The Shout Magazine (New Zealand)

Inati wins Canterbury Outstanding Restaurant Award

Inati wins  Canterbury Outstanding Restaurant Award

Christchurch Convention Centre, Te Pae, hosted the Restaurant Association’s Canterbury Hospitality Awards on October 15, recognising Inati as the region’s most Outstanding Restaurant and Black Estate winning the Supreme Establishment Award.

The awards recognise the hospitality professionals, all of whom are making a positive impact on the local café and dining scene. The Restaurant Association of New Zealand, with the support of lead sponsor, Trents Wholesale, is proud to organise and foster these awards with the main purpose being to unite, grow and promote the Canterbury hospitality industry.

Black Estate, renowned for its organic and biodynamic wines as well as its innovative culinary philosophy, secured the Supreme Establishment award and Outstanding Regional Establishment.

Emma Mettrick and Paul Howells received the Supreme Individual awards in recognition of their unwavering dedication to the industry. This couple’s journey began when they met while working in Galway, Ireland, back in 2007.

After returning to New Zealand, they established the Little Bistro in Akaroa in 2010. Following the earthquakes, their desire to return to Emma’s hometown of Christchurch led to the sale of their previous venture and the opening of Twenty Seven Steps in August 2015. Wine bar Downstairs opened in 2022 as a complement to the award-winning Twenty Seven Steps.

Birdwood, the vibrant cafe and pizzeria, secured the People’s Choice Award. During the day, The Birdwood operates as a lively cafe, serving up delectable seasonal dishes, fresh juices, locally roasted coffee, and exceptional smoothies, all crafted from locally sourced ingredients. When the sun sets, it transforms into a laid-back pizzeria celebrated for its sourdough wood-fired pizza, handcrafted pasta, and shareable plates.

Inati, the esteemed icon of fine dining, recognised for its exquisitely designed location on Hereford Street and its personalised culinary journey featuring the finest Canterbury and New Zealand ingredients, clinched the Outstanding Restaurant award. INATI is independently owned and operated by husband and wife team, Simon and Lisa Levy, pictured above. The restaurant was also a finalist in the best Metropolitan Restaurant Awards in the Cuisine Good Food Awards this year and is one of only three, 2 hatted restaurants in the Canterbury region and one of 26 in the country.

Photo credit: Jerome Warburton

Situated in the same building as the beloved Pomeroy’s Old Brewery Inn, the neighbourhood cafe, Little Poms, proudly earns the Outstanding Cafe award.

Modern metropolitan restaurant Earl, clinched three awards: Outstanding FOH Team, Outstanding Chef (Tim Keates), and Emerging FOH (Connor McNabb).

Those looking for a place to get a well-served beverage can rest assured there is no shortage of great places to get a drink in the region.

Outstanding Bartender of the year went to Gracie Irving of 5th Street while Outstanding Bar went to The Last Word.

Perched on Christchurch’s charming New Regent Street, The Last Word, a whisky and cocktail lounge, is the kind of establishment that lures you back time and again. Its welcoming ambiance, affable staff, comprehensive drink selection, and irresistible snacks make it the sort of spot you’d wish to frequent every night of the week.

Celebrated for its vibrant street food culture, Christchurch boasts an abundance of laid-back dining options. Renowned for its unique take on Japanese cuisine, featuring “smokin’” Yakitori, delectable sushi tacos, the freshest raw delicacies, and a tantalizing array of shareable Izakaya dishes, Bar Yoku secures the title of Outstanding Casual Dining/Street Food.

Marisa Bidois, CEO Restaurant Association of New Zealand says, “Canterbury’s dining scene is a testament to the city’s resilience and adaptability. This rebuilt region is flourishing, offering a diverse culinary landscape that celebrates local produce, embraces global flavours, and welcomes innovation. From the vibrant farmers’ markets to the creative dining experiences, Canterbury’s gastronomic journey is a reflection of its enduring spirit.

“By recognising the hard work and dedication of passionate hospitality professionals, these awards can help to promote the local dining scene and inspire and motivate others in the industry to strive for excellence.”

Canterbury Hospitality Awards 2023 Winners

The Spirit School Outstanding Bartender: Gracie Irving (5th Street)

Bidfood Outstanding Streetfood/Casual Dining: Bar Yoku

Mount Cook Alpine Salmon Emerging Chef: Jamm andrei uy (Bar Yoku)

Antipodes Outstanding New Establishment: Bareno

American Express Outstanding Supplier: Bidfood

Silere Merino Outstanding Regional Establishment: Black Estate

Trents Supreme Establishment: Black Estate

Dinefind Outstanding Wine & Beverage List: Cellar Door

Tevalis Outstanding Front of House Team: Earl

Anchor Food Professionals Outstanding Chef: Tim Keates (Earl)

Pomeroy Group – Hospitality Business Advisors & Recruiters Outstanding Emerging Front of House: Connor McNabb (Earl)

Trents Supreme Individuals: Emma Mettrick & Paul Howells

Restaurant Association Outstanding Barista: Cassidy Henderson (Empire Coffee)

Southern Hospitality Outstanding Restaurant: Inati

Coca Cola Europacific Partners Outstanding Cafe: Little Poms

Nova Energy Outstanding Sales Rep: Joseph Clarke (ServiceIQ – Te Pūkenga)

The Breeze People’s Choice: The Birdwood

OneMusic Outstanding Ambience & Design: The Church

Grey Goose Outstanding Bar: The Last Word

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