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Food & drink Awards 2017

Best Olive Based Products Supplier 2017 - USA & LUX Excellence Award for Olive Products 2017 Featuring: The Bridge Inn Cocoa Moon CafĂŠ The Snooty Mehmaan


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Welcome to the 2017 Food & Drink Awards Now in its second year, the LUX Food & Drink Awards 2017 have been established to reward companies and individuals who strive to provide an outstanding level of service within the food and drink industry. It remains our aim to commend those who work in various sectors of one of the world’s largest industries, from manufactures and suppliers to restaurant and bar owners.


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Contents

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Best Independent Café & Restaurant - Kent - Otto’s

Best British Restaurant 2017 - Lancashire - Bertram’s Restaurant Best Barbecue Restaurant 2017 - Thessaloniki - Nea Diagonios Deli of the Year- Boca Raton - JBR Services USA LLC

Best Casual Dining Experience - West Flanders - Eetwinkel Maertens

Pastry Shop Of The Year 2017 - Brescia & Birthday Cake Designer Of The Year 2017 - Lombardy - iCAKE by Federica Zilioli Wine Bar of the Year 2017 - Victoria - Wolfe & Molone

Café of the Year 2017 - City of Manningham & LUX Good Food Award 2017 - Melbourne - Cocoa Moon Café

Best Indian Restaurant 2017 – Bridgnorth - Eurasia Tandoori Restaurant

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Bar of the Year 2017 - Durham - Dunelm Hospitality

Best Traditional Greek Restaurant - Mykonos - Tharroe of Mykonos hotel de luxe; Barbarossa Restaurant Best Tapas Style Cuisine - Derbyshire - The Bridge Inn

European Café of the Year - Gloucestershire - WafelWaffle Best Bar & Cafe Australia - 1989 Arcade Bar & Kitchen

Gelateria of the Year 2017 - Riva del Garda - Gelateria Cristallo Café of the Year 2017 - City of Albury - The River Deck

Best Pub & Casual Dining Venue - Canterbury - The Tyler’s Kiln Pub of the Year 2017 - Blackburn - Butlers Arms Pub & Dining Traditional Restaurant of the Year - Phthiotis - Faros Atalantis

Best Local Craft Brewery - Ho Chi Minh City - East West Brewing Best Family Restaurant 2017 - Pokolbin - Nanna Kerr’s Kitchen

Best Fine-Dining Indian Restaurant - Gloucestershire - Veranda Lounge

Most Romantic Thai Restaurant - Ko Samui - Hemingway’s on the Beach

French Restaurant of the Year 2017 - Richmond Upon Thames - Ma Cuisine Best Gastro Pub 2017 - Stratford-on-Avon District - The Duck on the Pond Deli of the Year 2017 - Brescia - AMARCORD snc

Café of the Year 2017 - Brisbane - Macondo Cafe

Best Gluten Free Restaurant 2017 - UK - Radley’s Bistro & Bar

Best Coffee House & Restaurant - Cumbria - Thyme Out Grange Best Restaurant & Bar 2017 - Adelaide - Gondola Gondola

Farm Restaurant of the Year & Culinary Excellence Award for Seasonal Cuisine - Ohio - Malabar Farm Restaurant Best Multi-Cuisine Restaurant - South West - Lot 80 Best Italian Restaurant 2017 - Horsham - Carmela

Best Romanian Restaurant 2017 - Ilford - La Mama Acasa Best Indian Restaurant 2017 - York - Bombay Spice


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lux Gelateria of the Year 2017 - Mykonos - Casa Dolce

Best Wine Bar & Restaurant - Maricopa County & Culinary Excellence Award for French Cuisine - Cuisine & Wine Bistro

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Best Italian Restaurant 2017 - Greater Manchester - Ristorante Vesuvio Ltd

Wine Bar of the Year 2017 - Athens & LUX Excellence Award for Cheese Tasting Sessions - Athens - Cinque Wine & Deli Bar Best Fine Dining Pub - Buckinghamshire & LUX Excellence Award for Locally Sourced Ingredients - The Chequers Inn Bar of the Year 2017 - Naxos - Yazoo Summer Bliss

Coffee Shop of the Year 2017 - Leuven - SWARTEHOND

Best Organic Coffee Specialists - San Diego - Cafe Virtuoso

Best Olive Based Products Supplier 2017 - USA & LUX Excellence Award for Olive Products 2017 - Tassos Enterprises

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Best Chinese Restaurant 2017 - Crawley - Chiana Peking Restaurant

Best Dining Ambiance 2017 - Airlie Beach & Boutique Wine List of the Year - Queensland - Walter’s Lounge Most Tranquil Casual Dining Venue - Mechelen - Brasserie ‘t Park

Best Confectionary & Frozen Desserts Provider - Italy - Glacè Sweet Concept Best Gelato Parlour 2017 - South West Milan - Gusto 17 Best Traditional Country Pub - Tunbridge Wells - The Bull

Best Italian Restaurant 2017 - Vanuatu - Francesca’s Beach Club Bar & Restaurant Best Indian Restaurant - Vienna - Tulsi Indian Cuisine

Best Vegetarian Restaurant 2017 - Mumbai - Bombay Hospitality Management Pvt. Ltd. Gourmet Italian Restaurant of the Year - Leuven - La Divina Commedia

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Best Casual Fine-Cuisine Restaurant - South West London - Salt Flakes Restaurant

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Best Dairy Products Provider – Indonesia &

LUX Excellence Award for Blue Cheese Production - Indonesia - Bali-Alm Specialty Café of the Year - Kuala Lumpur - The Bean Belt Coffee Sushi Restaurant of the Year 2017 - Antwerp - Roji

Best for Turkish Cuisine 2017 - East London - Meydan Sofrasi Most Innovative Sushi Restaurant - Singapore - Sushi Airways Best Chinese Restaurant 2017 - Surrey - Yimchai

Best Bar & Grill 2017 - Phuket City & Best Catering Services – Phuket, Thailand - Two Chefs Patong Real Ale Pub of the Year 2017 - Shropshire - Bailey Head Ltd

Best Italian Brasserie 2017 - Southampton & LUX Excellence Award for Italian Wine Testing - Momento Brasserie

Best Food Nutrition Social Media Specialist 2017 – New South Wales - Healthy gf Asian Best Contemporary Dining Experience 2017 - Mansfeld-Sudharz & LUX Most Atmospheric Restaurant Location 2017 - Orangerie Seeburg Best Asian Fusion Restaurant - London - Sticky Mango

Best Indian Restaurant - Harrogate - Cardamom Black Harrogate

Best Indian Fusion Restaurant - Oxfordshire - The Snooty Mehmaan

Best Specialty Steak Restaurant - Maidstone - Buenos Aires Nights Steakhouse Bar of the Year 2017 - Vienna - Kem’s Bar & Kitchenette


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Best Family-Friendly Pub & Restaurant - West Sussex

West Street, Sompting, West Sussex, BN15 0AP, UK

www.themarquissompting.co.uk

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Best Independent CafĂŠ & Restaurant - Kent


lux Company: Otto’s Contact: Jack Contact Email: jack@ottos.com Address: 37 High Street, Sevenoaks, TN13 1JD, UK Phone: 01732446344 Website: www.ottos.co

Best Independent Café & Restaurant - Kent

Otto’s is an independent coffee house & kitchen based in Sevenoaks. Jack and Nick have a huge passion for all that is food and drink and have worked in the industry for a combined 25 years. We spoke to Jack to find out more about the venue and its customers. Otto’s focus on serving specialty coffee, loose leaf teas, fresh juices and smoothies. Its food menus focus on using seasonal food, to produce healthy creative dishes. The establishment prides itself on being a place where everyone is welcome. The team at Otto’s are happy to say that the venue attracts everyone, from all walks of life and are proud to have lots of wonderful regulars. Jack explains how Otto’s always strives for excellence in everything it does. “At Otto’s, we are very lucky to have wonderful staff that have a genuine passion for what they do, and our baristas receive extensive training. Our staff are invited to a tasting of every new menu, and additionally, we are always researching and looking at our peers, other cafes and restaurants to stay fresh and innovative.” Guaranteeing health and safety means collaborating with staff, and Jack tells us how the team all work together to passionately provide the best service possible. “It is of the utmost importance to us that we maintain the highest levels of health and safety. We have numerous checklist and hygiene documents that we have created specifically for Otto’s and follow on a daily basis. “Crucial to our success, we are very lucky to have an amazing team at Otto’s. All of our staff are with us initially because they have a passion for what they do. We like our staff to have the opportunity to express their passion and personality in their role. One of our chefs has been allowed to launch his own pop up Korean tasting menu every other Friday, which is a roaring success. This excellence has led to us winning a Business Award in the Sevenoaks Business Awards in the customer choice category. “Additionally, my Head Chef and Business Partner plays a crucial role in the success of our establishment. Nick joined the Otto’s team 6 months ago and has completely transformed the menus and the kitchen. His skill and knowledge are a key part of

the back bone of Otto’s and we are very lucky to have him.” Working within such a competitive industry, it is important that the establishment is able to stand out from other similar venue’s in the surrounding areas. Jack refers to the fact that the team make sure that the highest standards are kept throughout the venue. “First and foremost, we make sure that our very high standards are maintained. Every coffee and plate of food is not served unless we are 100% happy with it. We always try to offer something different, new and exciting. At Otto’s we have a massive passion for what we do, so in our free time we are always checking out new spots and experimenting with new ideas. “Basically, we work hard all of the time, day in, day out. We know that there will be competition, and so we always make sure we are going the extra mile to stay at the top of the pile.” Drawing on his own personal experience in the food and drink market, Jack mentions what attributes he believes contribute to the success of both Otto’s and his team. Staff are always looking to learn and improve their services, and hard work pays dividends within the sector, according to Jack. “To be a success in this industry, people must stay passionate, stay humble, and always be looking to learn. What we do is not easy, and as such it requires a lot of sacrifice and hard work. Our staff are a huge part of our success, and without them we would not be where we are today. We are so grateful for our wonderful team.” Since Otto’s inception, Jack explains what changes he has seen within the food and drink industry, talking about how client expectations have changed and how the firm has adapted around this. Otto’s has already seen an expansion in its staff in order to match customer demand. “Since we have opened we have got busier every week. Our customers expect the same quality in what we do even when the demand has more than doubled.

We have invested in equipment and more staff to make sure that we are still producing the same quality. We have had to double our team, due to the demand, and it is the people are the most important thing.” Regarding the future for Otto’s, Jack is keen to highlight the team’s passion for coffee. Starting to produce its own coffee is the next aim of the team, as Jack alludes to a new partnership which will hopefully bring a whole new dimension to Otto’s. “Ultimately, as we have said we have a massive passion for coffee. We feel the next step of our passion is to start roasting our own coffee. We are going into partnership with a good friend of Otto’s and we will be roasting our own coffee from the new year.”

“ What we do is not easy, and as such it requires a lot of sacrifice and hard work. Our staff are a huge part of our success, and without them we would not be where we are today. We are so grateful for our wonderful team.” LUX - Food & Drink Awards 2017 7


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Best British Restaurant 2017 - Lancashire

Company: Bertram’s Restaurant Contact: Spencer Burge Contact Email: spencer@crowwood.com Address: Crow Wood, Royle Lane, Burnley, BB12 0RT, UK Phone: 01282 471936

Best British Restaurant 2017 - Lancashire Bertram’s Restaurant, based in Burnley, East Lancashire, offers guests an affordable yet sumptuous dining experience. We invited Spencer Burge to tell us more. Established in 2013, Bertram’s is housed in a new purpose built, three floor extension located to the rear of Crow Wood Leisure, as part of a £4.5m development. Spencer discusses the restaurant and how it works to offer a versatile experience. “Nestled on the second floor of this extension, above the world famous Woodland Spa (this year’s Global Spa of the Year), Bertram’s is a 100 cover, adult only restaurant and cocktail bar with a separate dining suite. Our unique and modern restaurant is set within 100 acres of countryside with spectacular views of Pendle Hill, and the surrounding countryside. The magnificent floor to ceiling windows makes the most of this spectacular view. During the day, we offer an environment for spa dining, casual dining and business lunch; then at night the restaurant comes alive with an evening brasserie atmosphere that you could expect to find in the most cosmopolitan of cities. “A recent addition is our uniquely situated Terrace Bar nestled within the luxurious surrounding of The Woodland Spa. This Cocktail/Champagne Bar offers an alternative and exclusive evening to all our guests including a full schedule of live entertainment. The 8 LUX - Food & Drink Awards 2017

lounge area encapsulates a fire pit lounge and dance floor. As such, we offer much more than just a dining experience.” To ensure that it provides a truly luxurious experience, Bertram’s aims to treat every client as a VIP, as Spencer enthuses. “Our clientele has very high expectations and any restauranteur will tell you that they are exceedingly happy to have loyal repeat customers, but with that comes high expectations and more demands. Regular changing of menus, rewarding loyalty and consistency of food and service offering is very important when catering for all our customers, not just regulars and VIP’s.” Overall, the future looks bright for this exceptional restaurant, as Spencer is proud to explain in his concluding comments. “At Bertram’s, we are lucky enough to be a part of an award-winning Spa “The Woodland Spa” and are now currently developing a 78-bedroom hotel that will have its own Italian Restaurant onsite. Guests from the hotel will be able to indulge the adult-only luxury

environment of Bertram’s restaurant or enjoy the family orientated hotel restaurant. The hotel is due to open in November 2018 and will offer us many great opportunities for further success.”

“Our clientele has very high expectations and any restauranteur will tell you that they are exceedingly happy to have loyal repeat customers, but with that comes high expectations and more demands.


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Best Barbecue Restaurant 2017 - Thessaloniki

Company: Nea Diagonios Contact: Ioannis Chantakis Contact Email: info@neadiagonios.gr Address: 89 Nik. Plastira, Kalamaria, Greece Phone: 00302 3100 29085 Website: www.neadiagonios.gr

Best Barbecue Restaurant 2017 - Thessaloniki Nea Diagonios is a historical restaurant in Thessaloniki which is renowned for its sumptuous meat dishes. Chef Ioannis Chantakis tells us more about the restaurant and how it works to provide diners with a truly authentic Greek dining experience. Famous for handmade gyros and Thessaloniki’s soutzoukakia (BBQ meatballs), Nea Diagonios attracts a vast array of clients, from locals to city visitors. Here guests can expect to encounter the Prime Minister, actors, and celebrities, as well as their neighbours and friends. Ioannis discusses how the establishment aims to offer the very highest quality dishes possible to keep guests coming back for more. “Here at Nea Diagonio, we aim to source the very highest quality products and ingredients to ensure that our guests always enjoy their meal. We prefer to use small producers, as they always have the excellent quality control and quality, natural products. Training our chefs and staff is crucial so that we always receive Excellent ratings in all inspections and have a high level of hygiene in our kitchen. “Operating in such a highly competitive market, we learned early on that we needed to stand out to succeed. As such, we try to offer our customers products and services that are difficult to find in another restaurant. This is what marks us out as a great option for a meal and draws our customers back again and again.”

Ultimately, the future looks exciting for Nea Diagonios as the restaurant seeks to provide new and innovative dishes that will meet its clients’ ever evolving tastes, as Ioannis is pleased to conclude. “Within the restaurant business recently, we have noticed a trend towards alternative diets, including a surge in diners requesting gluten free options. At Nea Diagonios, we are always looking to adapt our offering to meet our clients’ needs, and therefore we will be adding a gluten free option to our menu shortly.”

“...we have noticed a trend towards alternative diets, including a surge in diners requesting gluten free options.” LUX - Food & Drink Awards 2017 9


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Deli of the Year 2017- Boca Raton

Company: JBR Services USA LLC dba My Delicious Deli Contact: Barry Reuben Contact Email: barry@mydeliciousdeli.com My Delicious Deli, Unit 65, The Garden Shops, 7036 W Palmetto Park Road Florida, Boca Raton, 33433, USA Phone: 561 393 3287

Deli of the Year 2017- Boca Raton My Delicious Deli a local, upscale New York Style Delicatessen and Full-Service Restaurant offering catering in the Boca Raton, Florida area. Barry Reuben tells us more about the establishment and how it aims to offer the very highest standards of service and sumptuous products to its clients. My Delicious Deli works hard to create a friendly, supportive atmosphere, and as such treat each customer, as well as staff, like family; and ensure that all staff members are consulted in every step of the process. This ensures that they are invested in creating quality products, made using only the freshest, highest-quality ingredients to be assured of consistency. Barry talks us through how the Deli works to ensure excellence for clients at all times. “Here at My Delicious Deli, we are always looking for new ways to improve and innovate in everything that we do, and cultivate an environment where every employee feels both responsible and empowered to come forward with fresh ideas. “Fundamentally, it is our staff that drive us to success. We have an extremely diverse staff from all over the globe, with a variety of complementary skill sets, who proudly dedicate themselves to hospitality and service. They are enthusiastic about the product. Their passion starts with management leading by example and ensuring that expectations are clearly communicated and understood.” 10 LUX - Food & Drink Awards 2017

This focus on cultivating a family culture for staff, and their resulting dedication to excellence has resulted in strong growth for the Deli since inception, as Barry emphasises. “Over the months, as our client base has expanded, the demand for, and our ability to offer extended hours has grown. We now have a larger workforce, and offer a full dinner menu, in addition to our all-day breakfast and lunch menu. Furthermore, customers have become acquainted with our staff and the value we place in being accommodating.” Drawing on this success, My Delicious Deli can be assured of a bright future, as Barry proudly concludes. “Looking ahead, we will continue to find different, engaging ways to attract new business through advertising, along with constant evaluation and innovation to generate more value for our customers. As evidenced by the effects of the Millennial generation coming of age, tastes and priorities are ever-changing. By staying engaged with each of our

customers and all of our community, we will maintain a deep understanding of their wants and needs allowing us to stay relevant, and in demand.”

