Indigo Restaurant's Shaun Bates has scooped the Hospitality Association of New Zealand's Rising Star Young Entrepreneur Award.
The awards were held in Queenstown last week with Bates coming out at the top of his game.
The 25-year-old is the co-director and general manager of Indigo in Napier and has made a number of eco-friendly changes to the restaurant.
Six years ago he started washing dishes at the restaurant, when the dishwasher rang in sick.
"It was a dirty job, but someone had to do it," he said.
Last week he said his profession was his passion. "What you put in is what you get back. We've got staff here who have been here since day one and they still get excited every day at work."