Cuisine recognises New Zealand’s top 100 restaurants
Cuisine recognises New Zealand’s top 100 restaurants for 2017
Wednesday 5 July 2017
Today Cuisine has revealed its much-anticipated list of New Zealand’s top 100 restaurants for 2017. The only nationwide restaurant awards programme of its kind, every year the New Zealand Cuisine Good Food Awards identify and celebrate the very best dining experiences the country has to offer.
The restaurants that have made it into Cuisine’s top 100 will be celebrating the coveted accolade of being included in the annual Cuisine Good Food Guide, and there’s more to come.
Today's announcement is effectively the first cut of the rigorous judging process, which has been under way around the country for months. To feature in the guide is to be selected among the cream of the country's ever-evolving restaurant scene. The next step for the judges will be the awarding of "hats" (a rating system of 1, 2 or 3) and, at an awards dinner in early August, announcing the industry's very best individuals and businesses.
A category for Best Casual Dining Restaurant has been added to the awards this year to better acknowledge a growing trend in restaurant excellence found in more casual settings.
Cuisine editor Kelli Brett says: “We felt we weren’t recognising the casual sector enough. There are so many places serving up excellent food and wine and craft beers, but not necessarily in a formal setting. They still have that level of excellence of food and drink and service, but you are not going to walk in the door and get linen table cloths.”
Through the judging process this year, chief judge Kerry Tyack has noticed another trend as restaurants in the regions are closing the gap on their metropolitan counterparts.
"What we typically see on offer in urban areas we are now seeing appear in regional areas too. Travelling Kiwis don't all just come home to the cities, they go to the regions, and they are demanding more variety. Restaurants are popping up to meet that demand," he says.
"Whereas the trends used to be led by the urban restaurants, now the regional restaurants are much more in tune with what is going on."
This trend is reflected in the top 100 list, with new additions such as Wairarapa’s Pinocchio and Taranaki’s Social Kitchen putting their respective regions on the Cuisine Good Food Guide’s map this year. Other smaller regions have also seen an increase in representation, including Northland, Taupo, North Otago and Nelson.
Brett says the awards are not only about New Zealand celebrating the best of its own, they also provide a guide for international attention on New Zealand cuisine. Both she and Tyack believe at least a couple of the country’s top restaurants are deserving of a spot in the world’s top 100, and the Cuisine Good Food Awards help shine a light on where these can be found.
She says: “It is my absolute pleasure to be announcing New Zealand’s top restaurants for 2017 today. We have restaurateurs all over the country doing incredible things and in a highly competitive industry, it is really something to be recognised at this level. On behalf of my team, congratulations to every restaurant who has made the list.”
The focus is now on preparing for the New Zealand Cuisine Good Food Awards evening on 7 August, which will be a special celebration of Cuisine's 30th birthday, plus the release of the Cuisine Good Food Guide alongside September’s issue of Cuisine, on sale 14 August.
More information can be found at: www.cuisinegoodfoodawards.co.nz/