“We now have a larger workforce, and offer a full dinner menu, in addition to our all-day breakfast and lunch menu. Furthermore, customers have become acquainted with our staff...”


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Best Casual Dining Experience - West Flanders

Company: Eetwinkel Maertens Contact: Katia Verschoore Contact Email: katiaverschoore@me.com Address: Kortrijksestraat 82, 8020 Oostkamp, Belgium Phone: 0032 4956 60733

Best Casual Dining Experience - West Flanders Eetwinkel Maertens is a restaurant providing guests the opportunity to tuck into an exciting lunch, specializing in hamburgers and sandwiches, which guests can take-out or eat-in. We spoke to Katia Verschoore as we look to find out what makes the restaurant the success it is. Eetwinkel Maertens offers a wide variety of food, including very good pastas and salads, as well as its specialties. Katia describes what steps she takes to ensure that the highest standards of health and safety are observed at all times when working with food and drink. “Every day, we work at the standards of the strict food and hygiene rules at the Belgian standards made by the FAVV. We also work through a strict schema of cleaning, which I personal think is very important. Everything has to be perfectly clean to start the day over again.” The food and drink industry is competitive across the globe, and Katia explains how she ensures that Eetwinkel Maertens stands out amongst other restaurants. Interacting with her clients is something that is vital to her success, especially moving forward. “Ensuring my company stands out, I try to personally contact all my clients. I do my job with a lot of passion and love to express my creativity in it. Next to my signature burgers and sandwiches, I can

proudly say that I have my private label Coffee, Tea, Chocolate and Beer. Namely Bella’s Koffie, Bella’s Thee, Bella’s Chocolate and Bella’s Bier. The names are always based on Bella, my orange signature cow, who stands outside in front of my restaurant.” In her concluding comments, Katia predicts what developments there will be within the wider food and drink market, and how she and her restaurant will adapt to these advances, establishing itself as one of the more well-renowned restaurants in the industry. “Looking ahead, I think in the wider food and drink market; clients will return back to real honest business. Good food for good prices and with a good service will become a key factor in the industry’s success. Meanwhile, I try to do my best to find the perfect combination within these standards. Eetwinkel Maertens is an innovative restaurant, and me and my team attempt be the first to try something new in the sector.”

“Katia predicts what developments there will be within the wider food and drink market, and how she and her restaurant will adapt to these advances, establishing itself as one of the more well-renowned restaurants in the industry.” LUX - Food & Drink Awards 2017 11


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Pastry Shop Of The Year 2017 - Brescia & Birthday Cake Designer Of The Year 2017 - Lombardy

Company: iCAKE by Federica Zilioli Contact: Federica Zilioli Contact Email: federica@i-cake.it Address: Via Fratelli Cervi 6B, 25080, Mazzano, Italy Phone: 3396578605 Website: www.i-cake.it

Pastry Shop Of The Year 2017 - Brescia & Birthday Cake Designer Of The Year 2017 - Lombardy iCAKE is the first domestic Cake Design Micro Enterprise in Brescia dedicated to creating stunning designs for a range of celebration cakes. We profile the firm to learn more. Founded by impassioned cake aficionado Federica Zilioli, iCAKE offers glorious cake designs created by hand for a range of clients, including private individuals and companies. The firm began thanks to Federica’s passion for creating beautifully designed cakes for her three children. She noticed a gap in the market in Brescia for handmade, luxury cakes made with fresh products and innovative designs, and after receiving a number of requests from friends, iCAKE was born, and now delivers to customers across Italy. To set itself apart from other bakeries and cake providers, iCAKE offers delicious cakes made with fresh produce; there is no industrial preparation and no semi-finished products. All the toppers and all the decorations made by hand, crafted to the customer’s specifications to create something truly unique. The personal touch is vital to succeeding in the cake industry, as is providing customers with high quality products which will look amazing and taste even better. Therefore, iCAKE offers only the highest quality ingredients, which are prepared using

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professional tools in a safe, clean environment that complies with food preparation rules. Looking to the future, in Italy the cake design market is set to grow even further. As such, iCAKE foresees increased demand for genuine cakes and without industrial preparations and exclusive decorations. To meet this demand, the firm intends to grow even further, moving into the B2B cake sales market, as well as branching out into offering other celebratory items such as cards. These plans will offer many great opportunities which Feederica and her team are excited to take advantage of.

“Looking to the future, in Italy the cake design market is set to grow even further. As such, iCAKE foresees increased demand for genuine cakes and without industrial preparations and exclusive decorations.”


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Wine Bar of the Year 2017 - Victoria

Company: Wolfe & Molone Contact: Tanya Contact Email: info@wolfeandmolone.com.au Address: 282 Centre Rd, Bentleigh, Victoria, 3204, Australia Phone: +61 3 9557 3477 Website: www.wolfeandmolone.com.au

Wine Bar of the Year 2017 - Victoria Wolfe & Molone is a Wine Bar and Restaurant owned and managed by two sisters, located in the south east of Melbourne. We spoke to one of the owners, Tanya Hanouch, as we explore the secrets behind its success. Wolf & Molone was designed to bring the concept of a wine bar and restaurant into the suburbs, aiming to service a need that was growing in the South East of Melbourne. Tanya tells us how important guests and the local community are to the wine bar, and also, how unique both the food and drink are to the business.

do and how we strive to be the best for our customers and our community. The culture within the team is especially paramount in the way we work with each other, and with our customers. We also believe that personal development is critical to the success of our business and ensure that we build pathways for professional learning.”

“Throughout the business, we service the local community with unique wines and international cuisine, both changing seasonally. Importantly, we believe in eating for the season, and all of our produce is locally sourced and our meats are all free range. Our Chef also cures and dries his own meats to make charcuterie, which adds a special touch to the menu.”

Signing off, Tanya explains how working within an industry as competitive as the food and drink sector can be tough, but is confident the business can distinguish itself from other wine bars and restaurants, something which will help Wolf & Molone in its bid to expand in the future.

Telling us about her staff, Tanya refers to the fantastic internal culture within the business, noting how all employees are treated equally and like family, enabling them to produce the utmost quality service to customers. “At Wolf & Molone, we have a terrific team which we treat as our family. All our staff understand what we

“Ultimately, from the produce we purchase, to the wines and spirits we have on our shelves, everything for us has a story to tell, we source wines from Winemakers who are unique. For us we like to get to know what our customers like to drink and find new things for them to try. We have plans to extend the business and look to bring some new elements that will enhance the dining and drinking experience to our venue, customers and community.”

“...from the produce we purchase, to the wines and spirits we have on our shelves, everything for us has a story to tell, we source wines from Winemakers who are unique. For us we like to get to know what our customers like to drink and find new things for them to try.” LUX - Food & Drink Awards 2017 13


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Café of the Year 2017 - City of Manningham & LUX Good Food Award 2017 - Melbourne

Company: Cocoa Moon Café Contact: Andres Contact Email: info@cocoamoon.com.au Address: 166 Yarra Street, Warrandyte, Manningham, Victoria, 3113, Australia Phone: 0061 9844 5081

Café of the Year 2017 - City of Manningham & LUX Good Food Award 2017 - Melbourne Cocoa Moon Cafe Warrandyte, is a small cafe in the outer suburbs of Melbourne. We caught up with Andres to find out more. Situated approximately 30min from Melbourne, Cocoa Moon Cafe cater to a vast array of guests, including clients from young children, business people, locals, and tourists. The team work hard to make the café stand out, as Owner Andres and business partner Jason are keen to highlight. “To set ourselves apart, at Cocoa Moon Café we have established two major points of interest in our location. Changing and upgrading the look and feel of the cafe has been a great success as our regulars and locals look forward to seeing what changes have occurred within a month. We have also worked out that as an addition to our regular, standard menu, and have introduced an international feel to it e.g.: French, North Africa, Mexican, etc, with our all day breakfast being the focus. Also, to compliment it we offer International Dinner banquets that change monthly, last weekend of the month, with a country in mind, e.g.: (September: Spain, October: Moroccan, November: Italian).” Operating in such a fast paced, trend influenced industry, the café has to work hard to stay ahead of the latest developments, as Andres explains.

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“The food and beverage industry has steadily growing in Melbourne over the past years, with trendy, modern, boutique cafes and restaurants opening up, we have had the need to keep up. We have, adapted and upgraded our skills to stay in the game. “Staying ahead of these trends is vital, and as such, at Cocoa Moon Cafe we stay as informed as possible, both in terms of industry trends and with relevant changes to Food and Beverage Health and Safety. All our staff are briefed of changes and reminded of the cafes policy every 6 months. We have a full staff meeting and openly discuss, share and resolve any issues. We listen to our staff’s suggestions; their constant input also helps to shape our business.” Moving forward, continuing to provide clients with the same exceptional quality service will remain Cocoa Moon Café’s core focus, as Andres concludes. “As we look towards the future, we have some changes and upgrades planed for the cafe, again focusing on efficiency for service and staff. Having seen continuous growth over the past seven years, we look forward to the future and future changes.”

“The food and beverage industry has steadily growing in Melbourne over the past years, with trendy, modern, boutique cafes and restaurants opening up, we have had the need to keep up. We have, adapted and upgraded our skills to stay in the game.”


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Best Indian Restaurant 2017 – Bridgnorth

Company: Eurasia Tandoori Restaurant Contact: Shamim Haque Contact Email: info@eurasiatandoori.co.uk Address: 21 West Castle Street, Bridgnorth, Shropshire, WV16 4AB, UK Phone: 01746 764895

Best Indian Restaurant 2017 – Bridgnorth Eurasia Tandoori Restaurant is an award winning tandoori specialist establishment based in Bridgnorth, Shropshire. We profile the restaurant to find out what makes it so popular with diners. Set in the heart of the historical town of Bridgnorth, Eurasia first opened its doors in 1975 and is now thriving as a high class Indian and Bangladeshi restaurant. In 2001, Executive Chef Amjad Ali and his partners Shamim Haque and Shahid Ahad came into ownership of the business. From that moment, the trio have dedicated their focus on taking Eurasia to new heights establishing it as a thriving institution in the world of fine dining. It has been a remarkable journey for Eurasia, 2014 was a memorable year as we celebrated out 40th successful year and commitment to the industry on a national level. In 2015 and 2016 Chef Amjad Ali was given the accolade of the Chef of the Year Award 2015 and 2016. Perfection, quality and excellence is the only way forward. After a major refurbishment in 2013, Eurasia embraced a contemporary new image. Chef Amjad Ali and his team developed and refined a stunning new food and drink menu that has embedded Eurasia’s signature dishes and quality drinks. Chef Ali’s vision is to capture authentic cuisine as it is traditionally served in India and Bangladesh. The flavours created everyday have travelled all the way

from South East Asia. Chef Ali carefully combines traditional and contemporary styles and techniques to provide the ultimate fine dining experience to Bridgnorth. Drawing on his vast experience, Chef Ali has successfully worked with some of the finest celebrity chefs in the trade. His talent and creativity is famously associated with the signature dish Ginger Chicken as well as the old and new favourites. Chef Ali strives on creating perfection with every dish, he continuously works his magic in the kitchen, carefully selecting ingredients to create authentic Indian cuisine with his team of dedicated chefs. Ultimately, everyone at Eurasia Tandoori Restaurant strives to always look after their valued customer and make sure the food and drinks served are to the highest of standards and quality, so the people can enjoy their time dining at Eurasia Tandoori. Looking ahead, this will remain the team’s ongoing focus as they look forward to a bright and exciting future.

“Chef Ali strives on creating perfection with every dish, he continuously works his magic in the kitchen, carefully selecting ingredients to create authentic Indian cuisine with his team of dedicated chefs.” LUX - Food & Drink Awards 2017 15


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Bar of the Year 2017 - Durham

Company: Dunelm Hospitality Contact: Brook Fielding Contact Email: 33durham@gmail.com Address: Stanton 29, Neville Street, Durham, DH1 4EY, UK Phone: 07919 238024

Bar of the Year 2017 - Durham Bar 33 is a speakeasy in the centre of Durham City, inspired by prohibition we are a secret bar requiring a door code to gain access. Brook Fielding tells us more about the bar and its innovative theme. Bar 33’s theme of speakeasy and prohibition America runs through its extensive menu with the signature cocktails being named after various 1920’s slang and popular culture. All the signature cocktails are exclusive to Bar 33 and made using homemade syrups, infusions and garnishes ensuring its originality. Brook explains how the quality ingredients and dedication to excellence are what sets the bar apart and marks it out as a great destination for an exciting night out. “Here at Bar 33 we believe in using locally sourced ingredients, syrups made on site and working above and beyond the health and safety laws. If something does not pass our own high standards of freshness and taste then we simply will not serve it. This ensures that our cocktails are always exceptionally high quality. “As well as our bar being open to guests we also hold cocktail classes for those special occasions and are open to private parties and supporting local events which require a venue. This ensures that we meet the needs of every guest and can provide a really exciting, unique experience.”

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Alongside offering fresh, tasty drinks, Brook firmly believes that the bar’s staff, all of whom are dedicated to giving their patrons an invigorating night to remember, are what makes this establishment truly special. “Being an independent bar allows 33 to recruit the very best people of what we do. All of our staff have regular mixologist training provided by experienced European bar tenders school. No one likes a know it all – but our bar tenders are trained to be highly knowledgeable in all aspects of the beverage industry.” Moving forward, Brook has big plans for Bar 33, as he is keen to highlight in her concluding comments. “Looking to the future, we would like to push the limits in terms of cocktails and products, so that we can continue to offer our guests an experience they will never forget. Alongside this, we are keen to extend Bar 33 to accommodate more visitors, and this will offer us many exciting opportunities which we are keen to take advantage of.”

A “ ll of our staff have regular mixologist training provided by experienced European bar tenders school. No one likes a know it all – but our bar tenders are trained to be highly knowledgeable in all aspects of the beverage industry.”


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Best Traditional Greek Restaurant – Mykonos

Company: Tharroe of Mykonos Hotel De Luxe: Barbarossa Restaurant Contact: Olga Papadaki Contact Email: info@tharroeofmykonos.gr Address: Angelika, Mykonos Town, Greece 84600 Phone: 0030 228 902 7370 Website: www.tharroeofmykonos.gr

Best Traditional Greek Restaurant – Mykonos Barbarossa Restaurant, situated in the Tharroe of Mykonos hotel de luxe, is a stunning traditional Greek dining hideaway. We profile the establishment to offer an insight into how it draws a variety of multi-national food-lovers. Since inception, Barbarossa Bar-Restaurant has become one of the most talked about dining destinations in Mykonos island. Experiencing traditional food is an essential way to define and discover the real life of the Aegean islands and their people; The temptations, the influences, the magic of traditional Greek feasts. Beautifully related to this tradition of Greek feasts and looking towards the future of modern cuisine Barbarossa Restaurant presents first class dining and attracts food lovers and jetsetters from all over the world. Offering breath-taking views, this award winning restaurant of Tharroe of Mykonos Deluxe Hotel is famous for the healthy, traditional, organic and seasonal products it uses to create genuine Greek and Mediterranean Haute cuisine. The words healthy, traditional and organic stand here for their true meaning and depict the sincere belief of the owners that the quality of feelings and sense of wellbeing, in all of us , depends dearly on the quality of our nutrition. The ingredients’ purity and freshness, unadulterated by complex processing

and combined with passion for seasonal flavours, mesmerizes all culinary and wine lovers. The menu highlights the lightness, diversity and intensity of Myconian gastronomic tradition. Each dish on the menu has been carefully matched with a wine recommendation from a carefully selected wide list of Greek wines. Additionally, the Bar offers tailor made cocktails signed by mixologist Vassilis. The views over the sea, the spectacular sunsets and the iconic landmark of the Myconian Windmills, offer a once- in- a- life- time experience.

