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It is On! : Otago Hospitality Awards finalists announced

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New Dunedin venue Woof! nominated for five awards including outstanding bar

Nordic eatery ADJØ picks up four nominations

The cream of the Otago region’s hospitality industry is to be celebrated at the inaugural Otago Hospitality Awards; an industry event aimed at highlighting the very best of the region.

Among the finalists named in this year’s Awards, is new Dunedin pub come cocktail lounge Woof! which is nominated for outstanding bar and ambience & design. The front of house team is also nominated for outstanding service along with a nod for bartender Seb Coxon-Aristizabal in the outstanding bartender category.

The Otago region is not short of top places to dine with Moiety, No.7 Balmac, Prohibition Smokehouse and Tītī all nominated for outstanding restaurant.

Casual dining and take out has surged in popularity over the last few years and Dunedin eateries Citizens Food Truck, Comes First Diner, Coopers Hot Chicken and Kenty’s Southern Style BBQ have all been recognised with nominations for best street food or takeout.

Nordic eatery ADJØ is nominated for four awards including emerging chef nominations for Daniel Priest and Jonas Jessen Hansen. Owner operator, Jonas, is originally from Denmark and ADJØ’s menu showcases comforting, delicious dishes from that part of the world.

A passion project for owner Jonas who left his photography career behind to follow his dream of opening the restaurant, the nominations are just rewards for his leap of faith into the hospitality industry.

The Otago Hospitality Awards celebrate and promote the region’s food and beverage offerings, recognising the champions who deliver the flavours, experiences and gastronomic wonders bringing visitors from near and far to the region. Brought to you by the Restaurant Association of New Zealand with the support of lead sponsor Trents Wholesale, the Otago Hospitality Awards are an important development for the region, from the refined elegance of the country’s oldest urban centre, Dunedin through to the border of the Southern Lakes District these awards are all about celebrating and promoting the excellence of the region’s food and beverage offerings.

Awards are given in 15 categories, providing recognition for individuals – both industry experts as well as emerging talent – and establishments of all kinds.

Final voting will begin on Tuesday 26 July and winners will be revealed on 22nd August at an event held at The Regent Theatre, Dunedin.

Restaurant Association CEO Marisa Bidois says that as hospitality starts its recovery from several challenging years, it is encouraging to see long-established venues such as Number 7 Balmac joined by new and emerging venues like Woof! “Otago is is  an incredible foodie destination, where heritage buildings house hip new eateries and some of the best bartenders in the country host a great party scene after sundown.”

“The awards give us a great opportunity to celebrate their successes and give people a reason to go out and sample them.”

In addition to the judged entries in 14 categories, Bidois says the Otago community is invited to vote for their favourite establishment in The Hit’s People’s Choice Award category. Voting is through the Hospitality Awards website (see below).

Tickets to the event are on sale now, to purchase or for more information regarding the awards please visit

Voting links are for industry and The Hits people’s choice.

Stay connected with key updates and announcements on our Facebook page @ otagohospitalityawards and Instagram @otagohospitalityawards

Otago Hospitality Awards 2022 Finalists:

Outstanding Barista

  • Ashley Heydon, ADJØ
  • Chloe Bennett, No.7 Balmac
  • Gabriel Griffin, RdC Espresso
  • Sam Valentine, Morning Magpie

Outstanding Bartender

  • Alex Stoddart, The Alchemist Mixology
  • Jamie Hughes, Toast Bar
  • Nick Aitchison, Mr Fox Lounge & Tapas Bar
  • Seb Coxon-Aristizabal , Woof!

Outstanding Front of House Team

  • Buster Greens
  • No.7 Balmac
  • Tītī
  • Woof!

Emerging Chef

  • Daniel Priest, ADJØ
  • Danny Howlett, Carey’s Bay Hotel
  • Jonas Jessen Hansen, ADJØ
  • Seira Asai, Riverstone Kitchen

Outstanding Chef

  • Ayumi Satozaki, Jizo Japanese Restaurant
  • Hannes Bareiter, Tītī
  • Quillan Gutberlet, Prohibition Smokehouse
  • Sam Gasson, Moiety

Outstanding Street Food/Casual Dining

  • Citizens Food Truck
  • Comes First Diner
  • Coopers Hot Chicken
  • Kenty’s Southern Style BBQ

Outstanding Café

  • Kiki Beware
  • RdC Espresso
  • Side On
  • The Corner Store Cafe

Outstanding Bar

  • Emerson’s Brewery
  • Mr Fox Lounge & Tapas Bar
  • Woof!
  • ZANZIBAR Dunedin

Outstanding Ambience & Design

  • No.7 Balmac
  • Pequeño Lounge Bar
  • The Press Club Dunedin
  • Woof!

Outstanding Regional Establishment

  • Arc Brewing Co.
  • Casafuego Eatery and Bar
  • Cucina
  • Riverstone Kitchen

Outstanding Restaurant

  • Moiety
  • No.7 Balmac
  • Prohibition Smokehouse
  • Tītī

Outstanding Sales Rep

  • Anthony O’Connor, Federal Merchants & Co
  • Craig Kenton, Total Food Equipment
  • Jane Mccombie, Bidfood Dunedin
  • Keri Johnston, Bidfood Dunedin

Outstanding Food & Beverage Producer

  • Brightside Microgreens
  • Havoc Farm Pork
  • Sandymount Distillery
  • SeaBreeze Greens

Outstanding Supplier

  • Aitkens
  • Bidfood Dunedin
  • SeaBreeze Greens
  • Vern Paddock Project

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