Good Food Guide Awards to be held in Brisbane for the first time

Nick Bonyhady
Chefs Patrick Friesen, David Finlayson and Alanna Sapwell have all moved from southern cities to Brisbane.
Chefs Patrick Friesen, David Finlayson and Alanna Sapwell have all moved from southern cities to Brisbane.  Photo: Kara Hynes

The Good Food Guide Awards will be held in Brisbane for the first time this year in a celebration of Australia's culinary culture, which coincides with the launch of a new monthly glossy Good Food magazine inserted into The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age.

The awards also mark 40 years of the Good Food Guide, Australia's home of the Hats, which was first launched in 1980 by The Age and has grown into the country's leading restaurant bible.

Trudi Jenkins, Good Food's publishing director, said moving the awards around the country helped highlight the best chefs and ingredients in each region. The national awards have previously been held in Sydney and Melbourne.

The Good Food Guide 2020 awards will be held at Howard Smith Wharves in Brisbane.
The Good Food Guide 2020 awards will be held at Howard Smith Wharves in Brisbane.  Photo: Tony Moore

"The Good Food Guide is the most respected restaurant guide in the country, renowned for its editorial independence," Jenkins said. "And we're really pleased to have Brisbane hosting the Good Food Guide Awards because it’s a city that has become a vibrant destination for food lovers."

Howard Smith Wharves, on the banks of the Brisbane River and the city's newest restaurant precinct, will host the black-tie dinner for 800 guests on September 30.

The wharves' culinary director David Finlayson said he was honoured to cook for the nation's leading chefs at the awards.

"It'll be one of the biggest achievements I've had ... to cook for your industry peers, that you look up to," Mr Finlayson said. "To have them all come to your precinct, it doesn't get much better than that."

And Mr Finlayson said the awards were a chance to celebrate Brisbane's burgeoning culinary scene, with a focus on the region's fresh produce.

"[Brisbane is] the up-and-coming place," Mr Finlayson said. "Melbourne and Sydney are saturated with good restaurants ... but there's definitely a chance for you to do something really special up here."

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A number of top chefs, including Mr Finlayson who previously worked at Chin Chin in Sydney and Melbourne, have recently moved north. Among them are Patrick Friesen, who ran Queen Chow in Sydney before moving to Brisbane last year, and Alanna Sapwell, formerly head chef of the award-winning Saint Peter in Sydney. Both are now at Howard Smith Wharves.

Good Food Guide editor Myffy Rigby, who is leading the guide for the fifth year, said 40 years was an important milestone for the publication.

"That's 40 years of dedication from our top chefs, sommeliers and restaurateurs, delivering their craft to decades of readers," Rigby said.

The guide contains almost 500 reviews overseen by a senior panel including Rigby, The Sydney Morning Herald food critics Terry Durack, Jill Dupleix and Callan Boys, The Age critic Gemima Cody, Good Food editor Ardyn Bernoth and deputy editor Roslyn Grundy. It goes on sale on October 1 for $29.99.

Good Food magazine will debut in its glossy format on October 4 and will be published on the first Friday of every month thereafter. The magazine is in addition to the popular Tuesday section which will continue in The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age.