“Beautifully related to this tradition of Greek feasts and looking towards the future of modern cuisine Barbarossa Restaurant presents first class dining and attracts food lovers and jetsetters from all over the world.” LUX - Food & Drink Awards 2017 17


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Best Tapas Style Cuisine - Derbyshire

Company: The Bridge Inn Contact: David McHattie Contact Email: info@ thebridgecalver.co.uk Address: Calver Bridge, Hope Valley, Derbyshire, S32 3XA, UK Phone: 01433 442479

Best Tapas Style Cuisine - Derbyshire The Bridge Inn, operated by Inn Ideas Ltd, is dedicated to innovating, refining and redefining pub food without the price tag and pretentiousness often associated with quality food and wine. We profile this stunning establishment to learn more and explore the secrets behind its success so far. Opened in July 2016, the Bridge Inn is a very personal expression of how the owners love to share time with family and friends and is certainly a break from the norm. They handpicked every piece of furniture, almost all of the art is their own and individual touches are evident everywhere including a menu which includes innovative interpretations of dishes they love. Fresh produce is at the fore, with local produce used where possible, or, when it comes to items like the Iberico Ham, they source the best direct from Spain. Food is served tapas style, as all food is cooked to order and each dish arrives when it is ready in small plate format which allows guests the opportunity to enjoy and share more flavours and explore food they might not normally try. The “Humble Cauliflower” dish has been a revelation as has the innovative interpretation of the old classic fish and chips. Neither is what people expect but they have become standard bearers for our continued menu development, great core ingredients cooked perfectly and served simply with complimentary flavours that elevate, surprise and excite.

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Parent company Inn Ideas is a family business which runs two pubs in the heart of the beautiful Peak District close to Chatsworth House in Derbyshire, UK. The first, the Devonshire Arms, Baslow, has been operating by Inn Ideas for five years, and offers more traditional pub food. When the Bridge Inn, which was desperately in need of investment, became available 1.5 miles down the road, owners Samantha and David McHattie knew they wanted to offer locals and tourists something different. This passion extends beyond the food. Amazing wines all available by the glass - three sizes are available - and a pricing policy that means amazing quality wines are a fraction of the normal cost. Gins are individually garnished to accentuate the key botanicals and beers are lovingly tended to offer consistently high-quality, crystal clear ales. Ultimately, the Bridge Inn offers a wonderful relaxed environment, that has brought a tired pub bang up to date with food and drink that is accessible to locals, walkers and their dogs, tourists and people celebrating a special occasion, without the barriers and price tag typical of food and wine this good.

“...a wonderful relaxed environment, that has brought a tired pub bang up to date with food and drink that is accessible to locals, walkers and their dogs, tourists and people celebrating a special occasion, without the barriers and price tag typical of food and wine...”


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European Café of the Year - Gloucestershire

Company: WafelWaffle Contact: Agnes Boes Contact Email: agnes@wafelwaffle.com Address: 17 Old Market Way, High Street, Moreton-in-Marsh, Gloucestershire, GL56 0AJ, UK Phone: 0044 751 464 9138 Website: www.wafelwaffle.com

European Café of the Year - Gloucestershire WafelWaffle is an innovative Gloucestershire based café serving Authentic Brussels Waffles. Founder Agnes Boes provides us with a fascinating overview of the café and the dishes it creates. WafelWaffle offers a unique range of treats designed to suit every palate, including gluten free options and various flavours. Agnes discusses the establishment’s menu and how it caters to a variety of tastes. “The watchword at WafelWaffle, the Authentic Belgian Waffle Cafe, is quality; everything we do, everything we make, everything we sell, is of the highest quality. Starting with a special waffle flour, which we import exclusively from our Belgian miller to make our waffles, and adding Frederic Blondeel Belgian chocolates, Maison Dandoy biscuits, and ‘Santos’ brand coffee from Belgian suppliers, we then use local producers for our fresh milk and cream, ice cream and bacon, and niche suppliers such as Tregothnan teas and Gigi & Son chutneys. This attention to detail in our supply chain means we can guarantee the excellence of our food and drink. We then combine these premiumquality products with a level of service we believe is unsurpassed in our region. The waffles are freshlymade to order, by me, the proprietor, and served with a unique variety of savoury or sweet accompaniments.” In her concluding comments Ages outlines her pride in the success of WafelWaffle and why she believes that the café has become so popular.

“Overall, the title ‘European Cafe of the Year’ is an important recognition of the significance of European tastes and techniques in the food and drink sector. While Gloucestershire is well served with cafes and tea rooms offering traditional English fare, we believe that there is a significant demand for food and drink with a more continental flavour, and by keeping our offer authentically Belgian we can attract customers to this particular niche in the market. “Sometimes people ask me ‘what makes a café Belgian?’ For me, it is a combination of Belgian food waffles of course, but also homemade soup, ice cream sundaes and excellent coffee - and a certain ‘vibe’ that includes world music, a poetry corner, eclectic artworks, combined with a welcoming atmosphere that gives my customers time and space to relax, savour the moment and enjoy interesting conversation. All in all, I believe that WafelWaffle makes a unique contribution to the local area, offering something different, something highquality - something really special.”

“We then combine these premiumquality products with a level of service we believe is unsurpassed in our region. The waffles are freshlymade to order, by me, the proprietor, and served with a unique variety of savoury or sweet accompaniments.” LUX - Food & Drink Awards 2017 19


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Best Arcade Bar & Café - Australia

Company: 1989 Arcade Bar & Kitchen Contact: Ben Campbell Contact Email: hey@1989.com.au Address: 22-24 King Street, Newtown, Sydney, NSW 2042, Australia Phone: 0061 02 9516 5581 Web Address: www.1989.com.au

Best Arcade Bar & Café - Australia 1989 Arcade Bar & Kitchen is a classic video game arcade that operates as a café by day and bar at night. Ben Campbell tells us more about this eclectic bar. With 14 arcade classics on the floor, from Space Invaders to Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, ’89 is a retro gaming utopia and fantastic place to eat and drink, as ben highlights. “Here at ’89, we are serious about our craft beer and support the local inner west brewing scene with Batch Brewery, Wayward, Grifter, Young Henry’s and many more represented either on tap or in our tinnie fridge. Overall, we have over 35 craft beers and cider on our alcohol menu. Our coffee is brewed using beans from Sydney’s inner west boutique roaster The Little Marionette. We use Blend 7 Sanchez for a deliciously rich and strong cup of Joe. “Additionally, our atmosphere is always welcoming and laid back whilst our aesthetic is un-apologetically geek chic, and as such we have a feature wall made up of 500 real VHS cassette cases. Despite the relaxed atmosphere, service is our number one priority and the staff at ‘89 are trained and re-trained to ensure they know the business inside and out so that patrons always enjoy a truly unforgettable experience.” With a background in film and media, Ben draws on his own past experience to create a vibrant and

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exciting atmosphere in the bar, and he employs staff who are equally passionate, as he is keen to emphasise. “The staff at ‘89 are hospitality legends who are also video game fanatics. Their knowledge of good food and coffee is equalled by their understanding of the classic arcades we have on the floor of ‘89. It’s the aim of our bar to give customers a fantastic cafe and bar experience but also to relive the experience of playing games in a classic arcade.” Overall, the bar has achieved phenomenal success since it began, and moving forward Ben and his team are keen to build upon this, as he proudly concludes. “Since we started 1989 Arcade Bar & Kitchen, we have adapted our menu to our customers’ needs. Newtown is a vibrant part of Sydney with many people with differing dietary requirements, we listened to what they wanted and we delivered. Moving forward, we are really pushing what we are doing on social media and looking to create fun video content around what we are doing along with video game events to grow the community in retro gaming within Sydney.”

“The staff at ‘89 are hospitality legends who are also video game fanatics. Their knowledge of good food and coffee is equalled by their understanding of the classic arcades we have on the floor of ‘89. It’s the aim of our bar to give customers a fantastic cafe and bar experience...”


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Gelateria of the Year 2017 – Riva del Garda

Company: Gelateria Cristallo Contact: Erwin Cantonati Contact Email: info@cristallogelateria.com Address: Piazza Catena 17, Riva del Garda (TN), 38066, Italy Telephone: 0039 0464 553844 Website: www.cristallogelateria.com

Gelateria of the Year 2017 – Riva del Garda Gelateria Cristallo is an innovative ice cream parlour, the outcome of the hard and dedicated work of six generations. We invited Erwin Cantonati to tell us more about the shop and what makes it so attractive to clients. Established in 1892 in the Imperial Vienna, Gelateria Cristallo is now situated on the northern tip of Lake Garda, a beautifully scenic location, which adds a unique element to the establishment. Recently, the building has been renovated to give the company a new and fresh look. Erwin talks us through the firm’s products, mentioning the variety of customers that the team deals with. “We offer a wide variety of products to satisfy everyone’s tastes and desires. We understand that each customer has different needs, therefore we also offer a range of lactose free, gluten free and vegan products, like our ice cream. We serve people of all kinds: families with children, young people, sport lovers on holiday that want to watch their team playing and people who are looking for a relaxing evening, listening to some live music”. Customer focus and product quality are key factors of the company’s success. Erwin believes that these aspects, along with self-confidence and belief are vital to succeeding in the food and drink industry. “Our Ice Cream is made without binding agents, preservatives, food colourings and chemical additives.

We only use fresh ingredients and we import the most refined products to make our ice cream the way our old generations have taught us: vanilla beans from Madagascar, mango from India, pistachios from Sicily, hazelnuts from Piemonte. We demand the best for our customers and this applies to all the products we offer”. Looking ahead, key to Gelateria Cristallo, is its customer service. Already a successful parlour, the company realises that customers demand quality, not only in the products but also in the service they receive, Erwin suggests. “Drawing on my personal experience, what really stands out and is remembered by people is true kindness and smiles. People understand if you put your heart and soul in your work and if your interest in their needs is sincere. This is very underrated nowadays but it is very important for us”. “Moving forward, it is important to keep continuity in the way we work: we aim to do our best without missing one day. The food and drink industry is very fast-paced and we will strive to keep up with this rhythm”.

“Looking ahead, key to Gelateria Cristallo, is its customer service. Already a successful parlour, the company realises that customers demand quality, not only in the products but also in the service they receive, Erwin suggests.” LUX - Food & Drink Awards 2017 21


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Café of the Year 2017 - City of Albury

Company: The River Deck Contact: Alex Smit Contact Email: info@ riverdeckcafe.com.au Address: 48 Noreuil Parade, Albury, NSW 2640, Australia Phone: 0061260235980 Website: www.riverdeckcafe.com.au

Café of the Year 2017 - City of Albury The River Deck Cafe overlooks the Murray River in a park filled with mature Elm and English Plane Trees. The Cafe provides visitors with a tranquil place to share a meal and drink in Albury, New South Wales. We invited Alex Smit to tell us about the café, and what makes it the stand-out café in the industry. The River Deck was completely rebuilt in 2015, following several years of trade as Albury’s favourite summer outdoor café. The team offer a high quality culinary experience that draws on the food and wines available in the region. Alex explains how the River Deck aims to achieve excellence and ensure that only the best food and beverages are served. “Here at the River Deck, we always strive to deliver service and dining experiences that are equivalent to the location it enjoys. We continuously assess our offering, our suppliers, our teams’ training requirements and proactively seek feedback from our visitors.” Fundamentally, the food and drink industry is incredibly competitive, and Alex tells us what steps they take to ensure that the highest standard of health and safety are observed at all times. Along with customer service, this is a key aspect of the establishment’s success. “Suppliers often comment on the cleanliness of our kitchen, which we hold paramount. Recently, we 22 LUX - Food & Drink Awards 2017

received a perfect score from our local food inspector. Our kitchen is cleaned intensively every day following service. Every item of food prep is labelled, signed and cross-inspected by another Chef. Food safety is of paramount importance, especially with the modern allergy and dietary requirements.” “These days, customers can access high quality food and wine al ost everywhere, so the opportunity to standout lies in the service we deliver. We believe that good service is something that customers value, so we hire people with genuine personalities who enjoy working in a service industry and go from there.” Looking ahead, Alex comments on the fact that the River Deck will look to utilise its location, attracting both business client and tourists. “Moving forward, we’re looking at innovative ways to provide the market with special one-off events that are centred around a specific region for both food and wine. Given our location, we are also looking at how we can utilise the exceptional location we are positioned in for all of our benefits.”

“...the opportunity to standout lies in the service we deliver. We believe that good service is something that customers value, so we hire people with genuine personalities who enjoy working in a service industry and go from there.”


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Best Pub & Casual Dining Venue - Canterbury

Company: The Tyler’s Kiln Contact: Allister Collins Contact Email: talktous@thetylerskiln.co.uk Address: 27 Hackington Road, Tyler Hill, Canterbury, CT2 9NE, UK Phone: 01227 471912

Best Pub & Casual Dining Venue - Canterbury The Tyler’s Kiln is an eclectic venue boasting a wealth of activities, events and dining options based in Canterbury. We profile this beautiful establishment to learn more. Located in the medieval hamlet of Tyler Hill, surrounded by ancient woodland, only five minutes from Canterbury and 15 minutes from Whitstable, The Tyler’s Kiln is a destination pub not to be missed. Since opening in January 2015 following a multi-million-pound two-year renovation project, this unique venue wowed more than 30,000 visitors in its first year and has quickly risen to become one of the top pubs in Canterbury and the surrounding areas on TripAdvisor. As such, the Tyler’s Kiln prides itself on providing high quality, mostly British cuisine using locally sourced ingredients that change with the seasons. The venue includes a local produce section featuring jams, chutneys and honey from around Canterbury as well as a shop stocking essential items for locals. Upstairs, guests will find a fascinating museum area displaying medieval tiles, pottery and artefacts from Tyler Hill, a cosy snug, and a private dining/function room. The pub also boasts an impressive all-weather beer garden offering protection from the British weather at the touch of a button, and Al-Fresco dining into the evening keeping you warm with both over-head and under-bench heating. The thatched African gazebo is perfect for larger parties, and BBQ’s are available some weekends.

Regular events include ‘steak and wine night’ every Tuesday (£19.95), ‘pie and pint night’ every Wednesday (£13.25), the Ceramic Sessions live music on the first Sunday of every month (free entry from 5.30pm), Bingo lounge night on the 2nd Monday of each month, and a quiz night on the last Monday of each month, so there is something for everyone. Overall, the Tyler’s Kiln has a bright future ahead, as the venue is now taking booking for Christmas, and is looking forward to hosting exciting celebrations for many years to come.

“...providing high quality, mostly British cuisine using locally sourced ingredients that change with the seasons. The venue includes a local produce section featuring jams, chutneys and honey from around Canterbury as well as a shop stocking essential items.” LUX - Food & Drink Awards 2017 23


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Pub of the Year 2017 - Blackburn


lux Pub of the Year 2017 - Blackburn

Company: Butlers Arms Pub & Dining Contact: Mike Hales Contact Email: Mike@imagineinns.pub Address: Victoria Road, Pleasington, Blackburn, BB2 5JH, UK Phone: 01254 207233 Website: www. thebutlersarmspleasington.co.uk

Butlers Arms Pub & Dining

Butlers Arms Pub & Dining

The Butlers Arms is a delightful traditional country pub in the heart of the stunning village of Pleasington. We invited Mike Hales to tell us more about the venue and its future plans. Despite its peaceful setting, The Butlers Arms is easily accessed from the M65 motorway network, which is just 5 minutes away. The pub serves the whole community, and its customers tend to be anyone who likes a traditional pub which serves great food. The venue attracts a diverse customer base, ranging from from dog walkers, walkers, cyclists, dining couples, families and ladies who lunch, as well as corporate clients for events. The pub is also an increasingly popular venue for weddings and special occasions. Mike explains how the firm ensures that only the best food and beverages are supplied by the team.

“Additionally, we purchased our own Rare Breed cattle which graze on the lush green pastures and farms in Lancashire and Cumbria, meaning we have full traceability of the meat from field to fork. There are no cost savings for us, but it gives the Butlers a unique selling points and customers comment on its tenderness and great taste.”

“Here at The Butlers, we constantly strive for excellence in everything we do. We monitor our performance and customer feedback and act upon it. The team work hard to deliver quality, and we source our food locally, plus, the team know and work with our suppliers to ensure that every ingredient is of the very best quality and we know where it comes from. “In relation to drinks, The Butlers has got state of the art cellar equipment, guaranteeing consistently great beer, along with cask marque approval, and staff take huge care and attention with tor cask ales. All staff training is at the foreground of our weekly team meetings, along with professional development and ideas brain storming as a team. Team competitions motivates and enthuses the staff and helps retain them along with internal opportunities.”

