• Nick Chan speaks for first time on Bauer Media focus under his leadership
• GT’s Anthea Loucas and Pat Nourse treat guests to preview of David Thompson’s Sydney return at Long Chim
The nation’s best place to eat was revealed last night at what Bauer Media labels the Oscars of the Australian food world, the Gourmet Traveller Restaurant Awards. Sydney’s Momofuku Seiobo took out the top spot, named Australia’s Restaurant of the Year in what the Bauer magazine calls the country’s only national restaurant awards based on independent reviews.
Australia’s leading chefs and restaurateurs gathered in Sydney to attend the awards and the launch of the country’s only national restaurant guide at a gala dinner hosted by Gourmet Traveller’s editor Anthea Loucas Bosha and chief restaurant critic and deputy editor Pat Nourse.
The event was held at Long Chim, the long-awaited return to Sydney’s dining scene for local chef David Thompson, a chef who, in the 17 years since he left Australia, has become recognised worldwide as the foremost interpreter of the cuisine of Thailand.
Long Chim is yet to open to the public and last night’s event, also hosted by new Bauer Media chief executive Nick Chan, was the first time Thompson and his partners got to test the kitchen and their massive staff for a packed house. The restaurant is to officially open later this month but bookings opened yesterday. Thompson and his partners have invested $4m in the new restaurant, which will seat 190 guests.
In a short speech, his first since joining Bauer Media just five weeks ago, Chan called Gourmet Traveller, and its restaurant guide, the best and only national publication of its kind. “Chefs, advertisers and food, all my favourites in one place!”
Chan added that Bauer Media’s focus under his leadership will be “innovation, authority and engagement – Gourmet Traveler epitomises each of these. Executing those three pillars with excellence is what Gourmet Traveller is all about. Our readers are interested in trends, not fads and not hype. Whether it be recipes that are triple tested in our test kitchens or travel and restaurants reviews that have no fear nor favour, Gourmet delivers.
“A lot has changed on the brand…in fact a lot has changed since I worked,” he laughed with a nod to his gardening leave since his departure from Seven West Media.
“Innovation has transformed this almost 50-year-old flagship title into one of the world’s most influential and engaging magazine brands.
“At Bauer we believe in the power of magazine and we are proud to have the strongest brand portfolio in the market. We will continue to build on that to offer a wonderful reader experience with every single issue.
“Gourmet Traveller has evolved into a mutlifaceted brand – we offer travel experiences with our partners at APT and Abercrombie & Kent, handmade ceramics and a truly unique range of food hampers.”
While at Seven, Chan was known to joke how all his cousins would be stopped by customs during filming of that channel’s Border Security, while last night when talking about the new Chinese edition of Gourmet Traveller, he revealed he was its new editor-in-chief!
Chan finished noting that Bauer Media would have a number of special events linked to a 50th-birthday edition of Gourmet Traveller later this year. “Bauer Media is committed to the Gourmet Traveller brand – our signature is that what we do is born of passion, we don’t cut corners, sentiments shared by every chef here tonight.”
Ben Shewry of Attica in Melbourne took out the peer-voted Chef of the Year, shoring up his reputation as a chefs’ chef, his renown as the nice guy of Australian cooking, and an unofficial ambassador for treating staff well.
Australia’s Regional Restaurant of the Year is Aaron Turner’s new Geelong restaurant, Igni, and the nation’s Bar of the Year is Adelaide’s charming and new Pink Moon Saloon. Back in Melbourne, Andrew Joy from Marion in Fitzroy scored Maître d’ of the Year with his witty and informed hospitality, while chef Thi Le of Melbourne Vietnamese restaurant Anchovy is the country’s Best New Talent.
In Sydney, Restaurant Hubert scored a double-header, picking up New Restaurant of the Year and Wine List of the Year, while Dan Sharp of Sixpenny was named Sommelier of the Year. Indigenous author and educator Bruce Pascoe was recognised for his Outstanding Contribution to Hospitality, the guide’s editors citing his eloquent, persuasive revelations which have inspired his audience to accept, appreciate and adopt indigenous ingredients and food culture.
Details of the winners are in the September issue of Gourmet Traveller, on newsstands with the new edition of the Gourmet Traveller Australian Restaurant Guide, presented in association with Vittoria Coffee, and supporting sponsors Ilve, Petuna and Alessi, on Thursday 18 August.
The full list of winners follows.
GOURMET TRAVELLER RESTAURANT AWARDS WINNERS RESTAURANT OF THE YEAR
Momofuku Seiobo, Sydney
CHEF OF THE YEAR
Ben Shewry – Attica, Melbourne
NEW RESTAURANT OF THE YEAR
Restaurant Hubert, Sydney
BEST NEW TALENT
Thi Le – Anchovy, Melbourne
REGIONAL RESTAURANT OF THE YEAR
BAR OF THE YEAR
Pink Moon Saloon, Adelaide
MAITRE D’ OF THE YEAR
Andrew Joy – Marion, Melbourne
WINE LIST OF THE YEAR
Restaurant Hubert, Sydney
OUTSTANDING CONTRIBUTION TO HOSPITALITY
Bruce Pascoe, indigenous author and educator
SOMMELIER OF THE YEAR
Dan Sharp – Sixpenny, Sydney