International Women’s Day, observed on 8 March, is dedicated to honouring women across the world for what they have achieved despite all the hurdles they have encountered in their lives.

This irony is never lost on me whenever a chauvinist reminds a woman that her place is in the kitchen because, paradoxically, kitchens in the restaurant industry are still dominated by men. The culinary world as a whole – from food critics to executive chefs – doesn’t give women their proper due. But it won’t be for long.

There’s a wave of women making a name for themselves by opening their own restaurants, enjoying much fanfare and raking in the awards. This International Women’s Day, do yourself a favour and check out these female-owned restaurants.

Restaurant Mosaic (Pretoria)


Owner and head chef of the Restaurant Mosaic at the Orient Private Hotel, Chantel Dartnall, was named Best Lady Chef at the 2017 Best Chef Awards. And once you’ve dined at Restaurant Mosaic, you’ll quickly understand why. Everything is audacious and charming – from the majestic whimsy of the décor to the creativity in the flavours and presentation of the dishes. Prepare to be consistently surprised by this talented and eclectic mind.

Try: Everything on the Grande Degustation menu. It will take you a few visits.

La Petite Maison (Johannesburg)


Not too long ago, Tyeya Ngxola was a flight attendant and now she’s a co-owner of the French bistro-style restaurant, La Petite Maison, in Melville. Ngxola took a leap of faith and quit her job to study at the prestigious Prue Leith Chef’s Academy after which she moved to Italy for a while to deepen her understanding of food and wine. That’s where she met her business partner, Timothy Stewart, and the concept for La Petite Maison was born. The establishment is one of the most exciting spots on 7th Street – it’s quietly sophisticated, but not without the characteristically young Melville energy. Go see it for yourself.

Try: The Norwegian salmon with charred nori, avocado, lime and yuzu. It’s a transcendental experience.

The Chefs’ Table (Durban)


The Chefs’ Table is one of the best things that has happened to the KwaZulu-Natal food scene. The restaurant took fine dining and made it accessible without losing its refined essence. And that’s all thanks to young executive chef and owner Kelly-Ann Osborn. Her philosophy – letting the flavours of her ingredients guide her – comes through with every bite of her well-crafted dishes and every sip of her expertly chosen wines. There’s wisdom at work at The Chefs’ Table that seems far beyond Kelly-Ann’s age – but it’s probably underestimations like these that are the secret of her success.

Try: The Lowlands Valley lamb duo. Yum!

Riverine Rabbit (Cape Town)


Remember Ash Restaurant, the Capetonian obsession that closed down last year? Well, it’s not so much gone as it is transformed. It has now become Riverine Rabbit, a space with a new concept and atmosphere that’s not too far removed from its predecessor. It’s softer and more open, but still as modern as Ash. The new menu devised by chef patron Ash Heeger and her sister, Mandy van der Berg, is balanced and less meat-based than before. This is a welcome evolution that closely reflects the shift in the culinary zeitgeist that’s unfolding all over Cape Town.

Try: The spiced duck. It will ruin all other ducks for you.

If you’re the host and not the patron on International Women’s Day, you’ll want to equip your restaurant with the best possible PoS system to deliver superior service. Download our brand-new infographic, The point of Point of sale to find out why Pilot is the obvious choice for your establishment. .

Author : Rudi Badenhorst