“The Butlers is a strong brand and to keep up with competition within the local area, we have a changing menu of weekly specials, making sure there is always something new for customers to try. We also have a range of fantastic offers, such as our cow and cork offer, and seafood Fridays, 241 on Fridays from our lovely seafood menu. In terms of drinks, we have a great repertoire, including niche products like orchard thieves cider and Local Gins, i.e; Cuckoo, Batch, Defiance.

Mike provides us with an overview of the food and drink industry as it is currently, and discusses the major developments and challenges that have been affecting the business. He explains how The Butlers has overcome these advances, and notes that the pub is able to differentiate itself from other pubs and restaurants. “Rising costs in the food and drink industry are driving cost prices and squeezing margins in what is already a competitive market. We have turned to making our own butter, ice creams and bread, which enables us to keep prices keen for our customers. It also means we are delivering beautiful fresh products and the quality our customers want.

Following on from revealing the pub’s unique selling point, Mike explains how the staff cope working within such a competitive industry, detailing how he ensures the pub stands out from its competitors.

“With this, everything we do is for our customers. We employ the highest calibre of staff, notably people with excellent experience and backgrounds in the catering industry, whether it be Michelin, rosette or just great a reputation. We pride ourselves on making our customers feel welcome at all times and leaving us as friends.” “Crucial to our success, we have built strong relationships with local producers and farmers to reduce food miles and ensure freshness, and use the best produce and ingredients that we can get our hands on. We make the most of seasonal products when changing our menus and creating our specials to ensure the best tasting products.” Signing off, Mike is clearly thrilled to tell us about the opportunity the pub has to expand its large garden. He talks about his other projects and other recent acquisitions that the team has made, and overall the new garden looks like a major development for The Butlers Arms.

“Moving forward, we are very excited to have received the go ahead to do more with our large garden. We will be landscaping, adding around 60 seats and putting in fire pits to create a really beautiful space for our customers, ready for East 2018. We have recently taken a second pub; The Top Lock at, Wheelton Chorley, and we are planning a major £700,00 refurbishment to restore it with Star Pubs and Bars. Basically, we are pretty busy all round!”

“The Butlers is a strong brand and to keep up with competition within the local area, we have a changing menu of weekly specials, making sure there is always something new for customers to try.” LUX - Food & Drink Awards 2017 25


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Traditional Restaurant of the Year - Phthiotis

Company: Faros Atalantis Contact: George Mantas Contact Email: info@farosatalantis.gr Address: Skala Atalantis, Fthiotida, 352 00, Greece Phone: 0030 22330 311 31

Traditional Restaurant of the Year - Phthiotis Faros Atalantis is a Greek based restaurant that cooks its food with only the finest materials. We invited George Mantas to talk about the restaurant and its history. Established in 1900 by George Mantas, Faros Atalantis is a restaurant attracting a variety of intrigued customers from all over the world. The third generation of the Mantas family now oversee the exquisite preparation of the products that the restaurant provides. George goes into a bit more detail about the catching of the fish. “Important to the values of the restaurant, the seafood within the surrounding area is cooked with only the finest materials. The restaurant has a wide range of customers as locals, travellers, business lunched, dinners and families. There is one common theme that attracts the range of clients to Faros Atalantis, and that is the love for fresh sea food and the friendly atmosphere.”

products. There are the reasons that Faros Atalantis has the privilege to serve so fresh seafood, such as alive crayfishes. All the employees are very well trained in Hellenic Food Control, as we are holders of HASP (ISO 22000) certification.” George is keen to highlight the family culture within the restaurant, meaning that everyone works with collaboratively to find the best solutions, and in turn, delivering the best products. “As a family business, we work together, and this gives us the opportunity to analyse the issues from the beginning. Also, we do meetings on a weekly basis, depending on the restaurant’s needs, as well as how to reach the targets that we set ourselves.”

Citing which attributes are responsible for the success of the firm, George points us towards the staff’s knowledge in the food sector, and how well trained they are, mentioning the certifications obtained by the venue.

Looking ahead, George explains that there looks to be exciting times ahead for the restaurant, including a possible expansion, with the addition of a hotel on top of the restaurant, which will only contribute further to the restaurant’s success.

“Helping us to be successful is our knowledge of the food technology and food safety sectors, as well as our collaboration directly with the producers of agricultural

“Ultimately, future expectations for the firm include planning to build a ten room, luxury boutique hotel, on top of the restaurant, which will give us and our

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clients the benefit of a fantastic sea view. As we own the building we feel we have a great opportunity to utilise the glorious position it is in to the benefit of our valued guests.”

George is keen to highlight the family culture within the restaurant, meaning that everyone works with collaboratively to find the best solutions, and in turn, delivering the best products.


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Best Local Craft Brewery - Hô Chí Minh

Company: East West Brewing Contact: Loc Truong Contact Email: loc.truong@eastwestbrewing.vn Address: 181-185 Lý Tu Trong, Bên Thành, Hô Chí Minh, Vietnam Phone: 0084 913 060 728

Best Local Craft Brewery - Hô Chí Minh East West Brewing offers the very first craft brewery and restaurant concept in Hô Chí Minh city. We profile this innovative firm to learn more. East West Brewing is Hô Chí Minh City’s first American style craft brewery and kitchen concept, serving artisanal handcrafted beer and modern cuisine in a contemporary and exciting setting. Incorporating a modern, industrially designed venue, the aim is to provide a fun, warm, friendly, and approachable atmosphere that is accompanied with upscale customer service and unparalleled craft beer and exceptional foods. As such, the establishment’s state of the art brewery was custom designed by an in-house team and is publicly showcased in the establishment, where customers will be able to see the brewing processes and the fermentation activities from anywhere in the restaurant or taproom. With a population of over 10 million, Hô Chí Minh City is one of South East Asia’s fastest growing cities in conjunction with being Vietnam’s largest and most electrifying city. It brings life and vitality into foreign backpackers, travellers, expats, and all those who settle here. All of this makes it the perfect setting for this lively and atmospheric brewery experience.

The firm’s mission is to artfully craft high quality beer that everyone can enjoy and, therefore foster integrity in everything we do. Authenticity and innovation are the core foundations for the flavors in every handcrafted beer that they brew. Overall, craft beer is East West Brewing’s passion and the company works diligently to achieve its mission and create glorious beers that will stun the sense. In pursuit to delivering quality brew, the team are driven to accomplish this concept by brewing a wide range of styles and experimenting with different ingredients from the East to the West.

A “ uthenticity and innovation are the core foundations for the flavors in every handcrafted beer that they brew.” LUX - Food & Drink Awards 2017 27


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Best Family Restaurant 2017 - Pokolbin

Company: Nanna Kerr’s Kitchen Contact: Jimmy Kerr Contact Email: nan@nannakerrskitchen.com.au Address: 16 Pokolbin Mountains Road, Pokolbin, Hunter Valley, New South Wales, 2320, Australia Phone: 02 4998 7333 Website: https:// nannakerrskitchen.com.au/

Best Family Restaurant 2017 - Pokolbin Nanna Kerr’s is a family friendly, mostly organic, food and wine experience serving wholesome, affordable, and of course homemade deliciousness. Mostly organic and always made with love, Nanna Kerr’s Kitchen entices new customers daily, while luring loyal patrons back time and again. The restaurant, located in the picturesque Pokolbin wine region of the NSW Hunter Valley in Australia, features a menu inspired by Kerr matriarch, Ann ‘Nanna’ Kerr. There’s the ever-changing Pie of the Day made with best seasonal ingredients available at the time, an organic ciabatta burger made with slow cooked BBQ beef brisket and grilled Halloumi, traditional roast dinners with a modern twist and a dessert menu that has diners often ordering second helpings. Owners and operators, Matty and Jimmy Kerr, each spent their childhood enjoying great food much of it natural, unprocessed and organic fare. Where Matty recalls raiding his Pa’s veggie patch for Nan to cook a family feast, Jimmy remembers testing many of the products his father brought home from his job as a buyer at luxe London department store, Marks & Spencer. When they opened the restaurant in 2016, it was only natural they would incorporate this family feel 28 LUX - Food & Drink Awards 2017

and country elegance, but of course bring their own modern twist. They believe that the less human interference, chemicals and processing, the better a food source, product or ingredient will be, and ultimately, the tastier and healthier the meal on your plate is. Seasonal produce that is fresh and organic is top priority. With this in mind, the menu changes frequently and is curated using the finest organic, local ingredients from suppliers in the Hunter Valley region, or as close as possible. Sustainability and traceability are paramount, as is ethical production. All meat and dairy is sourced from producers who treat their animals with respect and love, ensuring they live free-range, cruelty-free lives, as nature intended. To meet the needs of diners, Vegans, Vegetarians, Gluten-free and all other dietary requirements are delightfully catered for, with the team working overtime to ensure that these options are not only delicious for those who have to follow them, but that they’re appealing to everyone.

Looking ahead, future plans are brewing fervently, and customers can look forward to at-home versions of some of their favourite condiments, available in the restaurant’s retail section and online, more restaurant locations cropping up in wine regions around the country and developing the unique ‘paddock or patch to plate’ concept.

“...the less human interference, chemicals and processing, the better a food source, product or ingredient will be, and ultimately, the tastier and healthier the meal...”


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Best Local Craft Brewery - Hô Chí Minh

Company: Veranda Lounge Contact Email: info@verandalounge.co.uk Address: Vinings warehouse, Gloucester Docks, Gloucester, Gloucestershire, GL1 2EG, United Kingdom www.verandalounge.co.uk

Best Fine-Dining Indian Restaurant - Gloucestershire Veranda Lounge is a vibrant and exciting Indian restaurant based in Gloucester, offering a truly gourmet selection of Indian delicacies. We profile this dynamic fine dining eatery to learn more. Veranda Lounge is headed by award winning head chef Mr. Anwar Miah, who is known for putting a contemporary twist on classic dishes. Trained in a variety of different cuisines from French classics, Thai, and Indian cuisine. In his latest venture he has revived the old Indian classics into dishes of contemporary art. Chef Anwar brings over 20 years of culinary experience with, him recently returning from the French Alps, where he had undertaken the role of head chef in one of the most prestigious restaurants in the world. As such, Veranda Lounge welcomes Gloucester residents and tourists who would like to enjoy a wide variety of Indian cuisine inspired dishes, including classics like Karhi, Gosht, Jalfrezi, Masala, Biriyani, something contemporary such as Rogan Josh Burger, Chicken Tikka Panini or even gourmet, such as Lobster Curry or Lamb Shank, all served on historic docks with panoramic views of the canals dating back to AD 96 of Roman Empire times, when a city was known as Colonia Nervia Glevensium. Everyone is welcome at the restaurant, from children, who have their own separate menu, students and NHS workers, who receive a discount, right through to pet

dogs, who are offered a bowl of water and a treat. In the summer the lounge is the ideal space to relax and unwind, and in the winter the establishment becomes a cosy enclave thanks to heaters, balnkets, and the warming curries served. Ultimately, with at least one Indian restaurant being closed every single day in UK, restaurants that serve Indian cuisine must evolve and put extra effort to attract guests from all age groups. It is not a secret that curries are most popular among elder generation and young professionals and teenagers find traditional curries being unhealthy, but thanks to big retailers who advertise low fat curries, therefore Veranda Lounge restaurant is introducing new aspects of its menu to appeal to a wider range of customers, including vegan and low-fat options as well as a and new drinks and desserts menus, a selection of new cocktails alongside live music and theme. All of these new additions will offer the establishment many exciting opportunities.

“...known for putting a contemporary twist on classic dishes.” LUX - Food & Drink Awards 2017 29


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Most Romantic Thai Restaurant – Koh Samui


lux Company: Hemingway’s on the Beach Contact: Tim Foster Contact Email: tim@ hemingwaysonthebeach.com Address: 79/1 Moo 5, Baan Taling-Ngam, Thong Krut, Ko Samui, 84140. Thailand Phone: 0066 61 178 5550 Web Address www. hemingwaysonthebeach.com

Most Romantic Thai Restaurant – Koh Samui

Hemingway’s on the Beach was designed from day one to be ‘the’ romantic beach front dining retreat that holidaymakers visiting Koh Samui are hoping to find. Tim Foster and Chef Jaa tell us more about the venue and explain what makes it so attractive to clients. With views to die for over the azure waters surrounding the Island, Hemingway’s on the Beach has fast become the ‘Islands’ romantic, scenic, dining getaway and prides itself on offering some of the freshest seafood, meats and vegetables you are ever likely to experience. To help ensure Hemingway’s on the Beach is always able to achieve culinary excellence for their guest the venue takes a very personal approach to the way it produces food for its customers with their Chef personally choosing every item that comes into the kitchen. “Here at Hemingway’s Chef Jaa explains she now knows which dishes her customers love to eat and she know exactly where to buy the freshest ingredients to make them. We have spent two years searching out all the individuals around the Island that can provide the best and freshest products available. When we first designed our kitchen we decided that there would be no need to include a freezer because we had decided that if it wasn’t super fresh then we wouldn’t serve it.” What helps Hemingway’s distinguish itself from other restaurants on the island is its warm and unique personal customer service, its tenderly created fresh food by one of the finest natural Chefs Thailand has produced and its romantic beach shack seafront setting. The staff always try to provide a beachcomber romantic experience, perfect for those looking to get away from it all, as Tim alludes to. “What makes us different is in our hearts, we are romantic, and we have a passion for getting things right for our customers. For our guests, this is their big holiday, they have come a long way and they deserve to find ‘that’ special place to eat and Jaa, myself and our small Team try our very best to make it happen for them. “A holiday to Koh Samui is something people have saved up a long time for, and have flown a long way in search of a new memorable experience. We try and reward their commitment to visiting us and Koh Samui by providing a soothing and relaxing experience for them as best we can. When visiting Thailand and the island of Koh Samui, one thing everybody expects as

default is, wonderful fresh food, beautiful ocean views and an island full of beach shacks and romance.” Part of being a successful restaurant is guaranteeing that the highest standards of health and safety are observed at all times. Tim explains how the restaurant is always exceptionally clean, noting that cleanliness is the Hemingway’s speciality. “Cleanliness is a big thing for us at Hemingway’s, as the moment a customer sees a European heading up a Restaurant they automatically expect European standards of cleanliness and hygiene, even if it is a beach shack in the middle of nowhere.” Hemingway’s is a beach shack but with a state of the art stainless steel professional European/American style Kitchen and two newly built white sparkling bathrooms, one with a shower room for guests that want to charter the Hemingway Speedboat to visit the Pink Dolphins or just have fun in the sun. Regarding what the future has in store for Hemingway’s, Tim explains. “Jaa is an exceptional Chef and always wanted her own Restaurant so she could make her ‘special creations’ for ‘special people’. I fell in love with Jaa’s cooking from the first mouthful and every day I am the luckiest man in the World as I get to taste all her new creations. Jaa and I originally planned to have Hemingway’s for three years to experience what it would be like having a restaurant and seeing if we enjoy it, we do so now is time to build second Kitchen for Jaa to run her daily Cooking Classes and a Barbeque and Grill in Hemingway’s Garden for me to have some fun on our days off. We love what we

do and continually strive to do it better- and have some fun at the same time” Providing us with an overview of the food and drink industry within Thailand, Tim comments on the fact that restaurants are become more corporate and losing their Thai character, citing the lack of an innovation as a problem within the sector. “Essentially, I think the biggest problem is that many Restaurants have been established on the Island for a number of years, and continue to do the same thing the same way year after year. In some cases, corporate chains are sending in representatives to employ people to do a job in their corporate restaurant which can often dilute the personal feel and interaction between customer and establishment. Unlike these other restaurants, Jaa and I had the opportunity of being those holidaymakers looking for that special romantic fresh Thai Seafood beach front shack, and couldn’t find it; so, we came back and created it and we are very happy we did.”

