Waikato Hospitality Awards 2019

Celebrating Hospitality Excellence

The vibrancy and variety of the Waikato Hospitality scene was never more evident than at the Waikato Hospitality Awards held in August. Wintec’s Atrium was full of glitz and glitter as those who normally deliver the best food and service in our region got to sit down and enjoy a superb dinner from Kerr and Ladbrook while celebrating the depth and breadth of our hospitality scene.

Presented by the Restaurant Association of New Zealand, Waikato Food Inc and Lexis ComplyHub, the awards recognise the outstanding hospitality professionals, all of whom are making a positive impact on the local cafe and dining scene.

The People’s Choice award went to Gather Foodhouse in Frankton while ex-owner and chef Ashleigh Brodie also took out Bidfresh Hamilton Outstanding Chef. Hamilton’s barista king Dove Chen, who has held the national title of best barista twice and this year twelfth in the world, was crowned Meadow Fresh Outstanding Barista. Dove said in his acceptance speech it was very special to be recognised in his home town.

Marisa Bidois, CEO Restaurant Association of New Zealand, says, “The youthful and ethnically diverse population of Hamilton is creating a really exciting hospitality scene in Hamilton.

“As an industry it’s so important that we take time out to celebrate our success and acknowledge our achievements. We believe it’s important to shine a light on our industry and make sure we are recognised for the contribution we make to our community and economy.”

Waikato Food Inc Chairperson Mathew Pedley said, “Waikato Food Inc are pleased to finally have an event which celebrates the amazing achievements of Waikato restaurants, bars and cafes and is something we, as an organisation, have been working towards for some time. It is a winning scenario, not only for the local hospitality industry, but for food lovers too.”

Alex Williams from Wonder Horse, who took out Antipodes Outstanding Bartender and Restaurant Association of NZ Outstanding Bar, thanked everyone involved and the wonderful community being built in our region.

The sentiments of the night were succinctly put by Amy Hodgson from Cinnamon Cafe, winners of Nova Energy Outstanding Suburban/Regional Experience, when she said to thunderous applaud “we love what we do”.

Meadow Fresh Outstanding Barista

Dove Chen, Grey Street Kitchen

Antipodes Outstanding Bartender

Alex Williams, Wonder Horse

The POS People Outstanding Front of House Team

Gothenburg Restaurant

Bidfresh Hamilton Outstanding Chef

Ashleigh Brodie, Gather Foodhouse

The Breeze Waikato 99.4FM Local Food Hero

Gus Tissink, Bidfresh Hamilton

Service Foods Emerging Chef

Harriet Boucher, Mr. Pickles Bar & Eatery

Bidfood Hamilton Outstanding Cafe

The Shack, Raglan

Restaurant Association of NZ Outstanding Bar

Wonder Horse

OneMusic Outstanding Ambience & Design

Mr. Pickles Bar & Eatery

Nova Energy Outstanding Suburban/Regional Experience

Cinnamon Cafe

Burns & Ferrall Outstanding Restaurant


The Recruitment Network Outstanding Caterer

Mavis & Co

Maurice Trapp Group Outstanding Sales Rep

Katrina Frost, Bidfresh Hamilton

Kerr & Ladbrook Outstanding Supplier

Bidfresh Hamilton

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