Neil Perry’s Bridge Street fine diner, Rockpool has been named Restaurant of the Year at the Australian Gourmet Traveller Restaurant Awards.

Held on 19 August at Sydney’s Carriageworks, Gourmet Traveller’s editors said that Rockpool stood out from the crowd due to its “glamourous and grown-up take on fine dining”, adding that the restaurant encompassed not only the innovative food from Perry and executive chef Phil Wood, but also excellent floor staff, an exciting cellar and a ‘star sommelier’.

 “This isn’t hospitality cribbed from the internet and practised in the mirror,” the judges commented. “This is the real thing.”

As well as claiming Restaurant of the Year, the Rockpool Group’s Vanessa Crichton of Rosetta in Melbourne took out Matre d’ of the Year.

Dan Hunter of Brae in country Victoria, took out the top spot in the peer-voted Chef of the Year award while Regional Restaurant of the Year went to Darren Robertson’s Byron Bay newcomer Three Blue Ducks.

The Fink Group took out two awards with Bennelong claiming New Restaurant of the Year and Lennox Hastie from Firedoor claiming Best New Talent.

“We’ve got a room full of really exciting talent,” says Gourmet Traveller chief restaurant critic, Pat Nourse. “The overall standard in this country, whether it’s in cafs, bars, casual eateries or the finest of diners, is on the up, and that’s a win for Australians who love eating out. It just goes to show that Australia is truly a great destination for people who love to eat, drink and have fun.”

“Our restaurant scene is so vibrant, diverse and exciting,” says Gourmet Traveller editor, Anthea Loucas. “It’s a real honour and a pleasure for us to be able to celebrate it through these awards, our restaurant guide and in every issue of Gourmet Traveller.

Australian Gourmet Traveller Restaurant Awards winners

Restaurant of the Year: Rockpool, Sydney, NSW            

Chef of the Year: Dan Hunter, Brae, Birregurra

Outstanding Contribution to Hospitality: Joost Bakker, sustainability activist

New Restaurant of the Year: Bennelong, Sydney, NSW          

Wine List of the Year: Billy Kwong, Sydney

Sommelier of the Year: Raffaele Mastrovincenzo, Kappo, Sydney

Matre d’ of the Year: Vanessa Crichton, Rosetta, Melbourne

Best New Talent: Lennox Hastie, Firedoor, Sydney

Regional Restaurant of the Year: Three Blue Ducks, Byron Bay, NSW

Bar of the Year: The Gresham, Brisbane

Three-Star Winners

  • The Bridge Room, Sydney
  • Sepia, Sydney
  • Vue de Monde, Melbourne
  • Momofuku Seiobo, Sydney
  • Quay, Sydney
  • Brae, Birregurra
  • Attica, Melbourne
  • Rockpool, Sydney


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