2018 Hawkes Bay Hospitality Awards nominations open

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The Hawke’s Bay hospitality industry is to be celebrated for the 11th year at the 2018 Hawke’s Bay Hospitality Awards, an industry event aimed at highlighting the very best of the region.

Presented by the Restaurant Association of New Zealand, the Hawke’s Bay Hospitality Awards have been recreated with a fresh new identity. The new regional hospitality awards design has come from the need to create a more streamlined and consistent awards platform throughout New Zealand, with the Hawke’s Bay Hospitality Awards representing the highly coveted biannual celebration for its region.


CEO Marisa Bidois says,

“Our goal is to bring the hospitality community together and connect them with the larger community”.


Winners will receive a coveted ‘Chevron’ trophy, symbolising a stripe indicating rank or length of service. The ‘Chevron’ represents the industry’s mark for distinction and provides a recognised symbol for excellence for consumers and visitors alike.

The Restaurant Association has partnered with Eat New Zealand, a collective of New Zealand’s chefs, producers, media, tourism and event operators, who are all dedicated to promoting New Zealand’s best food, beverage, and culinary destinations to the world.

Bidois says “Winners will be listed on the Eat New Zealand website, a beneficial development for the region as Hawkes Bay continues to be recognised globally for its distinction in food and wine”.

Nominations are now open to the industry until Friday, 6 July. Final voting will begin on Monday, 9 July. Winners will be revealed at the awards evening on Monday, 6 August at the Napier Conference Centre.

The Hawke’s Bay general public are also able to vote for their favourite establishment in the Hawke’s Bay Today People’s Choice Award category from 1 July.

Tickets to the event are on sale now, to purchase or for more information regarding the awards please visit hospitalityawards.co.nz/hawkesbay.

Stay connected with key updates and announcements on our Facebook page @hawkesbayhospitalityawards and Instagram @hbhospoawards.

2018 Hawkes Bay Hospitality Awards Categories

  • Meadow Fresh Outstanding Barista of the Year
  • Outstanding Bartender of the Year
  • Outstanding Front of House Team of the Year
  • Outstanding Chef of the Year
  • EIT Emerging Chef
  • Emerging Wine Service Professional
  • Outstanding Bar of the Year
  • Bidfood Hawkes Bay Outstanding Café of the Year
  • Restaurant Association of NZ Outstanding Ethnic Restaurant
  • Unison Outstanding Local of the Year
  • Eftpos NZ Outstanding Restaurant of the Year
  • Outstanding Wine & Beverage List
  • Outstanding Winery Restaurant of the Year
  • OneMusic Outstanding Ambience & Design
  • GrabOne Outstanding Sales Supplier/Sales Rep of the Year
  • Hawkes Bay Today People’s Choice – Establishment
  • Hospitality Hero of the Year

Silver Fern Farms’ Restaurant Awards 2018 Winners have been revealed

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Last night the winners’ of Silver Fern Farms’ Restaurant Awards 2018 were announced with awards for restaurants around the country as well as a hat trick of awards for Nelson’s Hopgood’s & Co.

The Silver Fern Farms Restaurant Awards are a national search for dishes that deliver the very best, inspirational and delicious food experiences, using Silver Fern Farms naturally raised, grass-fed red meat.

Aaron Ballantyne, Head Chef at Hopgood’s & Co in Nelson has taken out the title of Chef of the Year in the Silver Fern Farms Restaurant Awards 2018.  Aaron has the distinction of being the first South Island supreme winner since the Awards began in 2013.

Aaron’s dish won the Best Venison Dish category.

The dish of Silver Fern Farms venison, chestnut polenta, caramelised celeriac, fig and wild mushroom tapenade was described by the judges as “Total harmony on a plate”. The generous portion of tenderloin and a crumbed slow cooked neck croquette were cooked to perfection and the venison was the hero of the dish.

To complete the hat trick, Hopgood’s & Co was named the inaugural winner of the Silver Fern Farms Restaurant of the Year Award. The Restaurant of the Year was awarded for creating an ambience conducive to exceptional food experiences for diners through excellent hospitality and attention to detail, as well as celebrating the very best with Aaron’s red meat dish.



Paul Limacher, Chef de Cuisine at the Chameleon Restaurant InterContinental Wellington, won the award for Best Beef Dish for a second time in a row. Judges said this dish had perfectly executed meat preparation and was paired with innovative accompaniments; the umami butter being an absolute stand-out.

Five-time finalist in these Awards and Head Chef and owner of Palate Restaurant in Hamilton, Mat McLean, created the Best Lamb Dish. Using lamb cutlets cooked to perfection and lamb shanks in a moussaka ravioli. The dish deliciously delivered Mat’s expression of his craft and innovation.

