Get ready to stick a fork into the very hottest eats around the nation: the finalists in Australian Gourmet Traveller’s 2014 Restaurant Awards are unveiled in the current issue, on sale today.
The awards, which launch the publication of Australia’s only national restaurant guide, put the spotlight on the essential movers and shakers in the food world.
Finalists are nominated across six hotly contested categories: New Restaurant of the Year; Wine List of the Year; Sommelier of the Year; Maître d’ of the Year; Regional Restaurant of the Year, and Bar of the Year. This year the judges have had to break with tradition in one category – Best New Talent – and nominate not three, but six kitchen teams and talents as finalists.
Gourmet Traveller editor Anthea Loucas said: “The pickings were so rich in the Best New Talent field we just couldn’t separate them. These are the rising stars of the restaurant world and their food is as diverse and cutting-edge as it is downright tasty. We’re very proud to be able to celebrate the country’s most exciting talent in these awards and the new edition of the Gourmet Traveller Restaurant Guide.”
The winners will be announced at an exclusive awards event held on Wednesday 20 August and published in the 2015 Australian Restaurant Guide, on sale with the magazine from Thursday 21 August.
“It’s a bloody good field,” said Gourmet Traveller chief restaurant critic Pat Nourse. “It’s been a really busy year, and lots of hard-working men and women have really been putting their reputations on the line to make some bold moves with both their food and their restaurants. These buggers haven’t made our jobs as judges easy, but we’re lucky to have them, and however the chips fall with these awards, Australian drinkers and diners are the winners.”
Vittoria Coffee has signed on again as the Platinum Sponsor of this year’s awards and guide. “Vittoria Coffee has enjoyed a longstanding relationship with the Australian Gourmet Traveller Restaurant Awards,” said Vittoria’s managing director, Rolando Schirato. “We are proud to once again be the principal sponsor – especially in a year when Gourmet Traveller is shining the spotlight on the restaurant’s rising stars. Winning awards is not what drives chefs and restaurateurs but it’s important that we celebrate those striving for excellence.”
From an ambitious new venture in country Victoria to an old-style honky tonk in Brisbane and an avant-garde Korean eatery in Sydney, these finalists represent the very best in Australian dining right now.
FINALISTS: AUSTRALIAN GOURMET TRAVELLER RESTAURANT AWARDS
BEST NEW TALENT
• Mat Lindsay, Ester, Sydney, NSW
• Victor Liong, Lee Ho Fook, Melbourne, Vic
• Alex Drobysz, Bar Nacional, Melbourne, Vic
• Eun Hee An & Ben Sears, Moon Park, Sydney, NSW
• Mike Eggert & Jemma Whiteman, Pinbone, Sydney, NSW
• Scott Huggins & Emma Jade Mccaskill, Penfolds Magill Estate, Adelaide, SA
NEW RESTAURANT OF THE YEAR
• Brae, Birregurra, Vic
• Ester, Sydney, NSW
• Orana, Adelaide, SA
WINE LIST OF THE YEAR
• Moon Park, Sydney, NSW
• Print Hall, Perth, WA
• Orana, Adelaide, SA
SOMMELIER OF THE YEAR
• Nick Hildebrandt, Bentley, Sydney, NSW
• Marc Esteve Mateu, The Press Club, Melbourne, Vic
• Josh Picken, Orana, Adelaide, SA
MAÎTRE D’ OF THE YEAR
• Simon Freeman, Brae, Birregurra, Vic
• Christian McCabe, The Town Mouse, Melbourne, Vic
• Romeo Lee, Sixpenny, Sydney, NSW
REGIONAL RESTAURANT OF THE YEAR
• Brae, Birregurra, Vic
• Provenance, Beechworth, Vic
• Nu Nu, Palm Cove, Qld
BAR OF THE YEAR
• Bar Americano, Melbourne, Vic
• Lefty’s Old Time Music Hall, Brisbane, Qld
• Clever Little Tailor, Adelaide, SA
The winners – and the big gong, Australia’s Restaurant of the Year – will be announced at the awards ceremony on 20 August, which launches the 2015 Australian Restaurant Guide.
See the September issue of Gourmet Traveller for all the winners, on sale Thursday 21 August.
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