It was a tough crowd for Mills Reef staff on Sunday night as they hosted the Bay Hospitality Awards, putting on a gala dinner for restaurateurs, chefs, and front of house staff from eateries across the city.
The awards are the hospitality industry's acknowledgement of the outstanding abilities of their own, and recognise the outstanding hospitality professionals all making a positive impact on the local café and dining scene.
“At the Restaurant Association we think it's important to celebrate one another in the hospitality industry,” says Marisa Bidois, CEO Restaurant Association of NZ.
“Our work is physical and demanding and there limited opportunities to come together to support each other. The Bay Hospitality Awards represent the occasion to do just that – celebrate the hard work and success of the hospitality industry within the Bay of Plenty region. Congratulations to all winners.”
The awards are organised and fostered by The Restaurant Association of NZ to unite, grow and promote Bay of Plenty's vibrant hospitality industry.
Kate McKeller White of Fish Face Seafood & Wine Bar in Mount Maunganui took top honours winning the Outstanding Chef award, with Hide – Thirst & Hunger also in Maunganui Road picking up the Outstanding New Venue and Outstanding Design & Ambience awards.
The General in Pacific Avenue won in the Outstanding Cafe category, with The Rising Tide in Newton Street picking up the Outstanding Bar honour, and in-house popular local street-food vendors Johney's Dumpling House was named Outstanding Street Food/Takeout for a second year in a row.
The Barrio Brothers in Grey Street Tauranga were awarded the Outstanding Front of House Team honour and the coveted People's Choice Award, and Macau on The Strand proved they have all the ingredients to be named Outstanding Restaurant.
With all categories keenly contested, this year's winners truly exemplify what it means to be at the top of their respective categories, says Marisa.
The Bay Hospitality Awards were established in 2016 to celebrate the Bay of Plenty region's culinary talent, great venues and passionate people and will be back in 2019.
For more information regarding the awards visit.
2017 Bay Hospitality Award Winners:
Innocent Packaging Outstanding Barista
Kalee Haakma, Thy Neighbour Coffee Bar
Lion Co Outstanding Bartender
Katie Short, The Barrio Brothers Mount Maunganui
Pernod Ricard Outstanding Bar
The Rising Tide
Moana NZ Emerging Talent - Front of House
Lisa Rooney, The Rising Tide
Independent Liquor Outstanding Design & Ambience
Hide, Thirst & Hunger
Menumate Point of Sale Outstanding Front of House Team
The Barrio Brothers, Tauranga
Gilmours Tauranga Outstanding Street Food/Takeout
Johney's Dumpling House
Restaurant Association of NZ Outstanding Sales Representative
Robbie Moore, Bidfood Tauranga
Bidfood Tauranga Outstanding Caterer
Toi Ohomai Institute of Technology Emerging Talent - Kitchen
Tom Greene, Octopus's Garden
Bidfood Outstanding Chef
Kate McKeller White, Fish Face Seafood & Wine Bar
Federal Merchants & Co Outstanding New Venue
Hide – Thirst & Hunger
Gilmours Tauranga Outstanding Restaurant
Macau Bar Kitchen & Lounge
Mills Reef Winery People's Choice Award
The Barrio Brothers, Tauranga