Further north the title of Best Regional Restaurant went to Logan Coath at Archive Bar & Bistro at Mudbrick Vineyard, Waiheke Island. Not only did the judges enjoy the flavour combinations of the dish, a slow cooked Silver Fern Farms lamb shoulder, they felt the warm atmosphere of the restaurant and excellent, attentive wait staff provided a truly memorable experience for diners.

The inaugural winner of the Silver Fern Farms Emerging Chef of the Year is Patrick Pope-Moody, Apprentice Chef, Chameleon Restaurant at the InterContinental Wellington. His dish, Silver Fern Farms venison short loin, fig, cauliflower and goat curd puree, beetroot, beet kraut and beetroot tile with sorrel, was hard to fault and skillfully delivered with perfectly balanced flavours. The new award recognises inspiring new talent and the hard work that goes into becoming a great chef; Patrick will receive a $5000 scholarship to assist with developing his career.



Head judges Catherine Bell and Geoff Scott commented, “It is great to see that chefs are showcasing Silver Fern Farms red meat as the hero of the plate, celebrating the premium cuts and naturally raised, grass-fed red meat. This aspect is what stood out in the winning dishes.  It was clear that these chefs completely understand and have mastered the techniques involved in delivering perfect meat to increasingly discerning diners. Expertly prepared, rested and crafted into tasty main course plates. These chefs also displayed a great variety of skills in executing fine cooking and well-balanced choices of delicious vegetables and sauces to further show off the qualities of their chosen red meat cut.”

Judges saw some wonderful examples of autumnal flavours in the accompanying dishes, including chestnuts, beetroot, wild mushrooms and celeriac. Many of the chefs were inspired to use secondary cuts such as beef cheek, shanks and short-ribs.

The head judges said


“The finalist dishes were truly delicious and it was a real privilege and pleasure to assess and enjoy them.”


Silver Fern Farms’ Manager Marketing of Food Service, Bernie de Bono, says she was delighted with the caliber of this year’s entries and high quality of the dishes the judges had to choose from. “We have been so excited to see how the industry has embraced the awards this year.  The depth of experience and knowledge of their craft has been displayed by all of the entries in the awards.  By hosting these awards Silver Fern Farms is giving New Zealand’s highly skilled chefs the opportunity to share their talents and for that to be celebrated,” she said.

Diners can experience the finalist and winning dishes until the end of July 2018.

Silver Fern Farms’ Restaurant Awards 2018 winners & their dishes:

Chef of the Year,
Restaurant of the Year, Best Venison

Head Chef: Aaron Ballantyne
Hopgood’s & Co

Silver Fern Farms venison, chestnut polenta, caramelised celeriac, fig and wild mushroom tapenade

Best Beef

Chef de Cuisine: Paul Limacher
Chameleon Restaurant, InterContinental Wellington

Silver Fern Farms Reserve beef tenderloin, green pea crust, black garlic mash, carrot pickle, shiitake, edamame salad and umami butter.

Best Lamb

Head Chef/owner: Mat McLean
Palate Restaurant, Hamilton

Silver Fern Farms lamb cutlets, lamb shank moussaka ravioli, eggplant puree, black garlic with minted hollandaise

Best Regional Restaurant

Head Chef: Logan Coath
Archive Bar & Bistro, Mudbrick Vineyard, Waiheke Island

Slow Cooked Silver Fern Farms lamb shoulder, carrot, sunflower tahini, pomegranate, burnt red cabbage and dukkah.

Emerging Chef of the Year

Apprentice Chef: Patrick (Paddy) Pope- Moody
Chameleon Restaurant, InterContinental Wellington

Silver Fern Farms venison
short loin, fig, cauliflower and
goat curd puree, beetroot,
beet kraut, beetroot tile
with sorrel

Additional finalists and their dishes are:

Head Chef, Ashish Bhatnagar
White + Wong’s, Auckland

Silver Fern Farms BBQ beef short ribs, cauliflower puree, xo wild mushrooms, charred spring onion, garlic shoots, white radish kimchi, whipped garlics, tendon crisps

Head Chef: Andrew May
Amayjen – The Restaurant, FeildingSilver Fern Farms tenderloin of venison, burnt onion ash, venison shank & potato pie, roasted beetroots, shallot petals, cranberry gel, venison jus

Andrew Clarke, Chef de Cuisine
Victoria Street Bistro, Hamilton

Pecan Smoked Silver Fern beef cheek crispy sweetbreads, tendon, sweetcorn, cress and pickles

Head Chef: William Hobby
Pravda Café and Grill, Wellington

Silver Fern Farms lamb, carrot puree, black garlic, citrus and jus

Head Chef: Anthony Lawler
Mills Reef Winery, Tauranga

Silver Fern venison strip-loin Textures of beets, horseradish yoghurt, herbed goats curd

Head Chef: Punit D’Souza
Noble Rot, WellingtonSilver Fern Farm venison Denver Leg, osso bucco, parsnip, pear, vanilla onions, preserved stone-fruit, confit carrot
Head Chef: James Waite
Olivers Victoria Store Clyde, Central OtagoSilver Fern Farms roast lamb rump, lamb shoulder spring roll, bok choy, radish, ginger, miso caramel and shitake jus

Executive Chef: Greg Piner
Vault 21, Dunedin

Lime leaf infused sticky Silver Fern Farms Reserve short ribs: textures of mandarin, wasabi potato cake, crispy sea kelp, cashew and ginger slaw.

