The annual restaurant awards season started this year with the Gourmet Traveller Restaurant Awards, with the top gong going to New York chef David Chang’s Sydney outpost Momofuku Seiobo, led by Barbados-born chef Paul Carmichael.
Putting Carmichael in charge of the pans after five-year stalwart Ben Greeno left the Star casino restaurant for Merivale’s Paddington Arms obviously paid big dividends for Momokuku Seiobo, which opened in 2011, with Gourmet Traveller chief restaurant critic Pat Nourse declaring that “finding fine-dining Barbadian food this good in the Caribbean itself would be a revelation”.
“Finding it in Australia is astonishing in the best of ways,” Nourse said of the 2017 restaurant of the year.
Melbourne’s Ben Shewry of World’s 50 Best restaurant Attica was named the peer-voted Chef of the Year, with Nourse saying it confirmed his reputation as the nice guy of Australian cooking, and an unofficial ambassador for how to treat staff well.
Regional Restaurant of the Year is Aaron Turner’s new Geelong restaurant, Igni, while Adelaide – given a touch up this week by actor Sam Neill while bagging Sydney’s lockout laws as not place he’d head for a wild night out – is at least a place tyou can get a drink with the new Pink Moon Saloon named Bar of the Year.
Andrew Joy from Marion in Melbourne’s Fitzroy scored Maître d’ of the Year for what Nourse called witty and informed hospitality, while chef Thi Le of Melbourne Vietnamese restaurant Anchovy is the country’s Best New Talent.
Hot new Sydney restaurant Hubert scored a brace, picking up New Restaurant of the Year and Wine List of the Year.
Dan Sharp of Sixpenny in Sydney’s inner west was named Sommelier of the Year.
Indigenous author and educator Bruce Pascoe was recognised for his Outstanding Contribution to Hospitality, with Gourmet Traveller editor saying his eloquent, persuasive style has inspired Australians to accept, appreciate and adopt indigenous ingredients and food culture.
“I think the diversity of the backgrounds of the winners of these awards says really positive things about the new direction of restaurants and hospitality in Australia,” Loucas Bosha said.
Details of the winners are in the September issue of Gourmet Traveller, which is out on August 18, and features a free copy of the Gourmet Traveller Australian Restaurant Guide
Here’s the full list of the main winners:
RESTAURANT OF THE YEAR: Momofuku Seiobo, Sydney
CHEF OF THE YEAR: Ben Shewry – Attica, Melbourne
NEW RESTAURANT OF THE YEAR: Restaurant Hubert, Sydney
BEST NEW TALENT: Thi Le – Anchovy, Melbourne
REGIONAL RESTAURANT OF THE YEAR: Igni, Geelong
BAR OF THE YEAR: Pink Moon Saloon, Adelaide
MAITRE D’ OF THE YEAR: Andrew Joy – Marion, Melbourne
WINE LIST OF THE YEAR: Restaurant Hubert, Sydney
OUTSTANDING CONTRIBUTION TO HOSPITALITY: Bruce Pascoe, Indigenous author and educator
SOMMELIER OF THE YEAR: Dan Sharp – Sixpenny, Sydney
This article was first published in April 2016.
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