The search is on for women who are making waves in the South African food and hospitality industry/scene.

In Women’s Month every year, the FOOD XX (pronounced fud eks eks) Awards honour a group of women from across the country, celebrating their achievements in the various spheres of the food and hospitality industry. Launched in 2019 by Studio H, a culinary minded experience design and brand consulting studio, the awards aim to highlight the work of high-impact women in all facets of the field – from the farms to the kitchens, media and more. The 2022 FOOD XX Awards is brought to you by Spekko Rice and the awards ceremony will be hosted at Makers Landing in the V&A Waterfront.

FOOD XX Awards

Hannerie Visser, director and founder of Studio H, believes that the FOOD XX Awards play a pivotal role in supporting and uplifting the broader community of women in areas where their contributions are often overlooked. “It’s about shining a light on the incredible things women are doing in food and hospitality,” she says. “The sommeliers, the editors, the chefs, the waitrons and everyone in between – these awards are a chance to acknowledge and celebrate excellence.”

Nominations are open to the public: one person can nominate as many candidates as they like, including themselves, by filling out a form on the FOOD XX Instagram account bio: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSfZTVW00qwxcGuZ5o47Hc4a1mRy4x3HQeLtXYnlg6Usl6Q8sw/viewform. Nominations close on August 24th, with the winners being announced on August 30th, during a breakfast event at Makers Landing in the V&A Waterfront in Cape Town.

Once all nominations have been received, the 2022 FOOD XX Awards panel of judges will vote for nominees, recusing themselves from any categories in which they themselves may have been nominated. The panel, as is always the case with the FOOD XX Awards, is comprised of the previous year’s winners, who are charged with passing on the titles.

The categories for the 2022 FOOD XX Awards are as follows: Alcohol; Bakers; Entrepreneurs; Farming; Food Educator (presented by Spekko Rice), Food Icon (presented by Spekko Rice), Food Styling (presented by Spekko Rice), and Fresh Voices (presented by Spekko Rice); Front of House; Future Food; Heritage (presented by Nando’s); In the Kitchen; Secret Ingredient; Sustainability; Judges’ Choice, and Newcomer (presented by Krone). Details for each category can be found on the nominations page.

Among last year’s winners were Laurie Cooper – winemaker and sommelier at Abingdon Wine Estate (Alcohol), Joy Phala – educator, landscape designer and founder of Organic Kitchen Gardens (Farming), Loubie Rusch – urban forager, indigenous food activist and founder of Making KOS (Heritage) and Bathandwa Nkambule – recipe developer and content creator at The Earthy Cook (Fresh Voices).

“Food is the great connector, and so much positive change is happening around it in this country,” says Visser. “Our winners are beyond passionate about what they do, and we are excited to provide a platform where their work can receive the recognition it deserves. These are movers and shakers in the true sense of the word, and their stories need to be told.”

The 2021 FOOD XX Awards took place online due to the pandemic, but this year’s instalment will go ahead in person. “The past couple of years have been especially hard on the food and hospitality industry, and the road to recovery is expected to be a long one. But the talent and creativity we see at the awards, each candidate a leader in their field, is always inspiring – it helps us imagine a bright future.”

Tickets for the 2022 FOOD XX Awards ceremony and breakfast event are available on Quicket: https://www.quicket.co.za/events/183202-food-xx-women-in-food-awards-breakfast/#/