The finalists for the 2017 Bay Hospitality Awards have been announced, with familiar faces, consistently good establishments and new talent vying for top spots.

Presented by the Restaurant Association of New Zealand, the Bay Hospitality Awards recognise the outstanding hospitality professionals all making a positive impact on the local café and dining scene. A large number of nominations were received from the industry across 14 categories, recognising those who work hard to achieve excellence in hospitality.

This is the second year for local hospitality industry have celebrated and acknowledged the region's hospitality stars via an industry-only voting system.

The event is in its second year and organised by the Restaurant Association with the help of the Bay of Plenty committee, made up of seven local industry professionals.


Chief executive Marisa Bidois said being selected by peers as a leader in the hospitality industry was a great honour.

"The benefits of a peer recognition awards programme that celebrates dedication and excellence not only draws our industry closer, but also raises aspirations and performance in the region".

This year the awards have including a new judging component for the chef, bartender and barista categories. The refreshed format will see finalists showcasing their skills and expertise in a live competition and the results will accumulate to the total tally to determine the winner of each award.

Final voting is now open to the industry, closing on Sunday, October 29. The public can also have their say and vote for their favourite establishment via the Mills Reef Winery People's Choice Award. This could be a bar, a cafe, or a restaurant, a place that the local community deems is the best because of the fabulous atmosphere, food, beverages or service. Online voting is open now for both industry and the public.

Winners will be announced at the awards evening, held at Mills Reef Winery on Sunday, November 5.

2017 Bay Hospitality Awards Finalists

Outstanding Barista

Kalee Haakma - Thy Neighbour Coffee Bar

Dan Comber - LUCA

Taryn Jackson - Pronto Mount Maunganui

Outstanding Café
The General
Heath St
Love Rosie

Lion Co Outstanding Bartender
Alister Noon - The Rising Tide
Katie Short - The Barrio Brothers Mount Maunganui
Hamish Doyle - Astrolabe Brew Bar

Pernod Ricard Outstanding Bar
Hide - Thirst & Hunger
The Rising Tide
Mount Brewing Co Bar

Independent Liquor Outstanding Design/Ambience
Post Bank Restaurant & Bar
Hide - Thirst & Hunger

Moana NZ Emerging Talent - Front of House
Aimee Channer - Rye American Kitchen & Spirits
Jorgia Jenkins - Brooklyn Patio & Eatery
Lisa Rooney - The Rising Tide

Menumate Point of Sale Outstanding Front of House Team
Post Bank Restaurant & Bar
The Barrio Brothers Tauranga
Flatwhite Waihi Beach

Federal Merchants & Co Outstanding New Venue
Hide - Thirst & Hunger
Heath St
Papamoa Beach Tavern

Toi-Ohomai Institute of Technology Emerging Talent - Kitchen
Walter Chang - Maude
Madison Boyd - Fish Face Seafood & Wine Bar
Tom Greene - Octopus's Garden

Bidfood Tauranga Outstanding Chef
Kate McKeller White - Fish Face Seafood & Wine Bar
Ian Harrison - Rye American Kitchen & Spirits
Matt Hay - Post Bank Restaurant & Bar
Gilmours Tauranga Outstanding Restaurant
Macau Bar Kitchen & Lounge
Fish Face Seafood & Wine Bar
Roquette Restaurant & Bar

Restaurant Association of NZ Outstanding Rep
Andre Howe - Mt Brew Company
Dan Shea - Mills Reef Winery
Robbie Moore - Bidfood Tauranga

Bidfood Outstanding Caterer
Good Things Kitchen
Handcrafted Food
The Whipped Baker

Outstanding Street Food/Takeout
Johney's Dumpling House
Tia's Tacos
Real Rad Food