The other Emerging Chef finalist was:

Sous Chef: Alexis Vienot
180 degrees at the Copthorne Wellington

Silver Fern Farms braised lamb
shoulder cigar lamb sweetbread
and leek bonbon, organic milk
dried lactose, cauliflower and
almond, spiced jam

Chef de partie | SidArt Ponsonby

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Chef de partie

We need an experienced chef de partie for Sidart. Work with some of the most talented chefs in the industry in an award winning 3 hatted Ponsonby restaurant. We are a family run business.

Looking for a chef with a diploma in cookery or equivalent with 2 years experience in a reputable kitchen.

Staff meals, flu jabs and four weeks off during Christmas

Working hours are Tuesday to Saturday, Sunday and Monday off.

Please apply with Cv to chand@sidart.co.nz


Senior Waiter | SidArt Ponsonby

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Senior waiter

We need a senior section waiter with at least a years experience as a waiter in a reputable restaurant. Some knowledge of wine is desirable.

Immediate start.

Staff meals, uniform and 4 weeks off from Xmas to January.

We are an award winning 3 hatted restaurant in Ponsonby. Metro Peugeot restaurant of the year 2018.
Working hours are Tuesday to Saturday and the restaurant is closed on Sundays and Mondays.

Please apply with cv to Chand@sidart.co.nz

The Auckland hospitality industry salutes its heroes

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On Sunday, 3 June in Auckland, at a Pacific Nights themed ceremony held at Eden Park, the Auckland hospitality industry acknowledged the outstanding abilities of their own with the announcement of the winners of the 16th annual Lewisham Awards.

Lewisham Awards 2018

This year’s event was a sell out, which is a tribute to the calibre of the finalists and highlights the high regard in which they are held.

The Lewisham Awards (named after Richard Lewisham, who was a pioneer of the Auckland hospitality scene) were established in 2002 with the main objective to encourage excellence in the city’s hospitality community.  With this in mind, the best in the business are honoured by their peers once a year, as the industry comes together to celebrate their success.

Finalists and winners came from a mix of both new and well established businesses, highlighting this dynamic and ever changing industry and showing that Auckland hospitality  remains in excellent heart.

Some categories, such as Outstanding Restaurateur and Outstanding Maitre d’, were once again tightly fought, showing the depth of talent that we have in Auckland in our food and beverage offerings.

So what are you waiting for – those in the know in hospitality have crowned these people and venues the best of the best – must be time to go and check them out yourselves!!

2018 Lewisham Winners

Click to enlarge

2018 Lewisham Awards Winners

Crombie Lockwood Outstanding Waiter
Loz Colwill, Apero

Antipodes Water Outstanding Maitre d’
Sonya Chan, White + Wong’s

Federal Merchants & Co Outstanding Bartender
Prateek Arora, Cassia

Restaurant Association of NZ Sales Representative
Craig MacKenzie, Sunshine Brewery

Hospitality Association of NZ Outstanding Supplier
Hancock’s Wine, Spirit & Beer Merchants

EuroVintage Outstanding Wine List

Negociants Outstanding Wine Service Professional
Ismo Koski, Apero

Southern Hospitality Outstanding Local

Hellers Outstanding Caterer
Urban Gourmet

Clyth Macleod Outstanding Street Food
The Lucky Taco

Hancock’s Wine, Spirit & Beer Merchants Outstanding Bar

Meadow Fresh Outstanding Barista
Sai Okesene, Super

Bidfood Outstanding Cafe
Kokako Cafe

Independent Liquor Outstanding New Venue
Parasol & Swing

OneMusic Outstanding Establishment

Moana New Zealand Emerging Talent
Jami Kerrigan

Winterhalter NZ Outstanding Chef
Che Barrington, GoGo Daddy, Chop Chop/Woodpecker Hill/Bluebreeze Inn

Pernod Ricard Outstanding Restaurateur
Sid Sahrawat, Cassia/Sidart

Moet Hennessy Outstanding Hospitality Personality
Nicola Richards, Monsoon Poon


More details on the Lewisham Awards can be found at www.lewishamawards.co.nz
Check us out on Facebook & Instagram.

