Australia’s best dining destinations and chefs were revealed last night as the 2018 Good Food Guide Awards marked the official launch of the first national Good Food Guide.
Ben Shewry’s Attica (Victoria) received the night’s top honour of Restaurant of the Year, while former MasterChef contestant Kylie Millar took out the prestigious Josephine PignoletYoung Chef of the Year, the first time the award has drawn from chefs all over Australia.
New Restaurant of the Year was awarded to sustainable seafood restaurant Saint Peterfrom Sydney, while Santa Vittoria Regional Restaurant of the Year went to Tasmania’s The Agrarian Kitchen Eatery, and Regional Restaurant of the Year went to Tasmania’s The Agrarian Kitchen Eatery & Store – the first time a restaurant outside NSW, Victoria or Queensland has received the accolade.
The cream of Australian restaurant and bar talent gathered at The Star for the annual awards nights, which bestows awards and hats, symbolised by a chef’s toque, to the best Australian restaurants.
To achieve a hat is a pinnacle of a chef’s career and a restaurant’s history, and the term “hatted” has become embedded in the Australian lexicon.
The 2018 edition of the Good Food Guide is the first time an all-encompassing national guide has been published.
More than 500 restaurants from Darwin, Hobart, Adelaide, Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, Brisbane and Canberra were reviewed, with 270 of these achieving hat status, ranging from one to three.
Only six restaurants nationally achieved the top accolade of three hats: Attica (VIC), Brae (VIC), Minamishima (VIC), Quay (NSW), Sepia (NSW) and Urbane (QLD).
Influential guide editors include founding editors Claude Forell in Melbourne and Leo Schofield in Sydney, along with Terry Durack, Jill Dupleix and Matthew Evans, who have charted the growth of the restaurant industry in Australia, and helped to shape it, commissioning independent, anonymous reviews from a panel of trusted restaurant critics.
It is this rich 38-year tradition that the 2018 Good Food Guide editors Myffy Rigby and Roslyn Grundy uphold, ensuring the guide remains Australia’s restaurant bible.
“Our defining strength, and the reason people have come to rely on the Good Food Guide, is the independence of our critics. Our reviewers arrive at restaurants unannounced and pay for their own meals. We’re stringent when it comes to judging, assessing service, ambience, X factor and, most importantly, the food before awarding those all-important hats,” Good Food Guide co-editor Myffy Rigby said.
“With the guide going national in 2018, it’s been great to expand our scope to recognise restaurants, bars, cafes and chefs throughout Australia,” Good Food Guide co-editor Roslyn Grundy said.
“Hatted restaurants deliver not only outstanding food and service, but they also contribute to local economies, tourism and culture, so it’s great to be shining a spotlight on top dining destinations throughout Australia.”
Rolando Schirato, managing director at Vittoria Food & Beverage, said: “We are thrilled to be part of the Good Food Guide Awards again this year, and in the first year of the guide going national. The awards are a great way to give back to restaurants and the industry that support us through serving Santa Vittoria mineral water and Vittoria Coffee.
“Congratulations to Ben Shewry and the Attica team on a superb effort in taking out the Vittoria Coffee Restaurant of the Year.”
Tanya Smith, head of customer franchise at Citi Australia, said: “Congratulations Daniel Puskas – it’s no small feat in such a competitive market to achieve the Josephine Pignolet Young Chef of the Year award – and now, the coveted Citi Chef of the Year.
“Australians’ love affair with dining continues to grow. In fact, Citi cardholders alone have spent a remarkable 30 per cent more in food and wine than they did in 2016. We are proud of our support of the dining sector and thrilled to be recognising the best chef talent that this country has to offer.”