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French Restaurant of the Year 2017

Company: Ma Cuisine Address: Kew village, Richmond, TW9 3QB, UK Phone: 020 8332 1923

French Restaurant of the Year 2017 Ma cuisine is a well known French bistro located within Kew garden village and minutes away from the botanical Kew Gardens. We profile the venue as we look to find out more about what makes the restaurant attractive to clients. Based near Kew Gardens, and boasting many awards for its cooking, Ma Cuisine is highly regarded in the surrounding area for serving classic French cuisine with a modern twist. What was once a wet fish shop has been transformed into gourmand bourgeoisie corner of Kew village. Lucky locals who enjoy nostalgia cooking. Typical dishes at the restaurant include French onion soup, Pot au Feu, Black Pudding en croute and many more delicious dishes all exquisitely prepared by the team at Ma Cuisine. Alongside these typical offerings are the more elaborate meals, including pan-fried halibut with lobster thermidor croquettes which was one of the best fish dishes I have tasted, and scallops and truffles was memorable. We relaxed while listening to Edith Piaf, very soon, inevitably, regretting nothing. The range of meals and the quality with which they are produced are all key aspects of what makes this a delightful restaurant. Ma Cuisine has done everything possible to press all our brasserie buttons. There are are waiters dressed in black carrying giant, Coq au vin casserole and mixing steak tartare at your table side. Alongside its delicious

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food, Ma Cuisine also provides customers with a divine wine list, mainly consisting of French regional wines, with some interesting offers, all of which appear to be enticing to guests. There are some really excellent sections of Gamays and reasonably priced Malbec’s on offer which further cement the quality of service at Ma Cuisine. Ultimately, Ma Cuisine is more than just a Bistro. Sunday Lunch is a special treat at the restaurant which has proven to be popular with guests, as the chef and the team offer up a thick cut of roast prime rib, as well as horse radish Chantilly, and many other options which customers can choose from. Open seven days a week and offering a lunch menu for a reasonable price, the food is served from 12pm until 5pm, and these times see a constant influx of customers arriving into the restaurant. With regards to dinner, the tea, at Ma Cuisine offer an A la Carte, with daily specials. All of these are key factors in making the restaurant the go to place for customers in the Richmond area.

“With regards to dinner, the tea, at Ma Cuisine offer an A la Carte, with daily specials. All of these are key factors in making the restaurant the go to place for customers in the Richmond area.”


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Best Gastro Pub 2017 – Stratford-on-Avon District

Company: The Duck on the Pond Contact Email: info@ duckonthepondlongitchington. co.uk Address: The Green, Long Itchington, Warwickshire, CV47 9QJ, UK Phone: 01926 811333 Website: www. duckonthepondlongitchington. co.uk

Best Gastro Pub 2017 – Stratford-on-Avon District The Duck on the Pond is a fantastic new food destination experience. We spoke to Mel Parnell as we look to find out what makes the pub and restaurant so attractive to customers. After taking over the Duck on the Pond in 2016, the team invested heavily in the décor and worked hard to create a food and drink offer that would share her passion for high quality food, made with the finest local ingredients, with other foodies in the area. Mel explains that the reaction from a variety of customers has been a very rewarding experience. “Thankfully, the reaction from customers new and old has been really positive and many have said they have appreciated the hard work we have all put in, not only with the décor and garden improvements but also with the menu which everyone agrees adds something really special to the dining options in the area.” Commenting on the experience of the management team, Mel clearly believes this is a vital aspect of the pub’s success, noting how their passion seeps through and covers all areas of the team at the pub. “Crucial to our success is our management team, Sean and Melissa, have worked in hospitality all their lives and have an infectious passion in everything they do, which runs through the food and drink we serve to the warm and welcoming atmosphere that greets anyone visiting us at the Duck on the Pond.”

Constantly looking to improve its services, the Mel states that the menu is always being developed by the management team, with a distinctive touch that it is adapted to the respective season of weather. Staff are always being trained and learning new things, another vital aspect in the success of the Duck on the Pond. “In addition to our customer service, we continually offer on the job training from our front of house management team. All staff are shown the new items on the menu highlighting the features of the meal any allergens to be aware off and recommended wine choice. All of our junior members of staff in the kitchen are offered the opportunity for day release training.” Looking forward, The Duck on the Pond has recently invested in a garden with landscaping, lighting and new furniture. There appears to be a bright future ahead for the Duck on the Pond as it looks to build on its continuous success, with an eye on opening a new pub in 2018.

A “ ll staff are shown the new items on the menu highlighting the features of the meal any allergens to be aware off and recommended wine choice. All of our junior members of staff in the kitchen are offered the opportunity for day release training.” LUX - Food & Drink Awards 2017 33


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Company: AMARCORD snc Contact: Simone Massenza Contact Email: info@amarcordpiadineria.it Address: Ugoni 16a, 25126 Brescia (BS), Italy Phone: 0039 030 42216 Website: www.amarcordpiadineria.it

Deli of the Year 2017 - Brescia

THE TASTE TO BE HAND-CRAFTED

Deli of the Year 2017 - Brescia Amarcord Artisan Piadineria is a deli which specialises in the production of Piadas, a traditional Italian unleavened flatbread. We profile the firm and speak to Simone Massenza, who gives us an insight into the offerings that the restaurant produces. Amarcord is a special deli, mainly thanks to the food it produces, notably an Italian flatbread called Piadas, handmade by the team at Amarcord. The process in which the flatbread is made is what makes the restaurant unique, as a huge amount of research goes into sourcing the best produce to make the Piadas. Each flatbread is selected by an experienced team and is not served unless everyone is happy. After more than twenty years in the business, the handcrafted nature of the food still represents the heart and added value of its production. Based on the movie produced by Federico Fellini, Amarcord was opened in 1996 by Italian pasta makers the Massenza brothers, the company is still family owned, under the watchful eye of Simone Massenza, who in her own right is a professional food taster, international food judge and food journalist. Simon boasts a wealth of experience, having done her own research and the company now produces its own version of the Piada. In this sense, the company represents the movie in its excellence, a masterpiece of its own, and provides a sense of Italian culture throughout the company.

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Referring to the handmade flatbread, it is hand kneaded with only selected Italian raw materials. The Piada is tasty and delicious, and throughout the years that the process has been going, has reached the highest possible international standards of Italian excellence. The Amarcord Piada represents the transformation of a traditional local dish within a gourmet product. Within the food and drink industry, the trends are always changing and customer tastes differ from person to person. Although the Piada is based on tradition, at the same time it perfectly responds to the current market trends that are developing constantly. The philosophy within the company is to use only Italian ingredients and raw materials that normally are not found in similar productions, but only in top quality restaurants. Lastly, Amarcord is able to create its produce using its unique procedure with regard to the testing of the flavour balance in its flatbread, causing mouth sensations and other systems that are normally found in top traditional restaurants.

“...the trends are always changing and customer tastes differ from person to person. Although the Piada is based on tradition, at the same time it perfectly responds to the current market trends that are developing constantly.�


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Café of the Year 2017 - Brisbane

Company: Macondo Café Contact: Miriam & Jaime Contact Email: order@macondo.com.au Address: 555 Tarragindi Rd, Salisbury, Brisbane, Queensland, 4107, Australia Phone: +61 (07) 3255 6795 Website: www.facebook.com/ macondopassion

Café of the Year 2017 - Brisbane Macondo Café is a Colombian restaurant in a semi-industrial zone, based 7km from Brisbane, Australia. We spoke to Miriam and Jaime as we look to find out more about the company and what makes it attractive to clients. Macondo Café is a new, small restaurant in an industrial zone of a city which hosts thousands of food outlets including cafes, restaurants, bars and food trucks. Miriam and Jaime describe the experience that their customers have when they visit the café. “When visiting Macondo Café, we believe we take our guests on a journey from the jungles of the Amazonas, to the snow-topped Andes, down into the Cafetero coffee valleys, then snaking down the wide fertile Magdalena River into the jewelled seas of the Caribe. We believe our 80+ dishes, multiple coffee options using an 85-score single-origin Colombian, and our many mocktail juices using Colombian and locally sourced fruits, provide our guests with a wide variety of meat, gluten-free, vegetarian and vegan options from the glorious range of regional Colombian cuisines. “The food industry is thriving in Australia currently, with a variety of local, regional and global cuisines. Australians are generally great food experimenters so that they are very open to different flavours. This is a good time for the Brisbane market to experience genuine Colombian cuisine.”

Within the wider food and drink market, the team tell us what developments they foresee and how the café plans to adapt around this. Miriam and Jaime believe that the future for food and drink is in the mobile business and so their plans are shaped towards this, as well as providing an entertaining experience. “Regarding what is ahead for Macondo Café, Macondo has built a food truck for mobile cuisine in Brisbane and further afield. Our near future plans include a dance hall next to the restaurant for lovers of salsa and meringue dancing, and a mobile kitchen with singleexperience fine dining for couples. We are committed to the creation of authentic Colombian cuisine. Our Spanish-speaking staff serve with genuine warmth and grace, in relaxed garden and indoor settings which flaunt the vibrancy of Colombian arts and culture. We are new to the scene but we feel passionate about our work, and proud of the customers’ enthusiastic response. Our by-line genuinely expresses how we feel – Taste the Passion!”

“We are committed to the creation of authentic Colombian cuisine. Our Spanish-speaking staff serve with genuine warmth and grace, in relaxed garden and indoor settings which flaunt the vibrancy of Colombian arts and culture.” LUX - Food & Drink Awards 2017 35


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Best Gluten Free Restaurant 2017 - UK


lux Company: Radley’s Bistro & Bar Contact: Murray Bridgmount Contact Email: info@radleysbistro.com Address: 9 George Street, Hastings, East Sussex, TN34 3EG, UK Phone: 01424 436 297 Website: www.radleysbistro.com

Best Gluten Free Restaurant 2017 - UK

Radley’s is a Bistro Bar run by a husband and wife team, Murray and Briony Bridgmount. We spoke to Murray as we examine the wonderful setting and find out what makes it attractive to clients. Named after their English Springer Spaniel, Radley, the team of Murray and Briony who run Radley’s, have only recently come into the food and drink industry, as both were previously involved in financial services. Providing good food for all customers is the overall mission of Murray and Briony, with the added aspect of creating delicious food for those whose allergies preclude them from eating the same variety of meals that is available to other diners. It was noticed that mistakes may occur when providing gluten and gluten free from the same kitchen, and so the team at Radley’s decided to make all food gluten free. Since making the decision to make all food gluten free, Murray and Briony have received lots of positive feedback when new customers find out that the whole menu is gluten free, and this is one of the most rewarding aspects of their work. Satisfied customers are crucial to the success of the company. Within the food and drink industry, the gluten free market is increasing in volume, particularly from where it was from two years ago and Radley’s has taken advantage of this. The restaurant has managed to source gluten free rolls for hamburgers, which stand up well in comparison to normal bread products, and both Murray and Briony produce their own sweet and savoury gluten free pastry. For Murray and Briony, it has taken a lot of commitment and sheer hard work to achieve their place in the food industry. There have been many problems and difficulties along the way, but the can-do attitude they have displayed has pulled them through to the point where customers from London and beyond will make the journey to Hastings, simply to partake of the allergy free experience provide by Radley’s. Often, these customers have found Radley’s by chance but have returned regularly, as they enjoy the constantly changing menu which is regularly updated to take account of foods in season. In order to succeed in this market, Murray and Briony feel that the food on offer must be of a consistently high standard, prepared, cooked and served with passion. The business has become a vocation rather than a career choice. They believe that it is this total commitment to their customers’ needs is the key not only to their success

to date but their future development and why they stand out from the rest. Regarding how the staff provide the best service possible, the team believe that no matter how tasty the food, it has to be produced in a spotless environment, and Radley’s continues to work towards ever higher standards in food and kitchen hygiene. Only the highest quality ingredients are used, including meat from local butchers and game supplied by Murray and Briony themselves. Essentially, Murray and Briony believe that getting the best performance from their staff comes from their own willingness to work hard and their lead from the front attitude to management. Hygiene is an important part of everyone’s routine and there is no room for anyone that does not match their rigorous standards. Additionally, a willingness to interact with the customers is a prerequisite and here again the staff take their lead from the owners.

When Murray and Briony first started in the food industry, it was in a small tea/coffee shop along the coast. It was while they were here that they realised the enormous potential of servicing the needs of customers unable to enjoy normal foods due to allergies. They worked hard and learned many lessons along the way. Adapting ordinary recipes to gluten free has set many challenges but they have persevered until they have triumphed. As they have always adhered to only the very highest standards of hygiene in food preparation and service, any improvements in or changes to health and safety requirements have caused no major headaches, they believe that they were always ahead of the game anyway. Ultimately, having arrived in the food industry almost by accident, both Murray and Briony are enjoying the experience and the challenges they have encountered enormously. It has been hard going at times but with their level of dedication and adaptability they are here for the duration. There looks to be a bright and positive future ahead for Radley’s Bistro & Bar.

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Best Coffee House & Restaurant - Cumbria

Company: Thyme Out Grange Contact: Sara McClure Contact Email: info@ thymeoutgrange.com Address: Grange-Over-Sands, Cumbria, LA11 6DP, UK Phone: 01539 534 079 Website: www.thymeoutgrange.com

Best Coffee House & Restaurant - Cumbria Thyme Out is a relaxed coffee house and restaurant based in Grange-over-Sands. We invited Founder Sara McClure to tell us more. Established in 2014, Thyme Out a family run business with Sara at the helm. Sara trained as a chef and after teaching for 10 years in catering decided she wanted her own coffee house and restaurant, with her step dad Roger’s financial backing she fulfilled a lifelong dream and opened Thyme Out. Inspired by food from around the world and an expertise in patisserie Thyme Out brings locally sourced ingredients to life from handmade burgers, pizzas, pasta dishes and good old-fashioned English classics there is something for everyone on the menu. Catering to locals and tourists, the establishment is open 7 days a week 10-4 and as an evening restaurant on a Friday and Saturday night offering theme evenings and live music. Sara discusses the restaurant in more detail and outlines how it sets itself apart from other eateries in the area. “At Thyme Out, we offer customers a welcoming and engaging environment with walls adorned with artwork from local artists, seasonal window displays and plenty of space to relax and enjoy the delights of Thyme Out. Our in house Baker produces cakes a plenty on a daily basis including a wide range of gluten free offerings

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which complement our extensive range of gluten free options on the main restaurant menu. “One of Thyme Out’s hidden strengths are our staff who are like family and work with us to ensure we offer an experience that ensure our customers return time and time again. We train everyone on every aspect of the business this helps during busy periods as everyone works as a team to ensure a seamless service is provided at all times.” Looking ahead, Thyme Out will be looking to continue to provide clients with the highest possible standards of food and hospitality, building on its current success.

“We train everyone on every aspect of the business this helps during busy periods as everyone works as a team...”


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Best Restaurant & Bar 2017 - Adelaide

Company: Gondola Gondola Contact: Annie Tran Contact Email: annie@gondolagondola.com.au Address: #1 Peel St. Adelaide, SA 5000, Australia Phone: 0061 08 8123 3077 Website: www.gondolagondola.com.au

Best Restaurant & Bar 2017 - Adelaide Gondola Gondola (GG) is family based small restaurant and bar with a contemporary twist on traditional South East Asian cuisine. We invited Annie Tran to tell us more about the venue and its typical range of clients. GG caters to a broad audience and aims to deliver a unique dining experience. Annie tells us about how the restaurant and staff are able to offer such a great service, and maintain the high standards that the team sets itself, both wits food service and health and safety procedures. “Crucially, here at GG, we have strict quality control on our ingredients for food and drinks. Our produce is sourced from our family farm in South Australia, and we have created a farm-to-plate dining style for all our customers. Moreover, the restaurant promotes local wines and has therefore built a strong relationship with all our amazing local wine makers. “Regularly, the restaurant has health inspections, and we also ensure that we clean the entire restaurant before finishing off a day, we provide staff trainings to ensure all our staff understand and stick to our restaurant policies and procedures in terms of keeping the place nice and clean.” An ever evolving industry, the food and drink sector can become more demanding every day, and it is important that Annie and the team ensure GG stands

out amongst other Asian cuisines in the surrounding areas. The service provided by the staff is a key aspect of what makes the restaurant successful, as it looks to exceed customer expectations. “Fundamentally, the key to standing out in this competitive industry is consistency. I’ve seen many businesses in this industry fail because of inconsistent food and customer service. “Additionally, the customers always expect more, that’s why we communicate with everyone prior to taking their orders to make sure we cater to their individual needs. We have regular inspectors coming in to check on the restaurant making sure all health and safety standards are met.” Looking ahead, Annie comments on what the future holds for GG, citing participation in local events as a possible measure, and integrating the restaurant further into the local community. “Moving forward, we will continue to bring our customers the best we have, making sure we provide consistent dining experiences to everyone. In the

near future, we would love to be able to participate in some local events and festivals, getting more brand awareness for GG.”

