A restaurant set up inside Tauranga's old post office building has reigned supreme at this year's Bay of Plenty Hospitality Awards.
Clarence Bistro was named outstanding restaurant at an awards ceremony at Mills Reef tonight. Chef Ian Harrison was named outstanding chef and the restaurant also won the outstanding ambience and design category.
The awards recognise the outstanding hospitality professionals making a positive impact on the Western Bay of Plenty café and dining scene.
Mexican eatery and bar The Barrio Brothers picked up two awards – outstanding front of house team went to the Tauranga restaurant, while Katie Short of the Mount Maunganui establishment picked up the award for best bartender.
The Rising Tide was crowned most outstanding bar and Johney's Dumpling House was named winning of the casual dining or street food category. Johney's dumplings are located inside The Rising Tide as well as Our Place and regularly features at events or markets.
Known for its plant-based cakes and desserts, Real Rad Food won the People's Choice award. The General was named best cafe and Izakai Bar and Eatery was named best new venue.
Restaurant Association of New Zealand chief executive Marisa Bidois said: "With a growing population that swells in the summer months, the region's hospitality establishments play an important role in entertaining and hosting guests.
"As an industry, it's so important that we take time out to celebrate our success and acknowledge our achievements. We believe it's important to shine a light on our industry and make sure we are recognised for the contribution we make to our community and economy.
With all categories keenly contested, this year's winners truly exemplify what it means to be at the top of their respective categories."
Sam Graham from Luca Cafe, Joe Noon from Fish Face, Rye Bar & Grill, Flatwhite Waihī Beach, Handcrafted Food and Robbie Moore from Bidfood Tauranga were also named winners, as listed below.
Bay of Plenty Hospitality Awards winners:
Mills Reef Winery People's Choice
Real Rad Food
Nourish Magazine Outstanding Barista
Sam Graham, Luca Café
Asahi Premium Beverages Outstanding Bartender
Katie Short, The Barrio Brothers Mount Maunganui
Hospitality Management Systems Outstanding Front of House Team
The Barrio Brothers Tauranga
Bidfood Tauranga Outstanding Chef
Ian Harrison, Clarence Bistro
Toi Ohomai Institute of Technology Emerging Chef
Joe Noon, Fish Face
Eftpos NZ Outstanding New Venue
Izakai Bar and Eatery
Restaurant Association of New Zealand Outstanding Café
Monin NZ Outstanding Cocktail Experience
RYE Bar & Grill
Lion NZ Outstanding Bar
The Rising Tide
Bidfood Tauranga Outstanding Casual Dining/Street Food
Johney's Dumpling House
OneMusic Outstanding Ambience & Design
Nova Energy Outstanding Suburban/Regional Experience
Flatwhite Waihi Beach
Service Foods Outstanding Restaurant
The Recruitment Network Outstanding Caterer
Nib Health Insurance Outstanding Sales Rep
Robbie Moore, Bidfood Tauranga