Tuesday, 1 May 2012

A Fabulous Evening Out: The Inaugural Queensland Good Food Guide & Awards (I dressed up! I left the house!!)

Being a food-blogger sometimes has its perks!

Every now and then you hope for a little somethin-somethin to make up for all of the incredulous stares from friends and strangers as you photograph and tweet every meal in a restaurant like it's your very last. What can I say? I love food.

Last night, I had the pleasure of attending the Launch of the Queensland Good Food Guide and awards ceremony, to launch the 2012 Queensland Good Food Guide. This guide was managed and edited by one of the greatest food-lovers I know - my friend with the steel-trap memory, Natascha Mirosch.

If you know me, at all, you'll know that I'm most comfortable in a pair of shorts and a t-shirt. But - for the occasion, I wore a suit and bowtie the awards. Uh huh. This really happened. I hope my effort to dress up made up for my alcohol-induced chattery-friendliness, which increased as the night went on...
My outfit!

The guide aims to find the best food and dining experiences in Queensland, and awards "Chef's Hats" as part of a rating system to brilliant, very worthy restaurants. 

For years, southerners have laughed at the idea of fine dining in Queensland. This guide will be instrumental in changing that way of thinking and prove that in fact, we have some amazingly talented and passionate food-stars here. And some pretty darn good restaurants.

Only one restaurant received the highest honour - the highly coveted "Three Hats" award - Esquire Brisbane, which is, in Terry Durack's words - "The best restaurant in Australia you've never heard of". 

Congratulations to Esquire, and their very, very passionate staff. When we dined there - it was immediately apparent that love for food was coarsing through their veins. The animated chefs talked us through every aspect of their process - we even ate herbs grown on a chef's balcony!

Particular congratulations must also go to Kym Machin, now of Spring Restaurant, who was awarded "Chef of the Year". 

Once upon a time when he was the chef at Urbane restaurant, Kym ignited a passion for fine-dining that I did not know that I had. I can honestly say that Kym created the most amazing meal experience of my life - an 8 course vegan degustation. Kym has a passion and seeks out the best quality produce available, with a focus on locally-sourced items, and has always made a point of extolling the benefits and virtues of flavourful vegetarian and vegan food.
My vegan degustation, by Chef Kym Machin

What an absolutely wonderful and exciting evening it was. Thank you to the hardworking reviewers and staff who put so much blood, sweat and tears, but most importantly - heart - into this book. Thank you to all the hardworking unappreciated & underpaid staff in the hospitality industry who work so hard to make our dining experiences as good as possible. Also thanks to Brisbanetimes.com.au, the organisers and sponsors - including Citibank, Vittoria Coffee, Louis Roederer and Rekorderlig Cider, for making such a wonderful night possible.

It was also lovely and very exciting to finally meet a number of bloggers, writers and food-lovers from Twitter! (Hi all!! Thanks for passing me that bottle of water!!)

For photos, videos and other accounts, see below. I don't have any good quality photos of the night - I was enjoying myself far too much to be taking photographs! 5 points if you can spot me madly tweeting in the video at the top of the articles.

To purchase your copy of the Queensland Good Food Guide 2012, click here - it is available in a number of formats - hard-copy book, iphone app, digitally, ebook, and finally, as a website subscription.

Finally, as you may be aware, Chef Matt Golinski was unable to attend the awards. A group of chefs created a group called "Plates for Mates" to collect donations & provide support to Matt. A representative from that group was collecting donations last night, and it was so heart-warming to see so many people making donations. For further details, and to make a donation (please do - massive karma points!) - the Plates for Mates website is here. 
Excuse me now, while I curl up in a ball, avoid bright lights & think healthy, detoxy thoughts, whilst promising myself I'll never drink alcohol again - at least... not until tomorrow! ;)



  1. Sorry I missed it , but glad you had a good time.

  2. You look cute and amazing! Glad you had a great time and how good are the people behind Plates for Mates? x


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