Who are Melbourne and Sydney's leading hospitality professionals?
After nearly a year of evaluation and interviews, Gault&Millau Australia is proud to announce the Sydney and Melbourne finalists for their inaugural annual awards.
In November of this year, Gault&Millau Australia – publisher of the only internationally recognised restaurant guides in Australia – will publish and launch its third annual restaurant guide.
Gault&Millau Australia's Chief Judge said: 'We wish to acknowledge and celebrate the amazing talent we have in the Australian hospitality industry, and our awards recognise those outstanding men and women in the kitchen and on the floor who give Australia its international reputation as a culinary destination.'
Finalists will be announced and presented with their awards at Gault&Millau Australia's Mise en Place trade events, to be held in Sydney on 24th August (The Pavilion) and in Melbourne on 1st September (Siglo, The European).
The winners in each category for both Sydney and Melbourne will be announced at the launch of the Gault&Millau 2016 Melbourne & Sydney Restaurant Guide, to be held on 9th November 2015.
American Express 2015 Potentialist of the Year Award Finalists
The American Express Potentialist of the year not only shows incredible skill and dedication to their career development, but also demonstrates leadership, creativity and innovation within the kitchen and/or the hospitality industry more generally. This award provides a 'next step' for the winners, who will travel to France to attend the Gault&Millau International Chefs Summit in Monaco, travel throughout France meeting and experiencing some of the country's premier wine producers and providores, and 'stage' in two Paris restaurants.
Lauren Eldridge – Marque Restaurant, Surry Hills
Katey Shaw – Rydges Campbelltown
Kyle Vaughan – Rockpool Est. 1989, Sydney
Jarrod Walsh – 117 Dining, Sydney
Adam Wolfers – Yellow, Potts Point
Hugh Allen – Vue de monde, Melbourne
Natacha De Barba – ezard @ Levantine Hill, Coldstream (VIC)
Jarrod Di Blasi – ezard, Melbourne
Jake Kellie – Estelle Bistro, Northcote
Bill Vukinamualevu – Attica, Ripponlea
Pork Star 2015 Professional of the Year Finalists
This award recognises exceptional restaurant floor staff, including wait-staff and other front-of-house staff who show incredible dedication and passion, not only to the restaurant in which they serve but also to their customers, always seeking to ensure that restaurant guests receive both high-quality service and the best-possible dining experience.
Miki Bisceglia – Firedoor, Surry Hills
Vanessa Duckworth – Four in Hand Dining Room, Paddington
Amanda McDivitt – ONESIXEIGHT, Balmain
Abby Meinke – Moon Park, Redfern
Tim Watkins – Monopole, Potts Point
Joe Durrant – Grossi Florentino, Melbourne
Laurence Ip – Cosi Bar Ristorante, South Yarra
Lauren Mather – Habitat, Fitzroy
Tessa Murray – Supernormal, Melbourne
Sally Robinson – Coda, Melbourne
Riedel 2015 Sommelier of the Year Finalists
This award acknowledges sommeliers whose experience, knowledge and dedication to the wine list and master cellar is reflected not only in the choice provided to diners, but in how these choices are presented and described. The Sommelier of the Year shows incredible enthusiasm and passion for wine, as well as an extraordinary level of care and thought about the wines they offer and how these wines enhance the flavours of the food.
Simon Curkovic – Marque Restaurant, Surry Hills
Paul Huet– est., Sydney
Dan Sharp – sixpenny, Stanmore
Rodney Setter – Sepia, Sydney
Amanda Yallop – Quay, The Rocks
Leanne Altmann – Supernormal, Melbourne
Gareth Bernett – Woodland House, Prahran
Banjo Harris-Plane – Attica, Ripponlea
Sally Humble – Lûmé, South Melbourne, South Melbourne
Matthew Lamb – Vue de monde, Melbourne
Perrier-Jouët 2015 New Restaurant of the Year Finalists
This award is given to restaurants that have been open for less than 12 months or that have been redeveloped and reborn under new management, and which show extraordinary potential as well as innovation, character, all while serving delicious food. The New Restaurant of the Year offers not only a great dining experience, but also adds something new and exciting their state's restaurant scene.
Clareville Kiosk, Clareville Beach
Firedoor, Surry Hills
Raita Noda Chef's Kitchen, Surry Hills
Vine Double Bay, Double Bay
Babu Ji, St Kilda
L'Hôtel Gitan, Prahran
Lûmé, South Melbourne
The Roving Marrow, Carlton
V-ZUG 2015 Chef of the Year Finalists
The Chef of the Year award recognises not only the top chefs in Sydney and Melbourne, but also chefs who are pushing the limits within the kitchen and using innovation and imagination to create dishes that wow their diners. The Chef of the Year demonstrates outstanding technique, creativity on the plate and of course passion and dedication to both the industry and their calling as a chef, with this same passion reflected in every dish they serve.
Grant King – Gastro Park, Potts Point
Ross Lusted – The Bridge Room, Sydney
Josh Nyland – Café Nice, Circular Quay
James Parry – sixpenny, Stanmore
Daniel Puskas – sixpenny, Stanmore
Benjamin Cooper – Chin Chin, Melbourne, and Kong, Richmond
Teage Ezard – ezard, Melbourne
Andrew McConnell – CUMULUS INC./CUMULUS UP., Melbourne, and Culter & Co., Fitzroy
Ben Shewry – Attica, Ripponlea
Dave Verheul – The Town Mouse, Carlton
Lavazza 2015 Restaurant of the Year Finalists
The Restaurant of the Year Award is given to the top-scoring restaurants in both Sydney and Melbourne. Scores are based on the Gault&Millau international system for evaluating the technique and creativity of the chef, the atmosphere and ambiance of the restaurant (including service) and the quality of the food overall.
Rockpool Est. 1989, Sydney
Grossi Florentino, Melbourne
Vue de monde, Melbourne
Woodland House, Prahran