The local hospitality industry will be celebrated at the Waikato Hospitality Awards, an industry event to promote the excellence of food and beverage offerings in the region.
The Restaurant Association of New Zealand event is organised with the support of lead sponsor Gilmours.
Those looking for a great place to dine out won't be disappointed with Alpino Cambridge, Gothenburg, Mr Pickles Bar & Eatery and Palate Restaurant all nominated for outstanding restaurant.
The best chefs in the region have been recognised with Andrew Clarke of Kerr & Ladbrook Catering, Logan Murray of Thyme Square Restaurant, Mat McLean of Palate Restaurant and Matt Gemmell of Furnace all up for the outstanding chef accolade.
In a new category for 2021, Chilli House, Sichuan Style, The Bearded Weasel and Winner Winner are all nominated for Outstanding Casual Dining/Street Food.
The region's best brunch spots have also been recognised with Kirk Cafe, Lykke Cafe, Scott's Epicurean and The River Kitchen all nominated in the outstanding cafe category.
The Waikato community is also able to vote for its favourite establishment in the People's Choice Award category.
A total of 17 awards will be presented to the best of the Waikato hospitality industry. From crew members, to suppliers, to establishments – the best of the best will be celebrated for their contribution to creating a world-class hospitality scene in the region.
Restaurant Association CEO Marisa Bidois says, "This has been an incredibly challenging year for the industry, but the local hospo community continue to deliver exceptional dining experiences.
"The awards are an opportunity to recognise those providing an exceptional experience to the dining community and spread the word about the amazing places there are to drink and eat in the region."
Voting is open until Sunday, August 8, and the winners will be revealed at the awards evening on Monday, August 16, at The Atrium, Wintec.
Tickets to the event are on sale now - to purchase or for more information regarding the awards go to the awards website.
Waikato Hospitality Awards finalists 2021
Meadow Fresh Outstanding Barista
Cole Young, Cream Eatery
Dove Chen, Grey Street Kitchen
Geoffrey Mist, Cucina
Jasher Clayton, Sentinel Café
Pernod Ricard Outstanding Bartender
Alex Williams, Wonder Horse
Clem Weinzettl, Mr. Pickles Bar & Eatery
Craig Loveday, Alpino Cambridge
Roberto Valenzuela, Banh Mi Caphe
Restaurant Association of NZ Outstanding Front of House Team
Bidfresh Outstanding Chef
Andrew Clarke, Kerr & Ladbrook Catering
Logan Murray, Thyme Square Restaurant
Mat McLean, Palate Restaurant
Matt Gemmell, Furnace
Waikato Food Inc. Local Food Hero
Chrissy Houghton, Cream Eatery
Denise Irvine, Stuff Food Writer
Lisa Quarrie, Hayes Common
Ricardo Carminati, Alpino Cambridge
Restaurant Association of NZ Emerging Chef
Chelsea Mendes, Thyme Square Restaurant
Daniel Lawrence, Hayes Common
Matiu Rapana, Mr Pickles Bar & Eatery
Burns & Ferrall Outstanding New Establishment
Thyme Square Restaurant
Menulog Outstanding Street Food/Takeout
The Bearded Weasel
Bidfood Outstanding Cafe
The River Kitchen
Waitoa Beer Outstanding Bar
The Lookout Bar and Kitchen
OneMusic Ambience & Design
The Roaming Giant
Nova Energy Outstanding Regional Establishment
Punnet Eatery, Tamahere
Red Kitchen, Te Awamutu
The Shack, Raglan
dinefind Outstanding Ethnic Restaurant
Banh Mi Caphe
Koi Spice Craft & Whisky
dinefind Outstanding Restaurant
Mr Pickles Bar & Eatery
Curiosity Gin Outstanding Sales Rep
Courtney Keating, Southern Hospitality \
Gerard Mooney, Jacket Beverage
Renee Kruger, Burns & Ferrall
Tim Batters, Foodchain
Kerr & Ladbrook Outstanding Supplier
Magills Butchery, Te Awamutu
Good George Outstanding Caterer
Kerr & Ladbrook Catering
Mavis & Co
Roam Food Caravan
The Little Lunch Co