The Canterbury hospitality industry acknowledged the outstanding abilities of its own with the announcement of the winners at the Canterbury Hospitality Awards.
Presented by the Restaurant Association of New Zealand and lead partners Trents Wholesale and RA Lexis ComplyHub, the awards acknowledge the outstanding hospitality professionals, all of whom are making a positive impact on the local café, dining and drinking scene.
Set in the beautiful south quad of the Christchurch Arts Centre, Cellar Door picked up four awards including outstanding new venue and supreme establishment of the year.
Popular local street food eatery Smokey T’s picked up the people’s choice award. Owner Tristan Anderson was also awarded the outstanding local hero prize for his dedication to the local hospitality scene and going above and beyond for the community.
The local hero award is one of three new categories introduced this year in recognition for the people and businesses that have stepped up and shown steely determination as we navigated our way through COVID-19.
Winning the award for outstanding innovation were the developers of Riverside Market, Kris Inglis, Mike Percasky and Richard Peebles. Tenants at Riverside Market and Riverside Retail Lanes in the central city were offered rent relief across March, April and May in an effort to help them keep their doors open.
They also introduced Market Box – containing fresh food, meat, vegetables, fish and other raw ingredients that could be ordered online and delivered to customers' doors along with a cloud kitchen concept containing up to 20 commercial kitchens for small businesses needing extra cooking space.
Outstanding community spirit went to The Vagabond Chef for their community-focused offering post Level 4 lockdown. The team contributed regular donations of resources and food to Christchurch City Mission and Kidscan to help those most at need in the community.
Cantabrians looking for an exceptional dining experience can be assured of it this year with Simon Levy of elegant city centre eatery Inati awarded the accolade of Outstanding Chef.
Manchester street eatery Child Sister picked up the award for outstanding café for its distinctive fit-out, first-class coffee, and a menu full of classics with Korean twists.
Great service did not go unrecognised with Amy Harrison-Wright of Akaroa hidden gem, Ma Maison picking up the award for outstanding maitre’d, while Twenty Seven Steps took out the outstanding front of house team.
Those looking for a great place to get a drink also won’t be disappointed with the region’s top-notch bars recognised. Charles Guillotine Gillet of the Last Word took out the award for outstanding bartender while O.G.B won outstanding bar.
“The hard-working Christchurch hospitality industry deserves recognition more than most. They have been at the forefront of the redesign of the city and to have COVID hit them just as they were finding their stride is testament to their incredible creativity and resilience,” commented Restaurant Association CEO Marisa Bidois.
“It has never been more important for diners to get out and try the fantastic array of local dining spots so we hope these awards inspire Cantabrians to support their locals.”
The winners were announced at a sell-out awards ceremony held at Addington Raceway & Events.