The finalists have been announced in the Queenstown Hospitality Awards and locals are being invited to vote for their favourite place to dine out.

The finalists represent the top-notch dining establishments in the city as voted by the hospitality industry.

Ben Bayly’s Arrowtown restaurant Aosta is a small 50 seat restaurant that brings a taste of Northern Italy to the gold-rush village. The restaurant is nominated in the category of outstanding restaurant, and best front of house team. It picks up a third nomination for its wine and beverage list.

Also receiving three nominations is central Queenstown eatery Blue Kanu. Famed for blending Pacifica and Asian styles together to create what they call “Polynasia”, the restaurant is also nominated for outstanding restaurant, and best front of house team. It picks up its third nomination for ambience and design.

Aosta and Blue Kanu will be going up against Ode Wanaka, Rātā and The Bunker who are also nominated for the outstanding restaurant award.

The best chefs in the region have been recognised with Ainsley Rose Thompson of The Dishery; Corey Hume from True South Dining Room at the Rees Hotel; Lucas Parkinson of Ode Wanaka and Yann Robert of Jervois Steak House all up for the outstanding chef accolade.

Great cafes are not lacking in the region with Bespoke Kitchen, Halo, The Boat Shed, Cafe & Bistro and Yonder all finalists in the category of outstanding cafe.

It’s been an especially tough year for the industry around the country, but those looking for a place to get together with friends won’t be disappointed with the region’s assortment of top-notch bars recognised.

Ferg’s Bar, Little Blackwood, Sundeck and The World Bar are all contenders for the title of best bar, while Akarua Wines & Kitchen by Artisan, Amisfield, Gibbston Valley and The Winery Restaurant at Mt Difficulty are all recognised in the category of best winery restaurant.

In a new category for 2021 Love Chicken, Margo’s, Taco Medic and Tanoshi are all nominated for Outstanding Casual Dining/Street Food.

The Southern Lakes general public are also able to vote for their favourite establishment in the People’s Choice Award category.

Seventeen awards will be given to the best of the region’s hospitality industry. From crew members, to suppliers, to establishments – the best of the best will be celebrated for their contribution to creating a world-class hospitality scene in the Queenstown and Southern Lakes area.

CEO Marisa Bidois says, “Queenstown is a force to be reckoned with when it comes to dining out, offering exceptional experiences in some of the world’s most stunning settings.

“It is a great opportunity to remind locals, domestic visitors and soon Australians of all the incredible options for dining they have to choose from.

“We believe it’s important to shine a light on our industry and make sure we are recognised for the contribution we make to our community and economy.

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

Voting closes on Sunday, 25 April at 5.00pm and winners will then be announced at the awards evening on Monday, 3 May at the Skyline in Queenstown.

The Queenstown Hospitality Awards Finalists 2021

Meadow Fresh Outstanding Barista

Benedicte Greenland, Captains Restaurant

Brad Lewis, Joe’s Garage Queenstown

Laura Fisher, Johnny Crema

Tara Murray, Vudu Cafe & Larder

Restaurant Association of NZ Outstanding Bartender

Matthew Shone, Smiths Craft Beer House

Max Watkins, The Bunker

Shaun White, The Grille by Eichardt’s

William Prior, Attiqa/Sundeck

Restaurant Association of NZ Outstanding Front of House Team

Aosta Blue Kanu

La Rumbla

White + Wong’s Queenstown

Antipodes Outstanding Maitre d’

Emma Fitzpatrick, The Bunker Graeme Allan, Botswana Butchery

Hayden Davidson, Jervois Steak House Oksana Radu, Blue Kanu

Mt Cook Alpine Salmon Emerging Chef

Giulio Barducci, Aosta

Mandeep Singh, Botswana Butchery Marion Apin, Rātā

Nathan Young, Sherwood

Southern Hospitality Outstanding Chef

Ainsley Rose Thompson, The Dishery

Corey Hume, True South Dining Room, The Rees Hotel

Lucas Parkinson, Ode Wanaka

Yann Robert, Jervois Steak House

Menulog Outstanding Street Food/Casual Dining

Love Chicken Margo’s

Taco Medic Tanoshi

Bidfood Outstanding Café

Bespoke Kitchen


The Boat Shed Cafe

Bistro Yonder

Restaurant Association of NZ Outstanding Bar

Ferg’s Bar

Little Blackwood Sundeck

The World Bar

Restaurant Association of NZ Wine & Beverage List


Bannockburn Hotel – Wine Country Restaurant & Bar Botswana Butchery

The Lodge Bar

Restaurant Association of NZ Outstanding Winery Restaurant

Akarua Wines & Kitchen by Artisan Amisfield

Gibbston Valley

The Winery Restaurant, Mt Difficulty

OneMusic Outstanding Ambience & Design

Blue Kanu Boardwalk

Nest Kitchen & Bar Paddy Gaddy

Restaurant Association of NZ Outstanding Regional Establishment

Bannockburn Hotel – Wine Country Restaurant & Bar La Rumbla

The Chop Shop Food Merchants

The Dishery

Eftpos NZ Outstanding Restaurant

Aosta Blue Kanu

Ode Wanaka


The Bunker

McCarthy Outstanding Sales Rep

Anna Hobbs, Asahi Premium Beverages

Karen Bisacre, Pernod Ricard

Juleon Green, Proof & Company

Juanita Hart, Red + White Cellar

Skyline Queenstown Outstanding Supplier


Cardrona Distillery Crisp

Southern Hospitality

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