The finalists of Wellington’s Hospitality Awards have been announced, and Wellingtonians are now invited to vote for their favourite dining destination.
The finalists are a variety of established and new venues, representing the best of the capital’s dining scene, as voted by the hospitality industry.
Wellington’s Capitol featured strongly, being nominated for three categories including outstanding restaurant, with Patrick Ferrier being recognised in the Maitre’d category, and Tom Hutchison nominated for outstanding chef for the second year.
Last year, Rita took home the outstanding new establishment award, this year securing a finalist spot in the outstanding restaurant award category.
Boulcott Street Bistro’s stellar service was recognised, being nominated for outstanding front of house team.
Wellington’s bustling café scene was acknowledged with Café Polo, Lashings and Prefab Eatery all receiving nominations for outstanding café.
If customers are looking to grab a drink, they need to look no further than Hanging Ditch, Crumpet Bar and Hawthorn Lounge, all receiving nominations for the coveted title of outstanding cocktail experience. Glass, Puffin and Noble Rot Wine Bar were also recognised in the category of best wine experience.
With no shortage of new openings, Birdcage, Highwater Eatery and Los Banditos were all thought to be amongst the top three newcomers.
“Wellington has a vibrant and world-leading hospitality scene which deserves to be recognised,” said Marisa Bidois, Restaurant Association CEO. “Our goal is to recognise those providing an exceptional experience to Wellingtonians and connect them to one another and the local dining community.”
Community voting is open until 20th October, with winners being revealed on 27th October.
A full list is recorded below:
L’affare Outstanding Barista of the Year
Hohepa Reedy – Café Polo
Nik O’Connell – Staple Espresso
Tait Burge – Swimsuit
Chivas Regal Outstanding Bartender of the Year
Alex Vowles – Hawthorn Lounge
Dan Felsing – Crumpet Bar
Benji Irvine – Hanging Ditch
Max Roberts Bristow – Poquito Bar
Antipodes Emerging Front of House
Angela Montenegro – Lashings
Jessica Wood – Noble Rot Wine Bar
Mackenzie Edwards – CGR Merchant & Co
Helping Hands Outstanding Front of House Team of the Year
Boulcott Street Bistro
Ortega Fish Shack & Bar
Moet Hennessy Outstanding Maitre’d of the Year
Davey McDonald – Ortega Fish Shack & Bar
Patrick Ferrier – Capitol Restaurant
Sophie Garnham – Monsoon Poon
Le Cordon Bleu Emerging Chef
Ben Chamberlain – Atlas
Elton Song – Hiakai
Nikita Kuschke – Hillside Kitchen & Cellar
Gilmours Outstanding Chef of the Year
Laura Greenfield – Field & Green
Monique Fiso – Hiakai
Tom Hutchison – Capitol Restaurant
Southern Hospitality Outstanding Café of the Year
Restaurant Association of NZ Outstanding Beer Experience of the Year
Little Beer Quarter
Monin NZ Outstanding Cocktail Experience of the Year
Negociants Outstanding Wine Experience of the Year
Noble Rot Wine Bar
Service Foods Outstanding Casual Dining/Street Food Experience of the Year
A Taste of Home
Soul Shack Hot Chicken
OneMusic Outstanding Ambience & Design of the Year
BCE Catering Equipment Outstanding New Establishment of the Year
Nova Energy Outstanding Suburban/Regional Experience of the Year
Beach House & Kiosk
Comes & Goes
Champagne Laurent-Perrier Outstanding Restaurant of the Year
Harbourside Function Venue Outstanding Sales Rep of the Year
Richard Klein – Artigiano Imports
Jamie Andrew Lawton-McKenzie – Hop and Vine
Oliver Kettle – Vintners
Crombie Lockwood Insurance Brokers Outstanding Supplier of the Year
The Recruitment Network Outstanding Caterer of the Year
Ruth Pretty Catering
Sarah Searancke Catering
The Catering Studio
Villa Maria Outstanding Hospitality Professional
Josh Pointon – Noble Rot Wine Bar
Lindsay Coral Phillips – Bambuchi
Sarah Meikle – Wellington Culinary Events Trust