THE CUISINE GOOD FOOD GUIDE
acknowledges New Zealand restaurants and restaurateurs who, in the opinion of the assessment team and wider Cuisine family, have made the strongest impression over the past year. There are others, of course, but this list of 100 celebrates those who have offered diners significant highlights, new directions, imaginative approaches and consistent satisfaction. The restaurants in the guide are working assiduously to provide the best atmosphere, service, food and drink they can. Theirs are success stories we are privileged to celebrate. Limiting the list to 100 is difficult. Each year we are encouraged by the growing number of restaurants reaching high standards. The wave of chefs recognising the importance of using ingredients from their regions and refining their preparation techniques to let the quality of those ingredients speak for itself continues to build. Service standards have improved as operators fully appreciate how well-trained waitstaff can enhance the dining experience. Over the past 12 months, we have seen the opening of many new restaurants. The challenge for these new kids on the block is the development of a point of difference that will set them apart from their competitors. For older hands, the challenge is to remain relevant and current. What we concluded this year is that dining in New Zealand is in reliable hands. The selection of Pacifica as Restaurant of the Year demonstrates that with a passion for local produce, a willingness to be flexible and the ability to nimbly meld the tried and true with the expectations of diners looking for innovation, recognition can come regardless of how long or short your time in the business. Innovation is also a quality Chef of the Year Ed Verner brings to the table. The concepts he is developing are both skilful and artful and we look forward to watching his work in the years ahead. In the meantime, we encourage you to seek out not only those on the list but others in your towns, cities and neighbourhoods, and support them, encourage them and enjoy them. Next year it may be their turn to be included.
Oysters, apple, elderflower, buttermilk and Champagne, The French Café