Circa 1876 and Crowne Plaza Hunter Valley win major regional awards

The Hunter Region fared well at this year’s NSW Savour Australia Restaurant & Catering HOSTPLUS Awards for Excellence.

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TOP OF THE CLASS: Circa 1876 executive chef Trent Barrett.

The winners were announced at a gala dinner at Sydney’s Luna Park on Tuesday.

Crowne Plaza Hunter Valley took out a major award, being named theregional NSW winner of the caterer of the year category.

Circa 1876, of Pokolbin, was named regional restaurant of the year. To put that in perspective, the Sydney winner wasTetsuya’s.

In the NSW Regional Restaurant Awards,Newcastle’s Nagisa Japanese Restaurant won the Asian restaurant category and Circa 1876 took home the contemporary Australian restaurant (formal) award.

Il Cacciatore Restaurant at Pokolbin was named best Italian restaurant andBaumé, also at Pokolbin, was named best new restaurant.

Esca Bimbadgen Restaurant was best restaurant in a winery and best tourism restaurant and the now-closed Barcito, of Hamilton, took home the specialty restaurant award.

Table 1 Espresso won the NSW regionalconsumer vote and honourable mentions went to Sandgate’s Caterforce (small caterer) and Lovedale Bar at Crowne Plaza Hunter Valley (beer cafe/wine bar).

The national winners in some categories will be announced next month.

Restaurant & Catering Australia chief executive Juliana Payne congratulated the individuals and businesses recognised as part of the Awards and praised their contribution to the NSW hospitality industry.

“The quality of all entries to this year’s Awards for Excellence was outstanding and we are disappointed that we can’t acknowledge more businesses for the feats of culinary excellence that they have displayed,” she says.

“It’s fantastic to see the enormous passion of all business-owners as well as their staff whose daily hard work and dedication goes into producing an unforgettable culinary experience.

“This sense of passion and pride is what truly makes the hospitality sector in NSW stand out and makes the Awards for Excellence a special event.”

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