March 1, Melbourne, Australia
It was a night of good food, great cocktails and the laughter of friends and colleagues as the Victorian hospitality industry gathered for the first time in two years to celebrate the individuals and businesses who have shown leadership, creativity and resilience at the Restaurant & Catering Association’s Celebrating Industry Night.
On a night that also paid tribute to 100 years of the R&CA, big winners included Grazeland in Spotswood which was named Best New Venue and Caterina Borsato of Caterina’s in Melbourne’s CBD who was named Restaurateur of the Year.
Ronston Baira from MoVida Aqui was named Indigenous Chef of the Year, Bouzy Rouge took out the Diner’s Choice Award while Alex McIntosh of Sou’West Brewery was named the Bocuse D’Or Australia winner for 2022.
The Lifetime Achiever award went to Andrew Blake for his mammoth contribution to Victoria’s culinary scene over more than four decades.
A full house at Aerial at South Wharf enjoyed a delicious three-course meal, premium drinks and cracking cocktails courtesy of Don Julio tequila, Brunswick Aces and Sanpellegrino that were available to order through Mr Yum and delivered straight to the table during the awards.
Winners were grinners, including the team from Red Gum BBQ in Red Hill on the Mornington Peninsula, which took home Mr Yum’s Yummy Award for Technology for quickly pivoting to online sales and delivery during Victoria’s lockdowns and using social media, email and SMS to market their new At Home brand and “deliver a full Deep South experience at home”.
Other winners include Branded Burgers & Bar for Business Community Leadership, Pantry (Cultural Excellence award) Earl and Dame’s Jackie Middleton (Force For Good) and the Lucas Group (Visionary award).
Roll’d in St Kilda took out the Operational Excellence award, the San Telmo Group was gonged for its Strength Through Adversity and the Consumer Vote award went to Schnitz in Ballarat.
R&CA CEO Wes Lambert congratulated all the finalists and winners on the night.
“You are the role models for the next generation of hospitality professionals,” he said.
Mr Yum CEO and co-founder Kim Teo said the event was a great opportunity to pay tribute to the incredible resilience and creativity of an industry that had faced the two of the toughest, most challenging years.
“The entire industry should be incredibly proud of the leadership, tenacity and determination that’s been shown over the past two years. Congratulations to all the legends who were honoured, with a special shout out to our Yummy Award for Technology winners Red Gum BBQ. I can confirm they are as good at low-and-slow barbecue as they are at adopting new hospitality tech into their business!”