The secret to why restaurants are turning themselves inside out

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Arbour co-owner Liz Buttimore recalls that when she first started managing restaurants she could fill her bookings for a year.

A typical diner would have a set booking for a set time – say 6.30pm every Friday.

The restaurant sailed on through the seasons like a stately cruise ship on auto pilot.

If the diner was away, he would let the restaurant know it could have its table back for someone else.

“We also promoted the use of imported products because we thought it was fancy and exciting,” she says.

This glimpse at the not-too-distant past is revealing for how much things have changed.

Buttimore’s degustation-only Arbour in rural Blenheim is a perfect example of a modern approach to restaurants. It is casual, sophisticated, asks diners to trust the chef’s choices, and cooks produce from right on its doorstep.

That’s literally. Some suppliers do drop off their veges on the restaurant’s doorstep.

Buttimore says change is accelerating.

“We have been heading this way for years, but right now it feels like it is moving at a really fast pace,” she says.

Trendy New Zealand restaurants now are increasingly health-focused, casual meeting places.

new zealand healthy food

Liz Buttimore says restaurants are changing rapidly to fit diners changing expectations.

Popping up on the menus are more gluten-free, dairy-free and even FODMAP-free dishes.

We are getting more vegetarian, vegan, local-first, plant-based, and wholefood dish options.

While there will always be a steak and snapper fillets, trendy restaurants will tell us what farm the steer came from or what sustainable way the fish was hooked, because that matters to us now.

Prices are better value to quality because we dine out more often and want to be able to afford to do so.

Restaurant Association CEO Marisa Bidois says diners are steering the changes in restaurants.

The association recently polled its members on coming trends and nearly two-thirds (64 per cent) picked demand for restaurants and cafes to provide locally-sourced, sustainable and plant-based cuisine.

Nearly a half (44 per cent) mentioned the importance of healthy dishes, including fresh produce and that list mentioned above of diet and allergy friendly options.

Nearly a third picked an increase in vegan, vegetarian and plant-based dishes.

Bidois says focusing on healthy food is a global trend and no passing fad. Restaurants that want to survive and thrive need to change to meet it.

In many ways it mimics how we are eating in general.

New Zealand healthy food

Crispy Cauliflower and Harissa Mayo from the Salty Pidgin in Wellington is the kind of full flavoured vegetarian dish more and more people want these days. Photo: Cameron Burnell/Stuff

Supermarkets like Countdown report that sales of health and wellness foods are booming.

We are filling trolleys with fermented foods, gluten-free products, organic products, reduced sugar products and whatever the latest “superfoods” are.

We want more vegan and vegetarian products and, according to Roy Morgan Research, more than one in 10 Kiwis say they are always, or often, vegetarian.

Another important influence is the rise of the Nordic-style ethical, sustainable, seasonal, wholefood, local produce, sub-movements.

It sounds complicated, but flying in fresh foie gras and Atlantic halibut steaks from Europe for a fancy main in Palmerston North would be about the opposite of what it stands for.

This is about believing food is better for you and for the world if it’s fresh and from nearby. The booming farmers markets are another sign of this.

New Zealand healthy food

Restaurants and cafes are increasingly responsive to the vegan market.

New Zealand School of Food and Wine director Celia Hay says diners have never been more focused on what is in food and what they believe they should be eating.

At the same time, she says the new food control plans restaurants must have now as a result of the 2015 Health and Safety Act have forced chefs themselves to think more carefully about what’s in their dishes.

A pointed reminder about that came from Britain a few years ago when an Indian restaurant owner was jailed for six years after a customer died from a severe anaphylactic shock. The restaurant owner had sold a no-nuts curry that contained peanuts in flour to save money.

New Zealand healthy food

AUT senior lecturer Alan Brown says trainee chefs are being taught new skills to match changing expectations from diners. Photo: supplied

AUT senior lecturer in cooking Alan Brown says how new chefs are trained has changed.

Young chefs learn the classic French basic skills, but they are being taught more about vegetarian dishes and ethnic cooking.

“In our nutrition papers, we certainly do all the other things, the nut allergies, gluten free and that sort of stuff.”

Hay says it’s more efficient for restaurants to tweak some dishes and offer them as vegetarian, vegan or gluten-free, than to have to respond to requests on a case-by-case basis.

Of course vegetarians want real dishes made of vegetables, not a lazy meat-free risotto or pasta.

So restaurants lift their vegetable dish quality – which draws more diners to ordering them.

The other big trend, the casualisation of dining, she says goes back to the Global Financial Crisis of 2008, which hit New Zealand in about 2009-2010.

People were poorer but they still wanted to eat out to lift their spirits. They sought out cheap, friendly, less formal places and still do.

That mood has only grown stronger as Kiwis embrace the fun, relaxed social side of dining. Think tapas and shared plates.


Hay says there’s still a necessary affluence underlying everything.


