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Record Numbers Celebrate At 6th Lewisham Awards

Media release 26 May 2008

Record Numbers Celebrate At The 6th Lewisham Awards

Auckland’s restaurant, bar and hospitality practitioners honoured their heroes at the sixth Lewisham Awards 2008 ceremony at the Sky City Convention Centre on Sunday night, 25TH May 2008.

The awards ceremony and after party were attended by 650 people and recorded the biggest turnout in its 6 year history. The Lewisham Awards serve to promote excellence in hospitality and the chance for the industry to celebrate together and honour their own.

Originator of the awards and Lewisham mentoring task force member Clive Weston believes that the Lewisham Awards have come of age. “We began in 2003 with just 200 people and a belief that the benefits of a peer recognition awards programme that celebrates dedication and excellence would not only draw our industry closer but also raise aspirations and performance. The 650 person turn out this year has exceeded our expectations and we are delighted.”

Maverick chef Michael Meredith, a Lewisham mentee, scooped the award for The Hospitality Standards Institute Innovative Chef no doubt in acknowledgement of the outstanding success he has achieved in his new, 28 seater Dominion Road eatery Meredith’s. The Hospitality Standards Institute Outstanding Chef award was given to Michael Van de Elzen, chef owner of another suburban restaurant, Molten and Liquid Molten. The nod to the suburbs is an encouraging sign that dispels the myth that great establishments are only found in the city.

The Tequila Patron Outstanding Waiter Simon Ward of La Zeppa and The Hancocks Outstanding Bartender Thiago Vieira of Mea Culpa cement the emergence of the younger practitioners of the city. Richard Sigley of the Nourish Group took the The Red + White Cellar Outstanding Hospitality Personality award and The Pernod Ricard Outstanding Restaurateur was well deserved and won by the excellent Krishna Botica of Prego.

Key announcements of the evening included a donation of $5000 to the Order of St John for the purchase of a defribulator and a donation of $10,000 to Taste, the education facility of The Restaurant Association for the sponsorship of the Auckland Series.

In her address to the audience, committee chair Connie Clarkson emphasised the importance of the contribution Auckland restaurants and bars make to New Zealand’s hospitality dollar take. She also challenged them to make timely preparations for the 2011 Rugby World Cup in order to maximise the earning power of the projected 70,000 visitors over the duration of the competition. In order to facilitate a fruitful run up to the World Cup, the Lewisham Foundation has instigated collaboration with Rugby World Cup 2011 Ltd to bring the most up to date information and training initiatives to Auckland hospitality practitioners through the sponsorship of Taste to make the most of opportunity 2011 has to offer.

Weston concludes that “…the relationship between The City of Sails and The Lewisham’s has come of age – the 2008 awards are the best yet and we look forward to a long and fruitful future together”.

As tradition has it, the awards were followed by a glittering after party at Toto’s Monte Cristo Room where all 650 guests danced till dawn.


For more information on the 2008 Lewisham Awards go to

The Lewisham Awards are proudly administered by The Auckland branch of the Restaurant Association of New Zealand.

The winners of The 2008 Lewisham Awards are as follows:

The Red + White Cellar Outstanding Hospitality Personality
Richard Sigley, Nourish Group

The Negociants Outstanding Sommelier
Michael Dearth, The Grove

The Hospitality Standards Institute Outstanding Chef
Michael Van de Elzen, Molten and Liquid Molten

The Pernod Ricard Outstanding Restaurateur
Krishna Botica, Prego

The Moana Pacific Innovative Chef
Michael Meredith, Merediths

The Caffe L'affare Outstanding Barista - Coffee Establishment
John Landreth, Landreth and Co.

The APRA Best Ambience & Style - Emerging

The SKYCITY Outstanding Maitre d'
Jay Radcliffe, Euro

The Laurent-Perrier Outstanding Wine List

The Hancocks Outstanding Bartender
Thiago Vieira, Mea Culpa

The Foodservice Magazine Outstanding Supplier
Pernod Ricard

The Restaurant Association Outstanding Sales Representative
John Meehan, Red + White Cellar

The Tequila Patron Outstanding Waiter
Simon Ward, La Zeppa

The Moet Hennessy Best Ambience & Style - Established

The Allied Liquor Outstanding Bar

The Galliano Outstanding Cocktail List
Mea Culpa

These results were ratified by James Keats Barristers, Solicitors & Notary Public

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