The 2017 winners of the Good Food Awards – presented by Vittoria Coffee – were revealed at a gathering of the country’s most talented restaurant industry members.
Napier’s Pacifica was named Restaurant of the Year, reflecting a trend noted by the judges of restaurants in the regions closing the gap on their metropolitan counterparts. Pacifica is renowned for its Kiwi cuisine, with chef Jeremy Rameka’s passion for local, fresh ingredients shining through in Pacifica’s special five-course degustation experience.
Vittoria Coffee Chef of the Year went to Ed Verner from Pasture restaurant in Auckland’s Parnell. Chief judge Kerry Tyack says: “Innovation is a quality Ed Verner brings to the table. The concepts he is developing are both skilful and artful and we look forward to watching his work in the years ahead.”
Fleur Sullivan of Moeraki’s much-loved Fleurs Place was awarded a surprise accolade by Cuisine editor Kelli Brett, named a “Food Legend” in honour of Cuisine’s 30th birthday celebrations.
Brett says: “As New Zealand’s iconic food and drink magazine, it is fitting for us to honour Fleur Sullivan. Her work to promote locally sourced produce and foraged ingredients was highlighted on her menu long before these things became trends.
“I’d like to congratulate all of our winners. There has never been a better time to eat out in New Zealand.”
The Cuisine New Zealand Good Food Award winners, along with those awarded one, two or three “hats”, were drawn from Cuisine’s list of New Zealand’s top 100 restaurants, which essentially serves as a finalist list for the prestigious accolades.
Tyack explains that the guide acknowledges New Zealand restaurants and restaurateurs who, in the opinion of the assessment team have made the strongest impression over the past year.
“Each year we are encouraged by the growing number of restaurants reaching high standards. The wave of chefs recognising the importance of using ingredients from their regions and refining their preparation techniques to let the quality of those ingredients speak for itself continues to build.
“What we concluded this year is that dining in New Zealand is in reliable hands,” says Tyack.
Good Food Awards 2017 winners are:
- Cuisine Food Legend Award: Fleur Sullivan, Fleurs Place, Moeraki
- Cuisine Restaurant Of The Year: Pacifica
- Vittoria Coffee Chef Of The Year: Ed Verner, Pasture
- Santa Vittoria Best Metropolitan Restaurant: Apero
- Stuff Fibre Best New Metropolitan Restaurant: Gatherings
- Neat Meat Best Regional Restaurant: Bistronomy
- Neighbourly Best New Regional Restaurant: Malo
- Estrella Damm Best Specialist Restaurant: Cassia
- Stuff.co.nz Best Casual Dining Restaurant: Azabu
- Kenwood Restaurant Personality Of The Year: Liz Buttimore, Arbour
- Ōra King Salmon Innovation Award: Vaughan Mabee, Amisfield
- Cuisine Recommends Best Winery Restaurant: Black Estate
- Nautilus Estate of Marlborough Best Drinks List: Pasture
- Negociants New Zealand Best Wine Experience: Noble Rot
- The French Café
- The Grove
- Black Estate
- Logan Brown
- Orphans Kitchen
- The Grill by Sean Connolly
- Victoria Street Bistro
- Charley Noble
- Chillingworth Road
- Chim Choo Ree
- Elephant Hill
- Field & Green
- Hillside Kitchen & Cellar
- Hopgood’s & Co
- Noble Rot
- O’Connell Street Bistro
- Ortega Fish Shack
- Pasta e Cuore
- Pegasus Bay
- Ponsonby Road Bistro
- Saggio di Vino
- Soul Bar & Bistro
- The Shed at Te Motu
- Two Chefs Bistro
- Urban Oyster Bar & Eatery