“You can be more fussy about what you eat if you can afford it. People who can’t afford it, don’t care. They just go for a Big Mac,” she says.

Hay, who is the author of How To Grow Your Hospitality Business, says chefs are becoming as diverse as their customers.

Some run specialist restaurants and are passionate about fermented foods and so on, while others are more old school and “can’t stand it and roll their eyes”.

But she says the most successful places now are those which understand these trends and where the food is not too expensive.

So where does that leave fine dining, the stereotypical restaurant image most of us have, where formality and expense rule?

Cuisine editor Kelli Brett says mid-range restaurants are offering a level of excellence like never before.

“So for fine dining to survive and be able to charge a fine dining price and provide the level of service needed, I think it needs to work out how to provide a different type of experience that will hook a younger customer, but still hold on to that valuable, more mature customer.

“It’s unfolding and evolving. There will always be people who want to dine in an exclusive space, I’m not sure how that space will look just yet.”

One couple who have just put their money behind fine dining are Sid and Chand Sahrawat, who are taking over the French Cafe in Auckland, which sits right at the top of the fine dining tree.

“Absolutely there is a big market for fine dining,” Sid Sahrawat says.


“This casualisation thing is everywhere in the world. Casual dining restaurants are always more affordable. Fine dining is for when you want to celebrate something or want to spoil yourself or pamper yourself.”


Brown, who can remember with horror being taught at culinary school how to make a curry using a French roux, bananas and sultanas, says the big changes have given New Zealand stunning food at the moment.

“I think people do know more, but I don’t think they know as much as they think they do. But with immigration, we have got so much more diversity, so much more different food.

But are we at peak wonderful food and dining out?

Brown laughs. “Remember this conversation in 10 or 15 years time and again you will go ‘whoa, OK it’s better than it was’.”

By Ewan Sargent, Stuff

2018 Rotorua Hospitality Awards finalists announced

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The finalists for the 2018 Rotorua Hospitality Awards have been announced, with familiar faces and consistently good establishments vying for top spots.

Presented by the Restaurant Association of New Zealand, the Rotorua Hospitality Awards recognise the outstanding hospitality professionals all making a positive impact in the local hospitality scene. A large number of nominations were received from the industry across 16 categories, recognising those who work hard to achieve excellence in hospitality.

Marisa Bidois, Chief Executive of Restaurant Association says:

“Time and time again we are impressed by the number of nominations received and we see this as an endorsement that the Rotorua hospitality industry welcomes the awards as a means to support and recognise each other. It is a real tribute to the calibre of talent in Rotorua hospitality. To be selected by your peers as a leader in your category is a great honour in itself.”

Winners will receive a coveted “Chevron” trophy, representing a stripe indicating rank or length of service. Winners will also be listed on the Eat New Zealand website, a movement dedicated to promoting New Zealand’s best food, drink and culinary destinations to the world.

Final Voting via the website is now open to the industry, closing at midnight on Sunday, 20 May.

The public can also have their say and vote for their favourite establishment via the Rotorua Lakes Council People’s Choice Award. This will be awarded to an establishment that excels in customer service, consistency in food preparation and delivery, welcoming ambience and style, attention to detail and is always willing to go that extra mile. Online voting is now open via the website for both industry and the public.

The winners will be announced at the awards evening, held at the Energy Events Centre on Sunday, 1 July. The Rotorua Hospitality Awards is your opportunity to get together with the city’s hospo squad, enjoy a night of delicious canapés, wine, beer, and cocktails, and participate in a bit of healthy competition at our awards ceremony.

Tickets to the event are on sale now, to purchase or for more information regarding the awards please visit www.hospitalityawards.co.nz/rotorua. Stay connected with key updates and announcements on our Facebook page @rotoruahospitalityawards and Instagram @rotoruaawards.

2018 Rotorua Hospitality Awards Finalists

More FM Rotorua Outstanding Barista of the Year
Ethan Butler, Artisan Cafe
Leroy Cunningham, Market Kitchen
Grace Choi, McDonalds
Andrea Baigorria Germain, Revolver Espresso

Bidfood Rotorua Outstanding Café of the Year
Artisan Café
Lime Caffeteria
Scope Cafe
Third Place Café

Restaurant Association of NZ Outstanding Bartender of the Year
Sean Kelly, Atticus Finch
Shaye Honeycombe, Ponsonby Rd Lounge Bar
Rohit Mehla, Rydges Hotel, Rotorua
Scott Barlow, Stratosfare Restaurant and Bar

Lion Breweries Bar of the Year
BREW Craft Beer Pub
Ponsonby Rd Lounge Bar

Hospitality Management Systems Front of House Team of the Year
Atticus Finch
Indian Star Tandoori Restaurant
Stratosfare Restaurant and Bar

