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Hats off to SA’s national food award winners


South Australia has scored three gongs in the first national Good Food Guide Awards, including regional wine list of the year for Hills bar and restaurant The Summertown Aristologist and the service excellence award for Africola’s Nikki Friedli.

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The Good Food Guide editors said The Summertown Aristologist – opened last year by winemakers Jasper Button and Anton van Klopper and restaurant manager Aaron Fenwick – offered a wine list ranging from “Adelaide Hills drops the world is jonesing for” to “minimal-intervention pops from France and Italy”.

“Disguised as a casual bar and restaurant, this Narnia wardrobe to SA’s Basket Range hides a magical cellar in its bottom drawer.”

The awards – presented last night in Sydney – also recognised Jock Zonfrillo’s Orana Foundation with the Food for Good Award (which celebrates innovation, charity and sustainability), while Africola restaurant’s Nikki Friedli won the Service Excellence Award.

“The 26-year-old restaurant manager knows how to read an audience, slinging mezcal shots to party-keen locals with the same energy she introduces first-time diners to the bold flavours from the South African-Australian kitchen,” the editors said of Friedli.

Jock Zonfrillo’s Orana Foundation works with Indigenous communities in the research of native foods.

The top award of restaurant of the year went to Victoria’s Attica, while Daniel Puskas of Sixpenny in Sydney was named chef of the year and The Agrarian Kitchen Eatery & Store in Tasmania took out regional restaurant of the year.

The awards coincide with the publication of Fairfax’s Good Food Guide 2018, which is its first national edition and features 500 restaurant reviews.

A restaurant which reviewers score at least 15 out of 20 is awarded a hat, and while the vast majority of hats went to venues in New South Wales and Victoria, South Australia had what the editors described as “a strong showing”.

Two hats were awarded to Hentley Farm, Magill Estate Restaurant and Zonfrillo’s Restaurant Orana, which earlier this year pipped Attica to be named top Australian restaurant in the Gourmet Traveller awards.

Receiving one hat were The Summertown Aristologist, Africola, Appellation, Botanic Gardens Restaurant, The Currant Shed, FermentAsian, Osteria Oggi, The Pot by Emma McCaskill, Press Food & Wine and Shobosho. See the full list of hatted restaurants here.


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