“...we provide staff trainings to ensure all our staff understand and stick to our restaurant policies and procedures in terms of keeping the place nice and clean.” LUX - Food & Drink Awards 2017 39


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Farm Restaurant of the Year & Culinary Excellence Award for Seasonal Cuisine - Ohio

Company: Malabar Farm Restaurant Contact: Kim Contact Email: kim@ malabarfarmrestaurant.com Address: 3645 Pleasant Valley Road, Lucas, Ohio, 44843, USA Phone: 001 419938 5205 Website: http:// malabarfarmrestaurant.com/

Farm Restaurant of the Year & Culinary Excellence Award for Seasonal Cuisine - Ohio Malabar Farm Restaurant is a stunning establishment offering a range of locally sourced dishes for lunch and dinner. We profiled the establishment to learn more and explore the philosophy that has led it to the success it enjoys today. Malabar Farm Restaurant is a 110-seat restaurant located on Malabar Farm State Park. The restaurant is in a house, built in 1820 by the Schrack family using bricks formed on site. In 1941 the Schrack house became part of Malabar Farm, home to the Pulitzer Prize winning author, farmer and conservationist Louis Bromfield. Since 1976 Malabar Farm has been a State Park, charged with reflecting the agricultural traditions of Ohio and preserving Louis Bromfield’s heritage and philosophies. Tourist visit often, whether they come for the history of Malabar Farm, to follow the Shawshank Redemption filming spots, or to stay at one the many parks around. Malabar Farm started out serving predominantly local customers and are proud of the expanded customer base we have had the past ten years. In 2011, when the current owner took over, the establishment became very focused on local foods, products and services. As such, the team started with one local meat supplier and one local vegetable supplier. In 2016, Malabar Farm opened the market stand at the historical natural spring located beside

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the restaurant. Through its continued growth the farm has not only been able to support more local farmers but employ around 25 people year-round. To ensure excellence for customers, kitchen staff and managers are offered Serve Safe to help ensure the best quality. Ultimately, Malabar Farm Restaurant’s success is built on the belief that good food is simple food. As such, the establishment do their best to source the freshest local ingredients and prepare them simply, focusing only on flavour, and moving forward this approach will remain the core focus as the restaurant seeks to continue offering fresh, delicious food that will bring diners back again and again.

“Ultimately, Malabar Farm Restaurant’s success is built on the belief that good food is simple food. As such, the establishment do their best to source the freshest local ingredients and prepare them simply, focusing only on flavour...”


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Best Multi-Cuisine Restaurant - South West

Company: Lot 80 Contact: Steve Contact Email: info@lot80.com.au Address: 54 Sheens Road, Eagle Bay, WA 6281, Australia Phone: 0455 566 607 Website: www.lot80.com.au

Best Multi-Cuisine Restaurant - South West Lot 80 boasts kitchens uses a mix of traditional and modern techniques to deliver an exciting and varied food menu to please everybody’s taste buds and dietary requirements. Here we provide a fascinating insight into the eatery and how it works to ensure that every diner goes home happy and satisfied. Situated in Perth’s South West, Lot 80 is housed in a historically stone and timber building built by local farmers and craftsmen. Lot 80 features Italian, French, Spanish and Australian inspired tasting and shared menus that celebrate the seasonal bounty of Southwestern Australia. Lot 80 was the dream of Ron Wise and Steve Chapman, who have a dream of doing something different from the norm and creating a venue that is truly unique. Set amongst natural Australian bush, the LeeuwinNaturaliste National Park, Lot 80 backs onto the pristine beaches of Eagle Bay and features large outdoor decking and grassed areas overlooking large dams, thus creating a venue with great diversity and functionality. The Lot 80 kitchen reinterprets the bounty of the surrounding areas, exploring an ingredient-driven cuisine from the South West, the establishment’s passionate chef creates menus throughout the day, responding to what local purveyors are supplying the kitchen at any given moment.

Ensuring excellence for guests, Lot 80 has a mantra: ‘customers first’, and as such the dedicated team aim to accommodate everyone, and by having a clear direction, a consistent focus the venue delivers a fast, friendly and knowledgeable service. This skilled, professional team always aim to give that memorable experience to travelers and build a lasting relationship with the regulars by making them feel that they are part of the family. Additionally, the front of house staff is provided with hand held and state of the art POS technology to maximize interaction with customers, communication with the kitchen and increase the speed as well as the overall quality of the service. To draw a crowd, Lot 80 uses social media, Facebook, Instagram, mailing lists and an informative website to provide electronic communication to its valued customers. Ultimately, however, the very best form of marketing we use is word of mouth and, thanks to the fact that it stocks largest selection of Gin in the South West, the words gets out really fast that Lot 80 is the perfect place for a relaxed and indulgent dining experience.

“...the front of house staff is provided with hand held and state of the art POS technology to maximize interaction with customers, communication with the kitchen and increase the speed as well as the overall quality...” LUX - Food & Drink Awards 2017 41


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Best Italian Restaurant 2017 - Horsham

Company: Carmela Contact: Francesco Raciti Contact Email: carmelas@chef.net Address: 3 Denne Rd, Horsham, RH12 1JE, UK Phone: 01403 275375 Website: www.carmelas.co.uk

Best Italian Restaurant 2017 - Horsham Carmela is an independent restaurant offering something different from the everyday chains. Francesco Raciti tells us more about the food on offer at the restaurant and what makes it unique. An inimitable restaurant based in Horsham, all of Carmela’s menus, interior design, marketing and concepts are created and delivered by the teams themselves, and the staff prepare their food with passion and provide an impeccable service. Francesco describes the type of guests that the restaurant usually entertains. “There are a variety of customers which enter our establishment, and guests range from families, businesses, couples, large parties for special occasions and wine and food enthusiasts. Constantly adapting to demand, our menus are updated twice a year to ensure that we make the most of the best local and seasonal produce available.” Francesco alludes to how the restaurant guarantees wonderful food and drink. A lot of investigation goes into the produce, with the owner of the restaurant conducting his own research and talking to suppliers, ensuring only the best produce is available to the restaurant. “Once the research and development is complete, intensive training is undertaken to ensure that all Kitchen staff understand the elements and creation

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of all our dishes. The kitchen staff also work with the waiting staff and Managers to give them a good knowledge of the ingredients of the dishes and where the food comes from.” Throughout the seven years the restaurant has been in business, there has been some significant changes in the industry, as Francesco acknowledges. He discusses how the restaurant stays on top of the changes within the ever evolving food and drink industry. “Interestingly, peaks and troughs in individual wealth have led us to develop some set evening specials like Steak night and pizza night. We have also diversified what we can offer, introducing off site catering and bespoke cake design for weddings. “Keeping on top of current trends in the market is imperative to longevity and we take time to visit other restaurants to compare and give us inspiration to stay ahead of the game. We have performed two or three rebranding’s during the last seven years in order to refresh our image and make sure that we stay current.” Ultimately, Carmela possesses a large portfolio of regular customers that ensure a consistent trade, but

it is always important to look to improve, as Francesco proudly concludes. “As a business, we continue to seek new opportunities and find ways to increase turnover on a year by year basis. We have a large portfolio of regular customers that ensure a consistent trade, however, it is important to continually search for ways to entice the first-time customer. Social media plays a large part in that and we also work with a Screen Social Company where we sponsor and advertise on screens in other businesses at key focal points like tills and windows.”

“Constantly adapting to demand, our menus are updated twice a year to ensure that we make the most of the best local and seasonal produce available.”


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Best Romanian Restaurant 2017 - Ilford

Company: La Mama Acasa Contact: Alexandru Tufan Contact Email: alex@letbritain.co.uk Address: 81 Cranbrook Road, Ilford, IG1 4PG, UK Phone: 07576 119 332 Website: www.lamamaacasa.co.uk

Best Romanian Restaurant 2017 - Ilford La Mama Acasa is an Eastern European restaurant specialising in seafood, tradition Romanian cooking alongside familiar favourites such as pizza, pasta, and grill. We profile the establishment to find out more. La Mama Acasa allows diners to embrace the relaxed lifestyle of Romanian living, whilst savouring some of the most intense and authentic flavours in their delicious dishes. The dishes are cooked using traditional cooking methods, and the expert chefs at La Mama Acasa add a touch of modern finesse, to give those in Ilford a flavoursome taste of the real Romania. The chefs use only the finest ingredients at our celebrated restaurant, from tender meat and fresh vegetables to delicate herbs and spices. Both traditional styles of cooking and modern finesse are celebrated at La Mama Acasa allowing the restaurant to offer classic dishes to satisfy and innovative meals to delight. The authentic flavours of the establishment’s dishes have been achieved through the use of the finest ingredients and cooking techniques. The décor and ambience in the restaurant have been carefully crafted to provide a first-class dining experience. Classic lines and furniture combine with traditional embellishments and authentic Romanian patterns to create an atmosphere of true luxury in-keeping with the theme of the menu. La Mama

Acasa has cultivated an aura of true class, comfort and excellence in our restaurant. For those who want to dine or entertain in the comfort of their own home, the establishment also provide a takeaway service across the Ilford area. Ultimately, La Mama Acasa offers a unique dining experience with flavourful dishes, exceptional hospitality and stunning décor, making it a must-visit destination for anyone seeking an authentic Eastern European experience.

“La Mama Acasa offers a unique dining experience with flavourful dishes, exceptional hospitality and stunning décor, making it a mustvisit destination for anyone seeking an authentic Eastern European experience.” LUX - Food & Drink Awards 2017 43


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Best Indian Restaurant 2017 - York

Company: Bombay Spice Contact Email: info@bombayspiceyork.co.uk Address: 58 Goodramgate, York, YO1 7LF, UK Phone: 01904 613 300 Website: www.bombayspiceyork.co.uk

Best Indian Restaurant 2017 - York Bombay Spice is an award winning Indian and Bangladeshi restaurant based in York. We profile the establishment to find out more and explore how it came to achieve the success it enjoys today. Bombay Spice Acclaimed Award winning Indian and Bangladeshi Restaurant near to York Minister, serving a wide variety of mouth-watering dishes, in a relaxed stylish setting. The restaurant offers a contemporary designed interior which is warm, stylish and inviting, with friendly and helpful staff and an excellent menu with a wide variety of Indian and Bangladeshi dishes, as well as a selection of special duck and fish dishes. New dishes are regularly added to the menu as staff are constantly seeking perfection. Staff are key to the establishment’s success, as many of them are family members, giving the restaurant a homey feel and ensuring that every visitor receives only the highest standard of service. Health and safety are taken very seriously, and all staff are trained to the highest possible standards, so that clients receive only the very best dishes when they order from Bombay Spice. Fundamentally, a good team is vital to any restaurant, and despite the challenges of finding and retaining skilled, committed employees in this fast paced and competitive market, Bombay Spice has risen to the challenge and created a great team capable of offering

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clients the best hospitality and a selection of delicious meals to satisfy any tastes. Looking ahead, Bombay Spice is keen to capitalise on its current success and open a second venue in Leeds city centre to cater to an even wider range of customers and provide them with the same excellent quality dishes and brilliant hospitality that it has become renowned for.

“ Bombay Spice is keen to capitalise on its current success and open a second venue in Leeds city centre to cater to an even wider range of customers.”


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Gelateria of the Year 2017 - Mykonos

Company: Casa Dolce Contact: Nick Koukiasas Contact Email: info@casadolce.gr Address: Mykonos, Argyraina, 846 00, Greece Phone: 0030 228 9110714

Gelateria of the Year 2017 - Mykonos Casa Dolce provides authentic Italian ice cream and desserts in Mykonos. We profile the firm to find out more and examine the secrets behind its success. Established in 2010, Casa Dolce began life specialising in producing authentic, Italian style gelato, however by the end of that year the establishment had expanded to provide a vast array of desserts, special occasion cakes and treats. These include wedding cakes, birthday cakes, French pastry cakes, tarts and traditional Greek products such as baklava, all of which are made fresh daily. The experience of enjoying authentic Italian ice cream begins with entrance to Casa Dolce, which prides itself on providing stunning gelato that is made in the authentic Italian style with recipes coming from Italy. The store offers 32 ice cream flavors on an alternate basis to meet every taste, and after ordering staff freshly scoop the ice cream, which can be served alongside any dessert or cake. These ice creams, sorbets and sweets are produced fresh every day and in small quantities in a modern workshop with the firm’s primary focus on cleanliness and the right conditions to produce the best and most quality for every client. Additionally, the equipment of Casa Docle’s laboratory meets all the requirements of Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP). As

such, customers can rest assured that they will receive only the very best products, created with passion. Alongside this, Casa Dolce uses premium quality raw materials imported from Italy specifically for its gelato, so that customers can be assured of absolute quality. This is combined with fresh Greek milk both in the production of ice cream and confectionery, and the establishment also only use fresh fruit and only when it is in their season and not frozen or canned. Overall, it is this commitment to excellence and quality is what makes Casa Dolce the ideal destination for anyone seeking truly delicious Italian style gelato whilst they drink in the natural splendour of Mykonos.

“The experience of enjoying authentic Italian ice cream begins with entrance to Casa Dolce, which prides itself on providing stunning gelato that is made in the authentic Italian style with recipes coming from Italy.”

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Best Wine Bar & Restaurant - Maricopa County & Culinary Excellence Award for French Cuisine


lux Company: Cuisine & Wine Bistro Contact: Mairead Buschtetz Contact Email: info@ cuisineandwinebistro.com Address:1422 Warner Rd, Gilbert, Arizona, 85233, USA Phone: 001 480 497 1422 Website: www.cuisineandwinebistro.com

Best Wine Bar & Restaurant - Maricopa County & Culinary Excellence Award for French Cuisine

Cuisine & Wine Bistro is a family owned and operated French restaurant business with two locations in the Phoenix metropolitan area in Arizona. We invited Mairead Buschtetz to tell us more about the origins of the restaurant and its ongoing success. In 2013, Mairead and her family moved to Arizona from France. The family found an excellent restaurant location in Gilbert and launched Cuisine and Wine Bistro Gilbert, in March 2015. Mairead’s husband, Fabrice, who trained extensively throughout France, serves as Executive Chef for both locations, overseeing recipes and menus. Mairead, a native of Ireland, has worked with her husband since they met in Paris almost 30 years ago. She handles day to day operations. Their three adult children, Steven, Killian and Laura serve as Chef, Sommelier, and Waitress, respectively. Daughter-in-law Clementine also is part of the family team, creating and running the websites. Mairead talks about the close-knit nature of the family running the restaurant. “Bringing a family culture to the restaurant, we are blessed to be able to work on a daily basis with our children. We brought our passion for food and good wine with us to the United States. Fabrice is a thirdgeneration restaurant owner and it looks like that our children are establishing the fourth generation.” Providing us with an overview of the sector within the food and drink industry at present, Mairead tells us what it is like being a French restaurant being based in Phoenix, explaining how this enables them to differentiate themselves from other restaurants and make them an attractive proposition for guests. “Within Phoenix, there are only a few French restaurants, and we differentiate ourselves by offering a very traditional European dining experience with traditional and authentic French cuisine. Our goal is not to turn tables quickly, but to ensure that every course of the meal, and every moment of the dinner, tells our guests how important they are and how much care we take with our menu and food preparations.”

as though they have joined our family for a meal. We are very different from our competitors because we are such a small structure, with very few employees. We want to keep the service personal. We want our customers to know their server’s name and vice versa.” Furthermore, when working with food and drink, it is vital that all health and safety standards are met and observed at all times. The restaurant abides by the highest standards in cleanliness and respect for the food preparation process, with Mairead and Fabrice providing extensive training to their staff, and encourage them to share and show love and respect for fine food, and the care in which it must be prepared. Going into more detail about the staff that work at the restaurant, Mairead explains how almost everything the restaurant produces is homemade, and how herself and Fabrice ensure that they offer the best service and hire the best people. “At the restaurant, we make almost everything in house. Fabrice spends hours slow cooking the bases for his sauces. He is an excellent saucier. We have five cooks for two restaurants and make most of our food by hand. We use the least amount of technology possible. We try and hire people who are passionate about food. We can teach people how to serve customers but we cannot instil a love of food in someone, who is indifferent. We do not turn-over tables. For us, people who stay a few hours discovering and digesting our food, are people who are living the culinary experience.”

Following on from discussing the restaurant’s goal, Mairead goes on to explain how the restaurant always aims to achieve excellence, and ensure that only the best food and beverages are served.

Overall, looking to capitalise on the increasing success of the restaurant, Mairead predicts what the future holds for Cuisine & Wine Bistro, and signs off by explaining how the team are looking to further develop some of its food section for new ventures, whilst continuing to provide quality food and quality service to customers.

“Essentially, our customers are very appreciative of the fact that we are a whole family, looking after them from start to finish. Our goal is for them to leave, feeling

“Moving forward, we would love to someday expand our business. We are developing our Quiche selection and are hoping to propose them to fine food

distributors. For now, we will continue to concentrate on providing authentic and traditional French food to our guests.”

