It's the holy grill (aka grail) according to the Irish accent of leading Brisbane chef Alastair McLeod, co presenter at the launch of the brisbane.times Good Food Guide last night.
And it must have been a grim Brisbane food scene outside the Lightspace launch venue with the room packed full of Brisbane's best and brightest, most savy and food concious chefs, restauranteurs, hospitality staff, food writers and food lovers.
We were all there for the launch of the second edition of the book that has become Brisbane's must have for finding good food throughout the state.
"If this book was on 'My Kitchen Rules' it would be called 'Come Back Kitchen' because it 'puts more bums on seats'," Alastair says and he is right.
Editor Natasha Mirosch, who has eaten her way around the state with the help of a very talented team of reviewers, says changes in the food scene have been reflected in the hats awarded.
"Some restaurants have taken their foot off the pedal and have lost a hat, but there have been gains as well from large from established places that have stepped up. There's youthful energy on the Gold Coast that is geat to see and the love affair with American food continues."
Natascha also noted a move from tapas to shared plates and more interstate operators opening in Brisbane.
Special guest Matt Golininki, who woke up this time last year after eight weeks in an induced coma following the tragic Christmas death of his wife and three gorgeous daughters, said thank you to his hospitality friends for their support.
Matt says Plates for Mates has generated a lot of money which he has passed on to help others but the support of the hospitality industry helped him through the some of the tough spots.
So who are the winners?
|Ben Devlin, Ryan Squires and Cameron Murchison|
Vittoria Restaurant of the Year - Esquire, Brisbane - for the second year in row and a stand out on the Brisbane dining scene.
Citbank Chef of the Year - Alejandro Cancino, Urbane - a bright new star on Brisbane's dining scene who delights diners with innovative food and amazing degustations. His not-so-secret vegan preference has also resulted in new dining heights and choices in this world.
Regional Restaurant of the Year - Wasabi Retaurant & Bar, Noosa Sound. Simple elegance on a plate with amazing flavours.
4BC Diners' Choice Award - Coast, Hervey Bay. An impressive win not only because of the quality of the restaurant and its food but also the support it achieved from the regional community of Hervey Bay. Well done!
BYO Restaurant of the Year - Rhubarb Rhubarb, Wooloowin. Nice to see an oldie but a goodie recognised.
Silver Service Award - Zahir Meher-Homji, Il Centro. Sixteen years of experience says it all.
Citibank Professional Excellence Award - Alison Alexander. A well deserved award to a person who genuinely loves food and shares the very best she finds. Alison is very generous with her help and advice. Well done Alison!
Wine List of the Year - Aria, Brisbane. Well done Matt Moran and Peter O'Sullivan.
Regional Wine List of the Year - The Fish House, Burleigh Heads. Put this restaurant on your dining list.
Highly Commended Wine List - Il Centro, Brisbane and Sails, Noosa Heads (Regional)
Pol Roger Sommelier of the Year - Alan Hunger, E'cco Brisbane and Bistro One Eleven.
Best bar with food - Cabiria, Paddington
|Kettle and Tin|
Best Food under $30 - Kettle and Tin - I had breakfast here last week and it was superb.
Vittoria Legend Award - Francis and Marilyn Domenech - another well deserved award to two people who have set the standard for Brisbane dining for over 35 years with Baguette. Congratulations.
City and suburbsThree
Aria, Ortiga, Stokehouse, Urbane
Bistro One Eleven, Brents the Dining Experience, E'cco Bistro, The Euro, Gerard's Bistro, Il Centro, Malt Dining, Montrachet, Prive 249, Public, Restaurant Two, Sake, Tank, Tartufo, Vintaged.
The Long Apron, Montville; Wasabi Restaurant & Bar, Noosa Heads
Allure on Currumbin, Currumbin; Berardo's, Noosa Heads; Chill on Tedder, Main Beach; Coast, Hervey Bay; Harrisons, Port Douglas; Little Truffle, Mermaid Beach; Nu Nu, Palm Cove; Oskars on Burleigh, Burleigh Heads; ristorante Fellini, Mail Beach; RockSalt, Broadbeach; Room 11 Broadbeach; The Saltcellar, Townsville; Samphire Bites, Chevron Island; Seaduction, Surfers Paradise; Spice Bar, Mooloolaba; Spirit House, Yandina; Tamarind, Carins; The Tamarind, Maleny; Ten Japanese, Broadbeach.
The brisbanetimes.com.au Queensland Good Food Guide 2013 will be available from 16 April at
bookstores and from 17 April from newsagents for $19.99. You can order online at www.smhshop.com.au/qldgfg2013.
Disclaimer: Kerry Heaney was a review for the Queensland Good Food Guide 2013.