Brisbane Times Good Food Guide 2014/15: the awards

Some of the award winners at the Brisbane Times Good Food Guide launch.
Some of the award winners at the Brisbane Times Good Food Guide launch. Photo: Sarah McInerney

Vittoria Coffee Restaurant of the Year

For the restaurant that consistently sets a benchmark for others to follow.

Gerard’s Bistro, Fortitude Valley

Last year’s Best New Restaurant continues to win over first-time diners and turn them into die-hard regulars. Gerard’s is the total package; approachable and knowledgeable service, an attractive fit-out, an appealing drinks list and of course chef Ben Williamson’s menu – a nod to the Maghreb – both bang on trend and utterly unique.

Citi Chef of the Year

To acknowledge those with the craft and ability to make a real difference to the way we dine now and in the future.

Ryan Squires, Esquire, Brisbane

Ryan Squires’ breadth of knowledge, technical skill and natural curiosity leads him to continually question and experiment where others fear to tread resulting in faultlessly executed dishes that rarely fail to impress and inspire. As always, Squires eschews playing follow the leader for playing on his own.

La Maison Du The regional restaurant of the year ... The Fish House, Burleigh Heads.
La Maison Du The regional restaurant of the year ... The Fish House, Burleigh Heads. Photo: Harrison Saragossi

Villa Maria, New Zealand Best New Restaurant

For the most exciting addition to Brisbane’s dining in the past 12 months.

The Foraging Quail, New Farm

Chef Minh Le hung his shingle in this New Farm location in April and almost immediately the buzz began. What could have very well been just another convivial local has been elevated to something special with elements of fine dining in the elegant fit-out and precision plated food as pleasing to the palate as the eye.

The brisbanetimes.com.au Good Food Guide 2014/15.
The brisbanetimes.com.au Good Food Guide 2014/15. 

Young Chef of the Year

To acknowledge our best and brightest young rising stars in the kitchen.

Ben Devlin, Esquire, Brisbane

It’s no surprise to see our winner, judged by a panel of his peers, come from the Esquire stable. The judges were impressed by Devlin’s constant questioning of why food is cooked in a certain way and whether it could be done better. Modest and entirely dedicated to his craft, we’ll be following his career with keen interest.

La Maison Du Thé Regional Restaurant of the Year

For the best dining experience beyond Brisbane – in the bush or at the beach.

The Fish House, Burleigh Heads

If we were to make a list of what constitutes the perfect restaurant, the Fish House would tick every single box. There’s the beach view, the approachable service, a seriously good wine list served up by an accomplished sommelier and food that is both clever and generous. The Fish House never seems to miss a beat and exemplifies the spirit of hospitality.

BYO Restaurant of the Year

For a restaurant that makes bringing your own wine a pleasure.

Cinco Bistro, Camp Hill

For years Cinco has been quietly going about doing what it does so well – imaginative, modern cuisine produced by a talented owner and chef with extensive global experience. And it’s much loved by its fiercely loyal regulars who also appreciate its policy allowing BYO, meaning they can afford to go more often.

Citi Service Excellence

To honour a major contribution to our 
restaurant industry.

Scott Durietz, Baguette, Ascot

Durietz has been on the floor at Baguette for more than 20 years and is well known by regulars. Ever the professional, the experienced sommelier lets nothing rattle him and deals with every diner and every single request with consummate grace.

Champagne Pol Roger Sommelier of the Year

Recognises an individual wine waiter who brings knowledge, experience, expertise and enthusiasm to the table.

Penny Grant, Black Bird, Brisbane

Grant, despite her youth, has both experience and professionalism in spades. At Black Bird she has put together a wine list that is elegant and approachable and her skill at teasing out of diners their preferences or guiding them towards something new 
is commendable.

Wine List of the Year

For a wine list that not only fits with a restaurant’s food but offers an excellent adventure at any level, large or small.

Bacchus, South Bank

With a name like Bacchus there is a lot to live up to, but this well-considered list by sommelier Andrew Giblin not only has a wide variety of wine styles, according to our judges, but wins points for its representation of regions and generous by-the-glass selection.

Drinks List of the Year

For a cleverly crafted, intelligent and venue-appropriate drinks list.

Black Bird, Brisbane

The global experience and deep knowledge of bar manager Aaron Clark is showcased in a superb list that ranges from creative cocktails based on recipes from the 1920s to hard-to-find spirits and an impressive selection of whiskies.

Best Bar with Food

In celebration of Brisbane’s bar revolution, we honour a bar with great food.

The Sangria Bar, South Bank

Equal importance is placed on drinking and dining at this convivial bar that offers a comprehensive menu of Spanish favourites. Settle in, order a jug of sangria or a glass or two of sherry and graze through a menu that starts with simple tapas and moves to plates of premium jamon and paella to share.

brisbanetimes.com.au Best Food Under $30

Recognises a venue that provides great quality food at wallet friendly prices.

Kwan Brothers, Fortitude Valley

Transformed from an old noodle factory, this moodily lit new kid on the block already has a legion of fans. They come for the retro cocktails, the kitschy interior and pan-Asian street food share-plates big on flavour but easy on the wallet.

Vittoria Coffee Legend

For an individual’s outstanding long-term contribution to the industry.

Andy Georges, Il Centro, Brisbane

A cappuccino cost just 20 cents when Andy Georges started his career in hospitality. His restaurant, Il Centro, has stood strong through the boom and bust years, much of it down to Georges himself. Still a daily presence in the restaurant and ever the old-school host, he personifies the term ‘hospitality’.

The 2014-15 Brisbane Times Good Food Guide is on sale at newsagents from Tuesday July 8 ($12.99) or online at brisbanetimes.com.au/goodfoodguide. From next week, it will be available as an app, for tablet and mobile, from the app store.