“Bringing a family culture to the restaurant, we are blessed to be able to work on a daily basis with our children. We brought our passion for food and good wine with us to the United States.” LUX - Food & Drink Awards 2017 47


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Best Italian Restaurant 2017 - Greater Manchester

Company: Ristorante Vesuvio Ltd Contact: Guiseppe Lombardo Contact Email: enquiries@ vesuvio-restaurant.co.uk Address: 9a - 14a Standfield Centre, Simpson Road, Worsley, M28 1FB, UK Phone: 0161 790 4070 Website: www.vesuvio-restaurant.co.uk

Best Italian Restaurant 2017 - Greater Manchester Ristorante Vesuvio is a glorious Italian eatery located in Worsley, Manchester. We profuile the establishment to find out more about the authentic menu, exceptional hospitality and stunning surroundings that it offers every guest. Giuseppe Lombardo and Nicola Vanacore, the ChefDirectors at Vesuvio, come from a fine tradition of Italian cuisine. Both their fathers were chefs in Naples so both have grown up with the very best of Neapolitan food. Having trained as chefs themselves, and with a passion for Italian cooking, it was, therefore, no surprise that they opened Ristorante Vesuvio as their first business venture in 2013. The goal of Ristorante Vesuvio is to deliver authentic Italian dishes from the Campania region. Customers can choose from the modern vibrant sharing platter to more traditional Italian fare. The restaurant has built a great reputation for ‘carne’ options using ingredients like the most succulent prime beef in the Filletto Rossini (The Real One) and Mature Chargrilled Rib-Eye Steak served with ‘Chef’s Surprise’. The daily Specials Board comprises market fresh ingredients with an emphasis on the freshest available seafood of the day. Giuseppe and Nicola personally choose only the finest of ingredients sourced from reputable Italian suppliers.

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They aim to appeal to a broad range of clientele from regulars who leave in the neighbourhood of the restaurant to catering for celebrations and ‘foodies’ for whom Vesuvio is a destination restaurant. They offer a comfortable and friendly atmosphere to enjoy a memorable dining experience. As customers are increasingly turning to social media and review websites before selecting a restaurant, it is vital that each guest is given the warmest of welcomes and has a truly exceptional experience every time they visit Vesuvio, which is the staff’s constant focus. Over recent years, demand for a greater variety of vegetarian and vegan options have emerged, however the versatility of Vesuvio’s chefs means that they can adapt and offer a broad menu of stunning meals to suit any palate. Thanks to this varied menu and the commitment of the establishment’s staff, Ristorante Vesuvio has flourished since inception, and as such, moving forward, the aim is to eventually open a new restaurant to provide the same level of excellence to an even wider range of diners. Simple, authentic and ultimately tasty food is

always going to appeal, therefore the restaurant looks set to enjoy a bright and opportunity laden future.

“...demand for a greater variety of vegetarian and vegan options have emerged, however the versatility of Vesuvio’s chefs means that they can adapt and offer a broad menu of stunning meals to suit any palate.”


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Wine Bar of the Year 2017 & LUX Excellence Award for Cheese Tasting Sessions - Athens

Company: Cinque Wine & Deli Bar Contact: Mrs Evagelia Tseliou Contact Email: info@cinque.gr Address: Agatharchou 15, 10554, Psiri Athens, Greece Phone: 0030 2155017853 Web Address: www.cinque.gr

Wine Bar of the Year 2017 & LUX Excellence Award for Cheese Tasting Sessions - Athens The Cinque Wine & Deli Bar is located in the picturesque neighbourhood of Psyri and is a tasteful entertainment venue for wine lovers to the historic centre of Athens. We profile the establishment to find out more about how it has come to win these prestigious awards. Settled in a quiet street, as a “hidden gem” many of the people who hold a map or cell phone look through the narrow streets to find Cinque. With such a small space, careful in every detail, the bar has managed over the past year to enter the hearts of its visitors, offering the very highest standards of hospitality and service. The decoration of Cinque is based on elements purely associated with wine such as old barrels where the manufacturing process was made, wine corks to decorate the seats or the door, paintings of the aromatic circles of wine. The atmosphere plays a key role, since it is the canvas on which all the experiences gained by the visitors are captured inside Cinque. The walls are painted with the color of the xinomavro grape variety and pictures depicting the vineyards from all over the Greek terroir. A display in a prominent position in the background, reproduces the wine list and information on wineries and their labels, while smaller portable screens are available to visitors in over fifty languages so everyone can browse the list and the menu. The small kitchen and the showcase refrigerator with Greek PDO products are in the center so that the customer can see step by step the preparation and creation of all the dishes. Cinque is

a warm and welcoming Greek homemade bar that offers hospitality to anyone who has the chance to visit it. Utilising the same philosophy and approach that has helped it to achieve its current success, moving forward Cinque is expanding and will be shortly opening a retailer wine and deli shop in the Monastiraki neighbour to develop, once again, a new trend to the wine business.

The team’s love and passion for the Greek wine and the new era has guided the firm through the economic crisis, to initiate and train people into the magical world of wine, get to know the winemaking procedure and taste exceptional Branded Greek Wines. The New Greek wines carry a long history and a heritage which comprises unique viticulture practices and a treasure of local grape varieties. LUX - Food & Drink Awards 2017 49


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Best Fine Dining Pub - Buckinghamshire & LUX Excellence Award for Locally Sourced Ingredients

Company: The Chequers Inn Contact: Ranka Lani Contact Email: info@thechequerswt.co.uk Address: 35 Church Lane, Weston Turville, Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, HP22 5SJ, UK Phone: 01296 613298 Website: http://thechequerswt.co.uk

Best Fine Dining Pub - Buckinghamshire & LUX Excellence Award for Locally Sourced Ingredients The Chequers Inn is a family-run, fine dining pub and restaurant situated in the heart of the village of Weston Turville, Buckinghamshire. We profile the establishment to learn more. Set in the quaint village of Weston Turville, The Chequers Inn dates back to the 16th Century. The bar retains a traditional feel, with broad polished flagstone floors, historic beams and an open fire place. The restaurant area is a more contemporary space in which to enjoy a fine dining experience. The Chequers Inn is home to husband and wife, Chef Owner Dritan and Maître d’ Ranka. Since taking over in 2010 they have transformed the restaurant into a renowned and much-loved eatery. Loyal customers flock to the inn in search of exceptional food, great hospitality and a warm welcome. As such, the staff are dedicated to meeting their visitors’ needs and ensuring that they always achieve the very highest standards of service. Food at the Chequers Inn is well presented and the establishment prides itself on trying to source as many products as possible from local suppliers to ensure quality and freshness. The committed team of chefs are constantly working hard to create interesting and attractive menu that is both eye catching and appealing.

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Overall, the Chequers Inn is highly recognised in the local area as being the ideal location for a relaxed, comfortable meal, and the establishment is already the proud holder of a 1 star rosette. Moving forward, the aim is to build upon this success and grow the pub even further, achieving the highest possible standards and becoming a nationwide success.

“...the staff are dedicated to meeting their visitors’ needs and ensuring that they always achieve the very highest standards of service.”


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Bar of the Year 2017 – Naxos

Company: Yazoo Summer Bliss Contact: Aggeliki Staveri Contact Email: info@yazoo.gr Address: Plaka beach, Naxos Town, 843 00, Greece Phone: 00 30 22850 41233 Website: www.yazoo.gr

Bar of the Year 2017 – Naxos Yazoo is a multi-space, beach, restaurant, cocktail bar and beach concept store. We profile the firm as we look for further insight into what makes the venue so attractive to clients. Yazoo Summer Bliss is located right in front of the beach in Plaka, one of the longest and most beautiful beaches in Cyclades. Fine golden sand, crystal clear waters, cedar trees and sandy dunes complete the raw beauty of the beach. There are a range of services offered at the establishment, plus there is the additional attractions of breakfast, lunch and dinner with beach and sunset view.

Profiling the Yazoo Cocktail Bar, it is known for its modernised classics and new, sophisticated cocktails, along with an updated cave of premium drinks. A common theme throughout the whole of Yazoo is the fresh ingredients it uses, and all cocktails are prepared by specialized bartenders but it is the fresh fruit and herbs from Yazoo’s botanical garden that reveal all their flavours and aromas making the cocktails irresistible.

There is a unique atmosphere within Yazoo, complimented by the pleasant views and artistic nature. Everything is kept simple and artistic to fit the surrounding areas of the beach. This resulting service and scenery is ideal for wedding receptions and private parties of all varieties.

Yazoo is inspired by the surrounding Aegean Sea and land, with the venue advocating love and respect, both for the environment and for different people and cultures. Yazoo is a local leader in environmental friendly practices, recycle and operation without disturbance of the surroundings.

Furthermore, Yazoo restaurant and its staff operate under the same philosophy. The restaurant presents a unique Cretan-Naxian fusion cuisine, providing a fresh Aegean fish selection, along with meat from local farms. Additionally the restaurant helps the community by using small producers’ fruit and vegetables, and complete an amazing culinary blending based on simplicity and tradition. Taking into consideration the wine, the restaurant uses carefully selected Aegean variety wines, which are offered by specialized teams to highlight the dishes.

Amongst the most important features of the business are equipment and technology. The restaurant operates with HACP standards and is fully equipped with specialised machinery, the bar also. Ultimately, with two international airports, Mykonos and Santorini, just a breath away and the progressive revelation of Greece’s unique touristic product, Naxos is expected to expand as a summer destination, both in numbers, and in services and infrastructure, which can only benefit Yazoo.

“...the restaurant helps the community by using small producers’ fruit and vegetables, and complete an amazing culinary blending based on simplicity and tradition. Taking into consideration the wine, the restaurant uses carefully selected Aegean variety wines...” LUX - Food & Drink Awards 2017 51


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Coffee Shop of the Year 2017 - Leuven

Company: SWARTEHOND Contact: Marjorie Trivick Contact Email: info@ swartehond.be Address: Joris Helleputteplein 1, 3000 Leuven, Belgium Phone: 00 32 492912744

Coffee Shop of the Year 2017 - Leuven SWARTEHOND is a boutique coffee shop based in Leuven, Belgium, serving a vast array of beverages and light snacks. We profile the establishment to gain a fascinating insight into how it has achieved the success it enjoys today. Situated in Leuven center, SWARTEHOND is renowned for their exceptional hospitality, great food and high quality coffee, they give great importance to fair and quality coffee. As such, the firm work with FairChain and coffee company Moyee to ensure that their coffee is of the finest possible quality. That means, among other things, that their coffee beans are processed where they are harvested and picked by hand, and that employees get a fair wage. They stand for 100% organic coffee that is tasty and fair, all this together with an aim to offer a relaxed and enjoyable experience. The establishment serves a variety coffee drinks, American bagels for lunch, weekend breakfast and other tasty drink options, and as well as being able to sit inside surrounded by the trendy style decoration, known in Leuven as one of the most beautiful salons; it also offers a takeaway service. There is also an outdoor seating area for those who would like to enjoy the clement weather and take in the scenery during the summer months, with their colourful beach shares for customers to take and seat in any spot under the sun on the beautiful square. As its name would suggest, dogs are welcome at SWARTEHOND and staff are always keen to make a fuss

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of any four legged guests just as much as their human customers. Everyone receives a truly warm welcome. Having recently moved to new larger but not less cosy premises, the café is definitely enjoying a period of growth and even brighter future as it strives to meet the ever increasing demand for quality coffee and service from tourists and locals alike. Overall, boasting an array of pastries, dedicated staff and a variety of seating options to meet every need, SWARTEHOND is the ideal location for a relaxed, informal break in Leuven.

“...strives to meet the ever increasing demand for quality coffee and service from tourists and locals alike.”


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Best Organic Coffee Specialists - San Diego

Company: Cafe Virtuoso Contact: Laurie Britton Contact Email: laurie@cafevirtuoso.com Address: 1616 National Ave, San Diego, California, 92113, USA Phone: 001 858 414 7150 Website: www.cafevirtuoso.com

Best Organic Coffee Specialists - San Diego Cafe Virtuoso is the only 100 percent certified organic speciality coffee roaster and cafe located in the neighbourhood of Barrio Logan near Downtown San Diego. We profile the firm as we look to examine the secrets behind its success. Café Virtuoso was set up with a vision right from the start, with the aim to procure the highest quality organic specialty coffee and tea while remaining ethically invested in full-scale sustainability and socially-responsible practices. This vision also led to Cafe Virtuoso’s commitment to the success of its wholesale partners, including some of the finest restaurants, cafes, hotels and casinos throughout Southern California. This vision is achieved by providing the highest standards in a detailed and personalized service, plus, extensive ongoing training and education set by the Specialty Coffee Association (SCA), the world’s largest coffee trade association formed with the purpose of establishing the de-facto benchmarks for the specialty coffee industry. Customer service is vital to the success of any food and drink establishment, and it is evident at Café Virtuoso that the customer is always the main concern. The standards are high throughout all members of staff, and they receive extensive training and mentoring process overseen by its quality control manager, who is an SCA certified barista trainer, and helps to guarantee that the quality and service standards are never compromised.

To ensure high standards are met for drink preparation, Cafe Virtuoso uses the best quality organic products available for as many products as possible in its cafe. Not only are the coffee, tea and dairy products 100% organic, but drink preparation is scrutinized methodically in order to adhere to SCA’s strict standards. If quality doesn’t meet a given specification, the drink is discarded and not served to the customer. Investing in staff is just as important as the venue’s products, and so the team at Café Virtuoso make sure that staff feel an integral part of the business, instilling trust, pride and ownership into each and every person who works with the company, with the aim to build up the Café to what it is today. Regarding the future of the café, there looks to be exciting time ahead, and Café Virtuoso has already sponsored and started a non-profit San Diego Coffee Training Institute, which will help to train Certified SCA coffee professionals. The institute will train the disadvantaged population, helping them to be gainfully employed whilst improving the quality of coffee within the area.

“Regarding the future of the café, there looks to be exciting time ahead, and Café Virtuoso has already sponsored and started a non-profit San Diego Coffee Training Institute, which will help to train Certified SCA coffee professionals.” LUX - Food & Drink Awards 2017 53


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Best Olive Based Products Supplier 2017 - USA & LUX Excellence Award for Olive Products 2017


lux Company: Tassos Enterprises Contact: Barbara Randolph Contact Email: Barbara@tassos.com Address: 2 Mid America Plaza, 510, Oakbrook Terrace, IL 60181, USA Phone: 18004827767 Website: https://tassos.com/

Best Olive Based Products Supplier 2017 - USA & LUX Excellence Award for Olive Products 2017

The Tassos Group, LLC. is a family owned and operated business dedicated to creating exceptional olive oils and olive oil based products. We profile the firm to learn more and spoke to Founder Tassos Chronopoulos to learn more. In 1996, The Tassos Group started selling just two Greek olives oils. Today, they are the No. 1 exporter of Greek Extra Virgin Olive Oils, Olives and Olive-based foods world-wide. Tassos Chronopoulos, President & CEO, believes much of this success is due to being a family-owned company. “We possess, almost at the DNA level, a sense of stewardship and responsibility, not just towards to the communities where we live and operate, but towards what people eat and where their food comes from. Our expansion onto the global stage is due to our focus on quality and ethics. “We made a conscious ethical and strategic choice to stand above the fraudulent environment often seen in the olive oil sector. Our aim is to increase olive oil consumption through restored confidence in quality and promoting food for health. Promoting health is what inspires us to pursue the cultivation practices, olive varieties and locations that result in the highest antioxidants and robust taste in our Extra Virgin Olive Oils. A similar valuation for healthy conditions is the basis of our low-impact organic farming practices, and that choice has been rewarding.” Mr. Chronopoulos states he is proud of his company’s innovations. “We have many firsts under our belt – we were the first to Double Stuff an olive, first to pit the Kalamata olive and first to take gourmet quality Greek foods from the international grocery store aisle to the mainstream at affordable prices. But two other firsts moved the bar up for all olive oil producers. We were the first to declare the Oleic Acidity percentage center stage on the front of our olive oil labels to assure the consumer of the true Extra Virgin status, and we were the first to stamp the expiration date on our olive oils.” Tassos Chronopoulos goes on to announce, “Now we have reached the acme of Extra Virgin Olive Oils with another first, the bottling of the world’s first Organic Protected Designation of Origin Extra Virgin Olive Oil produced in the world. This oil is both fantastically delicious and supremely healthy.” There are four distinguished offerings of Tassos® Extra Virgin Olive Oils available.

