Brisbane's coming of age - Queensland Good Food Guide

It was all about the Brisbane food scene last night at the launch of the first Queensland Good Food Guide with awards, accolades and plenty of pats on the back.

Here are the highlights-
·      Esquire wins Vittoria Coffee Restaurant of the Year, only Queensland restaurant to achieve three hats
·      Kym Machin awarded Citibank Chef of the Year
·      The Long Apron, Montville wins Rekorderlig Cider Regional Restaurant of the Year

Food guide editor, Natascha Mirosch, ex Courier Mail Food Editor, said the launch celebrated the coming of age of Queenslands hospitality industry, with the state poised to take its rightful place alongside  southern counterparts. "Esquire is the perfect example of the modern three hatted restaurant and the direction dining is heading. The food is of an incredibly high quality, from provenance to preparation, yet the restaurant is neither hideously expensive nor intimidating, either in atmosphere or attitude.” 

Sydney Morning Herald reviewer Terry Durack said “while it's not the old-style idea of a three hat restaurant  it can really stand up to scrutiny in terms of technique, ability, professionalism, commitment, dining experience, service, ambiance and it’s the only one with the integrity of being truly modern, that is, of our time and place . I can't wait to go back.” 

Kym Machin, one of the city’s most talented chefs, was awarded the Citibank Chef of the Year Award.

“He is certainly one of the most dedicated – going to extraordinary lengths to source the best produce; even if it means commissioning a farmer to grow it for him," said Natascha. “Maturity has bought another depth to his cooking and I believe we will only see the rise and rise of this extraordinary chef."

More highlights-
·         the Riedel Glassware Best New Restaurant to Public,
·         The Long Apron, Montville crowned Rekorderlig Cider Regional Restaurant of the Year
·         John McNamara of Jellyfish, named recipient of Vittoria Coffee ‘Legend’ Award
·         Lizzie Loel, winner of the Dimmi Professional Excellence Award
· Sustainability Award  to Swampdog
·         McLaren Vale Beer Best Bar with Food  to Cabiria

See the full list of awards at the end of this post.
So what's in the guide?  450 restaurant, bar and cafĂ© reviews  from Northern New South Wales to Cairns and coveted, nationally recognised chefs’ hats. Receiving a hat or even just being good enough to be included in the guide is a pretty big deal.

And because being in the guide is a big deal, the reviews are conducted very carefully and along strict guidelines to create reviews the diner can trust.  I know what is involved as I was part of the reviewing team.
What's different about dining in Queensland? According to Natascha the casualisation of dining, a point of difference throughout Queensland compared to New South Wales and Victoria, meant that it was no longer just exclusive formal diners who were award contenders.  
Generally the public dont want the intimidating atmosphere and crystal stemware anymore. They want good service, great food and a convivial atmosphere, all of which we boast,” she said.
“Perhaps the most significant change has been the transition to all day dining, breaking down the traditional three set meals into a more casual – Ill eat when I please approach to food.”

Chatting to young chefs and hospitality people at the event it's clear that the tables have turned when it comes to the food stakes.  While locals are still making regular trips to  Sydney and Melbourne to check out their food scene, chefs from these great food cities are also making the same trip in reverse, searching out our best food and enjoying what they discover.

The Good Food Guide will be available from bookstores and newsagents for $24.99. The Good Food Guide app is priced from $8.99 for 12 month’s access, available for download while online users can also access the full reviews via ebook or website subscription for $8.99 each.

Bottom line: Don't even hesitate about buying this.
Best tip: Buy an extra copy for the car.

Kym Machin and Natascha Mirosch
Sarah Hancock and Lizzie Loel
Winners are grinners - Daniel Ridgeway- Little Truffle, Rhett Willis - Jelly Fish, Nicolas Cooper,  Deer Duck
Marcus Whittington and Brent Farrell , Brent's Toowong.


Vittoria Coffee Restaurant of the Year
Esquire, Brisbane
Citibank Chef of the Year
Kym Machin, Spring
Rekorderlig Cider Regional Restaurant of the Year
The Long Apron, Montville
Riedel Glassware Best New Restaurant
Public, Brisbane
4BC Radio Diner’s Choice Awards
Brent’s, Toowong
The Silver Service Award
Marcus Whittington, Brents, Toowong
Dimmi Professional Excellence Award
Lizzie Loel, Spring, Brisbane
Brown Brothers Wine List of the Year
Ortiga, Brisbane
Regional Wine List of the Year
Sails, Noosa
Champagne Louis Roederer Sommelier of The Year
Shawn Gomes, Il Centro, Brisbane Sustainability Award
Swampdog, South Brisbane
Dan Murphy’s BYO Restaurant of the Year
Deer Duck Bistro, Milton
McLaren Vale Beer Best Bar with Food
Cabiria, Petrie Terrace
Vittoria Coffee Legend Award
John McNamara, Jellyfish, Brisbane

Metro – Brisbane & Suburbs
Three Hats
Esquire (18)
Two hats
Urbane (17), Ortiga (17), Aria (16.5)
One hat
1889 Enoteca (15), Alchemy (15.5), Brents (15.5), Cinco Bistro (15), Confit (15), Il Centro (15), Ecco (15), Era (15.5), The Euro (15.5), Malt (15), Montrachet (15), Prive 249 (15), Public (15), Reserve (15), Restaurant Two (15), Sake (15.5), Seasalt (15), Stokehouse (15.5), Tank (15), Tartufo (15.5), Vintaged Bar + Grill (15)

Two hats
Long Apron, Montville (16)
One hat
Allure, Gold Coast (15), Berardos, Noosa (15), Bucci, Port Douglas (15), Chill on Tedder, Gold Coast (15), Coast, Hervey Bay (15.5), Far Horizons, Palm Cove (15), Fellini, Gold Coast (15), Harrisons, Port Douglas (15.5), Little Truffle, Gold Coast (15), Nu Nu, Palm Cove (15.5), Reserve, Maleny (15), Room 81, Gold Coast (15), Seaduction, Gold Coast (15), Songbirds, Mt Tamborine (15), Spice Bar, Mooloolaba (15), Spicers Peak, Maryvale (15), Spicers Tamarind, Maleny (15.5), Spirit House, Yandina (15), Veraison, Toowoomba (15), Verve, Gold Coast (15), Wasabi, Noosa (15.5)