Last night The Crown Melbourne played host to the 2019 Good Food Guide Awards accompanying the release of this year’s Good Food Guide – the 39th year of its publication. The Guide includes anonymous reviews by Australia’s most trusted food critics. 506 of the nation’s finest were reviewed, with 264 restaurants earning a coveted ‘hat’.
A hat is rewarded to those restaurants in New South Wales and Victoria that receive a score of at least 14/20. Other states and territories must receive at least 15/20. The max level of hats a restaurant can receive is three and the scoring scales as such:
- 14-15: one hat.
- 16-17: two hats.
- 18-20: three hats.
The receiving of one of these hats is of the highest priority for any fine-dining destination. Only six restaurants across the nation have had the fortune of receiving three hats this year. Here are how the numbers were spread across the states:
- Victoria: 91 total hat awards. 3 three hat awards.
- New South Wales: 100 total hat awards. 3 three hat awards.
- Australian Capital Territory: 8 total hat awards.
- Queensland: 22 total hat awards.
- Tasmania: 7 total hat awards.
- Western Australia: 19 total hat awards.
2019 Good Food Guide Awards: The Winners
Although many restaurants were acknowledged on the night, only a select few could take home the top prizes. Those prizes, and their winners are as follows:
- Vittoria Coffee Restaurant of the Year: Jock Zonfrillo’s Restaurant Orana (SA).
- Citi Chef of the Year: Peter Gilmore, Quay (NSW).
- New Restaurant of the Year: Laura (VIC).
- Santa Vittoria Regional Restaurant of the Year: Brae (VIC).
- Josephine Pignolet Young Chef of the Year: Jodie Odrowaz (Iki Jime, VIC).
- Bar of the Year: The Dolphin Hotel Wine Room (NSW).
Once again Sydney and Melbourne have dominated the food game throughout 2018. As a Brisbane man this is disappointing but not surprising. Jock Zonfrillo’s South Australian Orana is one pleasant upset, sticking it to the much larger cultural capitals.
One thing is clear though: Australians still love their food. The 2019 Good Food Guide Awards are the only proof we need that our little island country is challenging the best in the world in the pursuit of culinary perfection.