- Proudly presented by American Express KEL & VANESSA Co-directors, Slick & Sassy Media Ltd.

There has never been a better time for the Cuisine Good Food Awards to get behind the hospitalit­y industry and help to drive a story that is filled with opportunit­y and promise. As restaurant­s outside of Auckland had restrictio­ns lifted earlier, we can support them right now.

For this reason, we have decided to present our awards to you in two parts. In this issue we encourage you to celebrate our selection of the diversely talented teams and their restaurant­s in many locations around the country, who are offering exceptiona­l dining experience­s. This is your opportunit­y to make sure that they are on your summer restaurant hit-list. You will notice that Auckland is not yet included as we wait for restaurant­s and teams to get back into the swing of things. On 8 February at 8pm we will invite you to take a front-row seat at our digital awards celebratio­n, as we announce the Cuisine Good Food Awards 2021/2022 proudly presented by American Express. This presentati­on will include the winners of a range of exciting categories, including the Cuisine Chef of the Year and the American Express Restaurant of the Year, plus the allocation of our coveted hats for the very best of the best. Our March issue (on sale 14 February) will also include New Zealand’s much-anticipate­d dining bible, the Cuisine Good Food Guide for 2021/2022, including the Auckland restaurant­s.

Last year we had to cancel our annual awards as lockdowns prevented us from getting around the country. This year we have navigated ever-changing restrictio­ns to uncover New Zealand’s best dining experience­s and have gained even more respect for an industry that has shown great creativity and resilience. Despite huge challenges it has bounced back and is forging ahead with even brighter plans for the future.

Along with our partners American Express, Antipodes, De’longhi, Ōra King and Pead, we are excited to reveal part one of our list of finalists to you in this glorious issue of Cuisine. We know you’ll be excited too. Mark your calendars for 8pm on 8 February at, and meanwhile make sure you visit as many of these excellent restaurant­s as you can.

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