Tobasco Emerging Talent – Chef
Bethany-May Allen, Peppers on the Point – Lake Rotorua
Pritam Gaware, Skyline Rotorua
Gill Fursharan, Urbano Bistro

Toi Ohomai Institute of Technology – Outstanding Chef of the Year
Phil Elliot, Atticus Finch
Digraj Baghela, Princes Gate Hotel
Mark Solon, Urbano Bistro

Indian Star Emerging Talent – Business
Delhi Hutt
El Mexicano Zapata
Scope Cafe

OneMusic Outstanding Ambience & Design of the Year
Ponsonby Rd Lounge Bar
Regent of Rotorua
Urbano Bistro

Restaurant Association of NZ Outstanding Ethnic Restaurant of the Year
Indian Star Tandoori Restaurant
The Thai Restaurant
Yamato Japanese

Eftpos NZ Outstanding Restaurant of the Year
Atticus Finch
Regent of Rotorua
Urbano Bistro

GrabOne Outstanding Takeout of the Year
24b Lunchbar
Pizzeria Imperfetto
The Factory Smokehouse & Grill

Skyline Rotorua Outstanding Sales Rep of the Year
Rohan Knowles, Diverse Distributors
Donna Bloore, Jasco Distributing
Tracey Lawrence, Service Foods

Restaurant Association of NZ Outstanding Supplier of the Year
Bidfood Rotorua
Diverse Distributors
Service Foods

Events & Venues Excellence in Event Hospitality of the Year
Crankworx Rotorua
Rotorua Night Market
The Okere Falls Beerfest

Queenstown Hospitality Awards acknowledges excellence in the region

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The Queenstown hospitality industry acknowledged the outstanding abilities of their own with the announcement of the winners at the inaugural awards ceremony at Skyline Queenstown.

queenstown hospitality awards

The Awards recognise the outstanding hospitality professionals, all of whom making a positive impact on the local café and dining scene. The Restaurant Association of New Zealand and lead partner Trents Wholesale are proud to organise and foster these Awards with the main purpose being to unite, grow and promote the Southern Lakes diverse hospitality industry.

Marisa Bidois, CEO Restaurant Association of New Zealand says

“At the Restaurant Association, we believe it’s important to celebrate one another in the hospitality industry. Our work is demanding and there are limited opportunities to come together to support each other. The Queenstown Hospitality Awards represent the occasion to do just that – celebrate the hard work and success of the hospitality industry within the region. Congratulations to all winners.”

With all categories keenly contested, this year’s winners truly exemplify what it means to be at the top of their respective categories.

Vicky Wong from Botswana Butchery took top honours winning the Outstanding Chef award, the team at Madam Woo were awarded the Outstanding Front of House Team honour, and La Rumbla proved they have all the ingredients to be named Outstanding Restaurant.

The Chop Shop Food Merchants was presented the Outstanding Café Award, Yonder won the Outstanding Design & Ambience honours, and Amisfield picked up the Award for Outstanding Winery Restaurant. The Sundeck was awarded the Outstanding Bar Award, and The Bunker was named Outstanding Central City Establishment.

After an impressive 650 votes received, the coveted People’s Choice Award went to Blue Kanu.

Tony Robertson, formerly of Hamills Restaurant, was awarded Hospo Hero of the Year for his dedication to the industry spanning over 30 years, contributing to the flourishing scene Queenstown hospitality of today.

Guests were treated to a delectable selection of local produce and beverages and sweet sounds from Annah Mac and DJ duo Sweet Mix Kids.

For more information regarding the awards please visit www.hospitalityawards.co.nz\queenstown.
Stay connected with key updates and announcements on our Facebook page @qthospitalityawards and Instagram @queenstownawards.

