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Barossa a double winner in national food awards

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FermentAsian restaurant in the Barossa Valley and South Australian food legend Maggie Beer have been recognised with key awards in the national Good Food Guide Awards 2020.

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Presented in front of 800 industry guests last night in Brisbane, the annual awards saw Tanunda-based fermentAsian scoop the title of Regional Wine List of the Year, with the Good Food Guide reviewers saying it was “surprising to find such an expansive and interesting offering in the middle of jammy shiraz territory”.

It’s the latest in a long list of accolades for the Vietnamese restaurant, which was opened by owners Tuoi Do and Grant Dickson in 2010 and has also previously won the Gourmet Traveller Wine List of the Year.

“Designed with chef Tuoi Do’s Vietnamese-inspired cuisine in mind, Grant Dickson’s 90-plus-page tome is packed full of bright, aromatic wines made everywhere from Cotes du Rhone to the Canary Islands,” the GFG reviewers say of the fermentAsian wine list in their summary of 2020 award winners.

They praise the restaurant for including lesser-known varieties on its wine list, as well as giving an “enormous platform” to sake and sherry.

The awards are presented annually to coincide with the publication of Fairfax Media’s Good Food Guide, which this year marks its 40th anniversary.

Brae restaurant, in the Victorian small town of Birregurra, was named Restaurant of the Year for 2020, while Brisbane laneway restaurant Joy – which seats just 10 people – was named New Restaurant of the Year, and Lennox Hastie of Sydney’s Firedoor took out the Chef of the Year title.

Maggie Beer – who this year celebrated the 40 anniversary of the opening of the Maggie Beer Farmshop in the Barossa Valley – was presented with the Good Food Guide Legend Award for her “almost unparalleled” success across the industry. The guide acknowledges Beer’s passion and energy, including in her work trying to raise food standards for people in aged care.

Jock Zonfrillo’s Orana, which was named Australia’s Restaurant of the Year in last year’s awards, was the only South Australian restaurant awarded three hats this year, while Hentley Farm and Magill Estate both received two hats.

SA restaurants awarded one hat were Africola, Botanic Gardens Restaurant, The Currant Shed, D’Arenberg Cube Restaurant, fermentAsian, Fino, Herringbone, Osteria Oggi, Salopian Inn, Shobosho, Stone’s Throw and The Summertown Aristologist. See the full national list of hats here.

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