congratulations to you and all your culinary colleagues at Londolozi! I am one of many people who can attest to the wonderful job you have all done – I always leave Londolozi heavier and happier than when I arrive! So well deserved!

Anna Ridgewell
Guest

Thank you Henry! we look forward to seeing you and Judi-Anne again soon!

Senior Moment
Guest

Wonderful food when I was there. The first time in around fifteen trips to Africa I have ever seen someone dress for dinner.

Anna Ridgewell
Guest

Thank you!

Linda Polley
Guest

Congratulations! Over and over again I have raved to everyone who asked about my experience at Londolozi on how great the food was. Wish I could have brought back some of the recipes to relive my culinary delight.

Anna Ridgewell
Guest

Thank you Linda! please let me know which recipes you would like and i will email them to you. You can email me on executivechef@londolozi.co.za

Ann Seagle
Guest

Way to GO🐘🐘🐘

Jill Larone
Guest

Congratulations to Anna and the entire team of phenomenal Chefs at Londolozi!! I can attest to the delicious, wonderful creations that are prepared there every day.

Anna Ridgewell
Guest

Thank you Jill!

Lynette Gomm
Guest

Well done Anna and team
We hope to be spoiled by your gourmet treats again next year !! Peter and Lynette in Oz

Anna Ridgewell
Guest

Thank you Lynette!
We look forward to doing just that next year!

Anna Ridgewell
Guest

Thanks Debs, look forward to seeing you soon!

Anna Ridgewell
Guest

Thank you Ann!

Rich
Guest

Congratulations to the kitchen team on this award.

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