Click image to enlarge

2018 Queenstown Hospitality Awards Winners

Meadow Fresh
Outstanding Barista
of the Year

Nat Payne, Joe’s Garage

Emerging Talent –
Wine Service Professional

Jeremy Olsen, Botswana Butchery

Café of the Year

The Chop Shop Food Merchants

Winery Restaurant of the Year


Outstanding Bartender
of the Year

Jack Wharton, Bardeaux

Outstanding Design &
Ambience of the Year


Bar of the Year

The Sundeck

Crombie Lockwood
Outstanding Central City
Establishment of the Year

The Bunker

Outstanding Waiter of the Year

Jessica Patterson, La Rumbla

Restaurant of the Year

La Rumbla

Outstanding Front of House
Team of the Year

Madam Woo

Loaded Reports
Sales Rep of the Year

Jill Newton, Lion Co

Burns & Ferrall
Emerging Talent – Chef

Callum Symonds,
Akarua Wines & Kitchen by Artisan

McCarthy Specialty
Supplier of the Year

Cardrona Distillery

Southern Hospitality
Outstanding Chef of the Year

Vicky Wong, Botswana Butchery

NZI Goods & Services
Wholesaler of the Year

Bidfood Queenstown


2018 Queenstown Hospitality Supreme Awards Winners

Trents Wholesale
Crew Member
of the Year

Jack Wharton, Bardeaux

Trents Wholesale
Talent of the Year

Jeremy Olsen,
Botswana Butchery

Trents Wholesale
Supplier of the Year

Bidfood Queenstown

Trents Wholesale
of the Year



2018 Queenstown Hospitality People’s Choice & Hospo Hero Winners

First Table People’s Choice,
of the Year

Blue Kanu

Skyline Queenstown
Hospo Hero
of the Year

Tony Roberstson


Find out how payday filing will impact your business

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Since 1 April 2018, employers have been able to file payroll information every payday rather than monthly. Payday filing is voluntary for employers until 1 April 2019, when it becomes compulsory.

If you’re an employer, it’s important that you start thinking about how to adapt your business processes to incorporate this new requirement.

Inland Revenue has two webinars on payday filing available to give you more information on how this will work. The first webinar, ‘Payday filing for employers – more detail’, provides an in-depth overview whilst the second, ‘Payday filing for employers – update’, focuses more on change implications.

You can register for these webinars here https://www.cchlearning.co.nz/events/cat-58-inland-revenue/ and find out more about payday filing at www.ird.govt.nz/payday.

Tough rules see migrants give up and go home

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Some frustrated migrants are giving up and going home because they say new rules make it harder to work and stay in New Zealand.

In the year to April, more than 30,000 non-New Zealand citizens who had been here on a permanent or long-term basis left this country – up 23 per cent on the year before, according to Statistics NZ.

As a result, annual net migration is down 4800 from a high point a year ago. Most were temporary migrants who arrived on student and work visas, experts believe.

Immigration policy changes introduced last year have made it harder for temporary migrants to gain residency.

“There is less enthusiasm for post-study options for international students, who are defined as permanent and long-term if they have been in New Zealand for more than 12 months,” said Massey University sociologist and immigration expert Professor Paul Spoonley.

“But the Government has signalled that the labour market test is under review. This signals an intention to require employers to seek New Zealand workers before recruiting immigrants… particularly true for some areas such as hospitality and retail.”

Spoonley said it was definitely the departures of non-New Zealand citizens that had contributed to the declining immigration numbers.

new zealand migrant

Skilled migrant Donny Lai, a former Hong Kong university lecturer and IT specialist, will be leaving New Zealand for good after struggling to find work that matched his skills. Photo / supplied

Donny Lai, 50, a former university lecturer from Hong Kong, will next week be returning home with his wife and young son after three years of struggling to secure a decent job.

Lai describes himself as a “highly qualified IT professional” ande moved here in April 2015 because he believed the education system here was better for his 9-year-old son Justin.

But after sending out hundreds of job applications, the only work he could find was as a low-paid teacher in a private training establishment.

“We still love New Zealand, but it is just simply not possible to settle here when you cannot find a proper job,” Lai said.

“The job market here is also too small for highly skilled people like myself, which is quite ironic because that is what immigration gives points for under the skilled migrant category.”

Lai said most employers also would not give migrant workers who did not have local work experience a chance.

Kary Chung, 23, who last year told the Herald new rules made it impossible for her to meet visa requirements under the skilled migrant category, returned to Hong Kong for good last week.

new zealand migrant

Kary Chung, 22, has returned to Hong Kong for good after failing to gain residency under the revised skilled migrant policy. Photo / Doug Sherring

Chung first came to New Zealand as a student at Takapuna Grammar School and last year graduated with a Bachelor of International Hospitality from AUT. She had been in the country for almost seven years.

Policy changes, which came into effect on January 15, meant migrants must be paid at least $24.29 per hour to be considered in skilled employment. Pathways to residence for temporary migrants have also been cut back.

Chung’s partner Ivan Shum, 24, a Massey University business graduate who also arrived as a high school student at Takapuna Grammar, also left the country permanently yesterday.

Spoonley said there were many “frustrated immigrant job seekers” who were giving up on New Zealand.

He said there remained a reluctance among small to medium enterprise owners to consider any applicant who did not have local experience.

Immigration Minister Iain Lees-Galloway said this was a “flow-on effect” of the high migration that occurred under the previous Government.

“What we’re seeing here is a significant cohort of temporary migrants and those on student visas with post-study work rights leaving the country as their visas expire,” Lees-Galloway said.

“I don’t accept that immigration should necessarily fill shortages in industries like hospitality and retail when the underemployment rate remains high at around 12 per cent, meaning there are plenty of New Zealand workers looking for more work.”

Lees-Galloway said the Government remained committed to making sure the immigration system works for New Zealand.

The Government’s plans on how the system would be better targeted for the growth of regions and industries would be announced soon, he said.

