Resort eateries celebrated

Queenstown restaurants and chefs staked their claim in Auckland on Monday night during the Cuisine Good Food Awards.

For the second year running, Lake Hayes’ Amisfield was named American Express Restaurant of the Year, and awarded a three-hat status — its score of 19.5 out of 20 put it into the ‘‘extraordinary and approaching perfection’’ category — while its exec chef, Vaughan Mabee, won the Ōra King Salmon Innovation Award.

Says lead judge Terry Tyack: ‘‘Mabee remains at the top of his game, delighting us with his theatre of food delivery and executing a near
faultless and daring dance of innovation putting Kiwi food firmly on the global culinary stage.’’

Part-time Queenstown chef Ben Bayly, who’s behind Arrowtown’s Aosta and Little Aosta and Queenstown lakefront restaurant The Bathhouse, was crowned the Niwa-Haku Kingfish Champion for Change.

Change-maker: Ben Bayly. PICTURE: THOMAS SEE

‘‘Aside from running an amazing portfolio of restaurants and building a hospitality team around him that is passionate and confident, it’s his work in the telling of a unique NZ food story, his work to upcycle food into a range of products instead of letting it go to waste, his rescue of a much-loved organic garden in South Auckland and, most recently, his outstanding work to change the narrative for people living with dementia, that demonstrates a great vision for the future and is a win-win for all of us,’’ Tyack says.

Sherwood’s also become a two-hat restaurant, while Aosta, Botswana Butchery, Jervois Steak House and Rātā, along with Wānaka’s
Kika, are one-hatted.

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