The Brisbane Times Good Food Guide has fast become the go-to dining bible in our river city, holding only the most scrumptious food offerings and finest dining experiences. On Monday 7 July, the fourth annual Good Food Guide awards was hosted at Lightspace in Fortitude Valley and I was lucky enough to be invited to attend as a blogger for Dalton Hospitality.* cue one EXTREMELY excited foodie fangirl!*
In a spectacular converted warehouse space lit with vintage drop lights, wine barrels, plants and exposed brick wall, Brisbane chefs, restaurateurs and foodies gathered to toast to the city’s booming food scene and recognise the best of the best!
An exquisite self-serve vintage cheese station was the centerpiece of the evening’s celebrations. Laden with the likes of Woomybe Triple Cream Brie, King River Taleggio and Milawa Blue, the cheese was presented on charming wooden boards and blocks, served with antique brass knives. An assortment of copper pots filled with baby pickled figs, peppered fig paste, peach and muscatel chutney and a selection of Quattro and Sulmi salami also graced the station. Fresh bread, lavoch and crackers were provided along with a beautiful hanging dried muscatel feature replicating the iconic Australian Hills Hoist.
Pre-awards, guests mingled over a selection of hand-crafted gourmet canapés, ranging from spiced pork belly with star fruit and orange chili, to Wagyu carpaccio with lemon gel and parmesan served on garlic crisps and topped with truffle foam.
As the evening progressed the Pol Roger Extra Cuvee De Reserve Champagne was kept flowing while Villa Maria Estate provided some dazzling drops of 2011 Arneis and Pinot Noir from the cellar selection. Vittoria espresso martinis, beer from Burleigh Brewing Co and Santa Vittoria sodas were also on offer.
Gerard’s Bistro took home the top prize of Vittoria Coffee restaurant of the year just over 12 months after receiving the gong for best new restaurant.The Foraging Quail in New Farm took out the title of Villa Maria, New Zealand best new restaurant. It opened in late April with a focus on contemporary, shareable food that draws on chef Minh Le’s Vietnamese background. All produce is foraged and sourced locally where possible. Esquire was the only restaurant to be awarded three hats, an accolade it has received in all three editions of the guide.
After the much anticipated awards, celebrations were in full swing and crowds were served delectable miniature lamb and root vegetable pies encased in a rich buttery shortcrust pastry with a crisp puff lid. Dalton took party pies to a whole new level. I’m going to say that these were THE best I’ve ever had. Dalton’s creative flair was yet again on show with amazing beetroot, sesame seed and goats cheese macaroons. The sweet earthiness of the beetroot complimented the creamy goats cheese filling beautifully, it was hard to stop at one!
With quinoa hailed as the new cous-cous and glazed pottery set to replace slate plates in restaurants, I couldn’t have been prouder to have the opportunity to meet and mingle with some of the best who are building our city into a serious player in the culinary capitals of Australia.
Grab a copy of the 2014-15 Brisbane Times Good Food Guide at newsagents from ($12.99) or online at smhshop.com.au. From next week, it will be available as an app, for tablet and mobile so there is no excuse not to have a read!