“It is clear that there are industries that are key to this country’s growth, like construction and dairying for example, that need migrant workers especially in our regions,” said Lees-Galloway.

“We remain committed to ensuring that when businesses have a genuine need for skilled migrant workers that they’ll get the workers they need.”

new zealand migrants

Eric Chuah, founder of Cultural Connections, said sometimes migrants faced difficulties because they were not fully aware of the services and organisations out there to help them settle and find employment.

In 2014, Chuah started the ANZ Migrant Expo when he was head of migrant banking at the bank. The next expo will be held on June 16 at The Cloud, which will focus on employment and start-up business.

“The expo serves as a single platform to help migrants access the info they need, and connect with the right organisation for opportunities, upskilling and networking,” Chuah said.

Restaurant Association chief executive Marisa Bidois said it would be a worry for the industry if New Zealand became less attrative to migrant workers.

“As long as we are still able to access the required workers through temporary visas, the trend is not alarming yet,” Bidois said.

“However if the decline continues and New Zealand becomes a country that is for whatever reason less attractive to overseas workers, this could up significant pressure on an already challenging recruiting environment.”

The net migration gain of 67,000 migrants for the April 2018 year returns migrant flows to a level last seen two years ago.

The gain for the year was made up of 130,500 arrivals and 63,400 departures.

“Interestingly, the number of arrivals increased in the April 2018 year, so it is the larger increase in departures that drove the lower net migration level,” population insights senior manager Brooke Theyers said.

More than 98,000 non-New Zealand citizens arrived but more than 30,000 non-New Zealand citizens left over the same period.

Source: NZ Herald

Kate Fay first woman to go platinum

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Kate Fay, Head Chef at Cibo Parnell, was last night recognised as a Beef and Lamb New Zealand Platinum Ambassador Chef, a prestigious lifetime award only extended to eight other chefs in the nation.

Kate is the first woman to gain this status, which recognises her outstanding achievements in the Beef and Lamb Excellence Awards, having been named an Ambassador four times during her years of receiving the Award.

Kate joined Cibo Parnell in 1999, which coincided with the first time she was named Beef and Lamb Ambassador. Over time, her cooking style has evolved through travel and she has managed to capture a blend of Asian and European flavours bringing amazing tastes, colours and textures to the plate.

Last night, she hosted her Ambassador Series dinner where she served guests a degustation showcasing five of her iconic beef and lamb dishes. It was during the event that she was presented with her Platinum plate.

“Being the first women to receive this accolade is phenomenal. It is a huge privilege to represent Beef + Lamb New Zealand, an organisation that is pivotal to the food service industry. As a chef I am so lucky to work with top quality, local produce.”

“I am always looking to raise the bar in terms of the innovation behind my dishes. I credit my kitchen team for this, we have been together for quite some time now and I enjoy opening up the task of writing the menu so that we are all involved. I think this is key to driving.”

Highlighting one of the reasons Kate is so influential with New Zealand beef and lamb was her choice of dishes such as her iconic lamb neck sausage roll, made with lamb ribs, pea and mint gel.


The French Café owners bid au revoir

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New Zealand’s most highly awarded and esteemed restaurateurs, Creghan Molloy-Wright and Simon Wright of The French Cafe, are stepping aside from the restaurant after twenty years.

Seeking a new challenge, and more time together as a family, the successful husband and wife team are temporarily moving out of Auckland for a lifestyle change.

From September, the restaurant will be renamed Sid at The French Café, with highly respected Sid and Chand Sahrawat taking over from Simon and Creghan.

“Creghan and I are immensely proud of all we have accomplished in our twenty years at The French Café,” says Simon.

“None of our success would be possible without our French Café family – our incredible team, first-class suppliers and of course, our customers, who have helped make The French Café what it is today.

“We have poured so much into the restaurant and worn our hearts on our sleeves. To be moving on is with such mixed emotion.”

Creghan says her and Simon would only pass the ownership over to the right people. In the Sahrawat’s they see the passion and dedication required to evolve the legacy that they have worked so hard to create.

“This decision has been amongst the most challenging of our lives,” says Creghan. “But we know it’s the right one – Sid and Chand are absolute professionals, and will continue to have our incredible team working with them to ensure customers are delivered the holistic experience they come to enjoy.”

“Simon and I have so many dreams about our future and what is next. It’s time we take action, and make them our reality, and spend more time together as a family.”

In the meantime, Simon and Creghan look forward to the next few months running The French Café with the same passion, rigor and perfection they are famous for. The menu will also include some special additions, with Simon bringing back some customer favourite dishes from past menus.

“Until the day I finish I will be putting my heart and soul into delivering the best culinary experience possible,” says Simon.

“We still have so much love and energy for this industry, but after nearly 20 years it’s time for a change.”