The Tassos Group is a trail blazing company and the company’s president states: “one significant path we took was the decision to keep or olives healthy. We only hand-harvest to ensure that bruising doesn’t negatively impact the taste and nutritional content but we also use an old-world curing method of naturally fermenting our olives in fresh spring water and 5% sea salt. We never add harsh chemicals or use mined salt, which is often polluted with contaminates. “Besides our line of big, crunchy olives, we have developed a line of delicious and culinarily versatile olive-based bruschettas and spreads. All our foods combine and fuse so well with all cultural dishes. “We do have challenges and there are rapid changes in the food industry. Yet, we have found that by keeping to the basic tenets of enjoyment, respect and pleasure in food, we meet these successfully. One thing that is to our advantage is producing and developing Greek food for the world market. “Greek cuisine was the forerunner of all western cuisine and had tremendous culinary influence throughout Europe. It is the mother of the Mediterranean diet. It allows for creativity and innovation. It is like a luscious indulgence with health benefits. “While that is said, it is a challenge to promote a greater appreciation of the importance of regional and specialty foods. Our response to challenges is to maintain our resolve to only participate in the healthiness of wholesome, vibrant foods and we want our consumers to know where their food comes from and make informed choices.” Their company headquarter is located in the Chicago, Illinois where they believe it is an ideal hub for an educated and dynamic work force. Chicago, IL is part of the Central Plains of the United States, where it can easily receive and distribute their food products. Mr. Chronopoulos speaks about family businesses as unusual business entities because of their commitments to quality and humanity in the

“...we want our consumers to know where their food comes from and make informed choices.” workplace. “We care about and have concern for our employees—we liken our work force to that of our extended family. If family operated businesses are unusual in that regard, then we are happy to be so.” Tassos Chronopoulos sums up, “Simply put, we never cut corners when it comes to the food we sell. We walk the walk. We believe that what we eat determines our health. We believe that what we eat decides the health of our planet. So, when you put our food into your mouth, you know you are eating wholesome food and you know where and how the food came to be on your plate.”

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Best Chinese Restaurant 2017 - Crawley

Company: Chiana Peking Restaurant Contact: Sichong Pang Contact Email: info@ chianapeking.co.uk Address: 76 The Boulevard, Crawley, RH10 1XH, UK Phone: 01293 512666 Website: www.chianapeking.co.uk/

Best Chinese Restaurant 2017 - Crawley Chiana Peking Restaurant is a Chinese restaurant and takeaway dedicated to offering high quality, authentic meals. We spoke to Sichong Pang to find out more. Chiana Peking Restaurant is the largest Chinese Restaurant in the town of Crawley in West Sussex, England, seating between 80-100 people. Sichong discusses the range of services the establishment offers and how it aims to ensure quality in every aspect of its service. “Here at Chiana Peking Restaurant, we cater for customers looking for that intimate dinner, but also those seeking that special celebration or corporate companies who need a larger venue for their function. The restaurant has even been privately hired on several occasions. “Additionally, we offer takeaway, and to ensure quality, on delivery the food is checked for quality and freshness, otherwise it is rejected, quality of food is very important to us in order that we can serve food that retains its taste and has a good texture. “Our Chef’s cater not only for the traditional westernised Chinese food, but also for the authentic Chinese food which is required by many of our Asian customers when eating at our restaurant. We currently cater for Chinese flight crews from Gatwick Airport who need to have the authentic taste of Chinese mainland cooking.”

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Looking ahead, Sichong believes that Chiana Peking Restaurant will continue to succeed in the ever evolving restaurant market thanks to its dedication to quality, as he proudly concludes. “With increasing government legislation, and its associated costs, foreseen in the future only restaurants who can combine great service and food with attractive prices, will survive. Brexit has already added significant costs and the future does not look easy, but we feel that with due diligence to customer service, targeted advertising, ensuring we manage our costs carefully, and being able to ‘go the extra mile’, this will hold us in good stead for the future.”

“...Sichong believes that Chiana Peking Restaurant will continue to succeed in the ever evolving restaurant market thanks to its dedication to quality...”


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Best Dining Ambiance 2017 - Airlie Beach & Boutique Wine List of the Year - Queensland

Company: Walter’s Lounge Contact: Heath Contact Email: info@walterslounge.com.au Address: Shop F8/33, Port of Airlie, Airlie Beach, QLD 4802, Australia Phone: 0061 07 4948 2537 Website: www.walterslounge.com.au

Best Dining Ambiance 2017 - Airlie Beach & Boutique Wine List of the Year - Queensland Walter’s Lounge is a restaurant located at Port of Airlie Marina, Airlie Beach Queensland offering a warm and friendly atmosphere as well as a stunning array of drinks and delicious dishes. We profile the establishment to learn more about what guests can expect when they visit. Walter’s Lounge is a shared dining restaurant where customers can order shared plates or enjoy one of the chef’s tasting menus, which comprise of five to six courses and make for an innovative dining experience. There is also a boutique wine list and a daily changing cocktail menu to accompany this innovative menu, ensuring that customers enjoy only the best. This innovative approach is key to the establishment’s success as shared dining is becoming more popular in the market, and there is a slow change from people wanting to spend large amounts of money on food but are still after a quality dining experience in a relaxed manner. Additionally, great importance is put on flavour combinations done right by customers, therefore Walter’s Lounge aims to offer sumptuous dishes that meet customer’s expectations. Operating in such a fast paced market that is constantly changing, Walter’s Lounge is continually aiming to adapt and meet clients’ expectations by liaising with industry experts and exploring new trends in the market. As part of this drive towards excellence, front of house staff constantly seek to provide a high standard of service

that cannot be found elsewhere in the area, so that guests always enjoy a unique experience at the lounge. Looking ahead, there are many exciting developments for Walter’s Lounge, as the establishment continues to offer guests the very highest standards of food and drinks whilst catering to the ever evolving needs of guests. These include adapting around the latest dietary requirements, offering more locally sourced products and creating a casual dining environment, all whilst continuously trying to improve dishes that are offered at Walter’s and service techniques.

“...there are many exciting developments for Walter’s Lounge, as the establishment continues to offer guests the very highest standards of food and drinks whilst catering to the ever evolving needs of guests.” LUX - Food & Drink Awards 2017 57


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Most Tranquil Casual Dining Venue - Mechelen

Company: Brasserie ‘t Park Contact: Sam De Graeve Contact Email: sam.de.graeve@telenet.be Address: Hombeeksesteenweg 262, 2800 Mechelen, Belgium Phone: 0032 15 42 01 77 Website: www://brasserie-tpark.be

Most Tranquil Casual Dining Venue - Mechelen Brasserie ‘t Park is a stunning restaurant offering a great natural setting for guests to enjoy stunning food and exceptional hospitality. We profile the establishment to give you an overview of the range of dishes it offers. Brasserie & feestzaal ‘t Park is located at the entrance of the provincial “Groendomein Vrijbroek” in Mechelen, better known as the “Vrijbroekpark”. It is the place to walk and enjoy the numerous flower and plant collections. The building was moved from the International Brussels Fair 1935 to Vrijbroekpark. The view of the gardens is magnificent, and Vrijbroekpark was nominated by the Society of theRose. The chefs, along with master chef and exploiter Sam De Graeve offers guests a range of traditional meat and fish dishes to suit every palette. Fresh products are a key focus, and as such the fish and seafood is bought directly from the fishermen, and even the ice cream is homemade, using a recipe from Sam’s grandmother. On summer days guests can enjoy their meal on the terrace, basking in the beautiful natural setting. Over the years, the restaurant has developed to one of the leading “brasseries” in the region, with a strong bond to customers. On a nice day, it is best to make a reservation, as the establishment is so incredibly popular, and customers are travellers from Germany,

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England, Holland, France, Japan, Singapore, from businessman to families that go for a walk in the Park. Mechelen is a tourist attraction as historical city. Looking ahead, the establishment will aim to build upon this success and attract even more guests from around the world.

“Fresh products are a key focus, and as such the fish and seafood is bought directly from the fishermen, and even the ice cream is homemade, using a recipe from Sam’s grandmother.”


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Best Confectionary & Frozen Desserts Provider - Italy

Company: Glacè Contact: Ilaria Forlani Address: Via Carvasaglio, 28, 25036 Palazzolo sull’Oglio (BS), Italy Website: www.ilariaforlani.it & www.ilaglacee.it/ PR Agency: www. brandsavetheworld.com, (39) 344 2507643

Best Confectionary & Frozen Desserts Provider - Italy Ilaria Forlani is an Italian food designer running a lovely homemade gelato parlour near Brescia. We profile her and explore the innovative desserts she creates. Established in 2010, Glacè Sweet Concept is an innovation from renowned food designer Ilaria. Prior to launching the concept, Ilaria studied pastrymaking at Ernst Knam School (Finger Food Champion 2011, Gelato World Cup Champion 2012) and traveled around the world, especially to Southeast Asia, where she discovered new inspiring food trends. Throughout the years her work has attracted a considerable widespread interest from local pastry shops and restaurants. With the support of her business partner Enrico Celiberti, a marketing expert and lifestyle influencer, she recently decided to launch Glacè Sweet Concept. In less than a year, the national press has started noticing Glacè design products: sushi gelato, burger cream, ice stones, glitter and black vegan stecco, fairytale ball, golden tree and chocolate cube. Glacé uses high quality raw materials, 100% natural, to ensure the best gourmet experience for its customers; in addition to fresh milk procured from Ilaria’s father farms, Glacè only uses fresh seasonal fruits, raw

cane sugar, pure pistachio of Sicily, trilobata hazelnut IGP, without any emulsifier, artificial dye, aroma or hydrogenated fats. Only carob flour is used as a thickener to ensure freshness for clients. Combining a scientist’s focus on detail with an artist’s flair, Ilaria also creates limited edition products for event and wedding planners, fashion brands and high-end restaurants. This huge and growing popularity has also attracted the attention of investors looking for emerging food brands, and moving forward she is keen to build upon this phenomenal success and grow Glacè Sweet Concept even further.

“ This huge and growing popularity has also attracted the attention of investors looking for emerging food brands, and moving forward she is keen to build upon this phenomenal success and grow Glacè Sweet Concept even further.” LUX - Food & Drink Awards 2017 59


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Best Gelato Parlour 2017 - South West Milan

Company: Gusto 17 Contact: Rossella De Vita, Vincenzo Fiorillo, Stefania Urso Contact Email: info@gusto17.com Address: Via Savona 17, 20144, Milano. Italy Tel.: +39 02 3981 1835 Web Address: www.gusto17.com

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Best Gelato Parlour 2017 - South West Milan Gusto 17 is an innovative, Milan based gelato parlour which offers a range of artisan and unique flavours to tempt even the most cultured ice cream lovers. Rossella De Vita, Vincenzo Fiorillo and Stefania Urso tell us more. Established in 2016, since the beginning Gusto 17 have prepared fresh ice cream daily by selecting natural ingredients and choosing only the best fresh seasonal fruits. Stefania and Vincenzo explain the philosophy behind the parlour and how it creates such magical flavours. “At Gusto 17, everything was born from a promise among friends: make the ice cream that we would eat every day. It seemed to us the simplest promise but also the greatest we could do. A small lab of taste where the best territorial excellences meet the passion for excellent food”. “Our flavours change continually on the basis of the availability of the ingredients, the seasonality of the fruit and Vincenzo’s and Roberto’s creativity, who, daily experience new tastes and flavours. Our ice cream is made every day, several times a day in small quantities, in our laboratory to ensure that they are always fresh. And then we mix the ingredients, get inspiration from Italian and international pastries to always have a combination of classic tastes (Bronte Pistachio, Piedmont Hazelnut, Milk Chocolate Mousse) alongside tastes created by us.” Innovation and new, exciting flavours are crucial to Gusto 17’s approach, as Rossella highlights. 60 LUX - Food & Drink Awards 2017

“As Italian we have to continue doing the ice cream in the respect of tradition with an eye on innovation. In addition, we are lucky to be in Italy, the country of biodiversity for excellence. Using creativity - where we Italians are very good - and listen to people desires, we have created the #gustodeidesideri. The taste of desires is one thing that nobody does and we are proud of being the first. Customers can suggest the taste they would like to find in our ice cream shop-that of desires - in fact, every weekend we create a taste that takes the name of the customer who created it”. Looking ahead, Rossella, Stefania and Vincenzo are enthusiastic about success of Gusto 17, but at the same time they stay true their philosophy, as Rossella highlights in her concluding comments “Moving forward, at Gusto 17 we never stop improving and we do not get tired of listening to our customers’ tastes. This helps us to constantly create ice cream that we love to eat ourselves, and ensures that our customers keep coming back for more; we never stop thinking of how we can ever surprise our customers without ever leaving our philosophy. Because scalability for us will never mean standardization”


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Best Traditional Country Pub - Tunbridge Wells

Company: The Bull Contact: Alex Jones Contact Email: info@ thebulltunbridgewells.co.uk Address: 79 Frant Road, Tunbridge Wells, Kent, TN2 5LH, UK Phone: 01892 263489 Website: www. thebulltunbridgewells.co.uk/

Best Traditional Country Pub - Tunbridge Wells Boasting a charming setting, exceptional hospitality and an exceptional selection of food and drink, The Bull in Tunbridge Wells is the ideal watering hole for anyone visiting this picturesque Kentish village. Homely and inviting, The Bull is one of Tunbridge Wells’ cosiest traditional pubs - serving up first-class food and fine ales in a warm and welcoming atmosphere. Manager Alex Jones was the former chef at top London eateries including The Ivy and Sketch, and as such The Bull has quickly become one of the town’s top dining destinations for a pub lunch or evening meal.

Constantly looking to offer everything a guest could possibly need, the pub is dog friendly, and staff are committed to supporting both two legged and four legged guests alike, providing the very highest standards of service to make sure guests have a truly relaxing experience that will make them want to come back again and again.

Combining classic country pub cuisine with exciting specials, all freshly crafted from local seasonal produce, the Bull offers a slice of London fine-dining in the heart of the countryside, and thanks to the comfortable surroundings and exceptional service, a meal at the Bull is one to be savoured.

Due to licensing rules, children are not allowed at the Bull after 9pm, however during the day the tavern is always happy to host little ones, making this a great destination for a stress-free family meal.

For those simply looking for a cosy atmosphere to rest awhile, the Bull is perfectly equipped to meet those needs. With a roaring fire warming the pub on chilly days and a beautiful courtyard garden for summer, this is also the perfect place to enjoy a peaceful pint. Beer aficionados can savour local ales from Kent brewer Shepherd Neame, while a superb selection of lagers, wines, spirits and soft drinks ensures all other tastes are catered for.

Looking ahead, Alex and his team will remain committed to offering guests, both local and visiting, the very highest standards of service and delicious food to ensure the continued success of the Bull.

“Beer aficionados can savour local ales from Kent brewer Shepherd Neame...” LUX - Food & Drink Awards 2017 61


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Best Italian Restaurant 2017 - Vanuatu

Company: Francesca’s Beach Club Bar & Restaurant Contact: Francesca Grillo Contact Email: gm@francescas.com.vu Address: PO Box 7803, Havannah Harbour, North Efate, Vanuatu Phone: 00 678 7719898 Website: www.francescas.com.vu/

Best Italian Restaurant 2017 - Vanuatu Francesca’s Beach Club Bar & Restaurant is a smart casual beach club, bar and restaurant, located right on the calm crystal coral waters of Havannah Harbour, on West Efate island in Vanuatu. We invited Francesca Grillo to tell us more. Francesca’s utilises its amazing setting and excellent hospitality to offer a truly extraordinary experience to every diner, as Francesca highlights.

Looking ahead, Francesca is exhilarated and believes that there are many great opportunities in store for her establishment, as she is proud to conclude.

“Here at Francesca’s we strive to deliver delicious, unique, simple and healthy food, inspired by traditional Italian cuisine. Our good selection of wines and cocktails and a friendly and polite service complement it all. I personally designed and built our venue to offer great comfort and elegance to our guests, in a unique tropical yet modern ambience. Everyone seem to love our place, but only the discerning and adventurous diners with good taste buds and style without fuss, are the ones who return again and again.

“Overall, Francesca’s Beach Club future will be exciting, as we are keen to take advantage of local fruit and vegetables, local nuts, vanilla, cocoa, coffee, coconut oils, Vanuatu renowned beef, fresh local river prawns, sea cockles, lobsters, oysters and all the fabulous big fish like yellow fin tuna, wahoo and mahi mahi to choose from.

“To ensure truly great food, our 36m2 open plan stainless steel kitchen is one of the wow factors at Francesca’s Beach Club, and ensures all our cooking is done right in front of our guests with no room to hide food handling and hygiene standards. I base my recipes on traditional Italian food but to be competitive I must embrace innovation and follow demand. Success in our industry is very hard to achieve unless you are perseverant, flexible and understand what your customers want, and this is my constant focus.” 62 LUX - Food & Drink Awards 2017

“This local, fresh approach to food is vital for our continued success, as nutrition and health are now a prime concern among our discerning customers. We must be aware of this trend. We must stop seeking what we do not have and focus on working with the great ingredients we do have to delight taste buds and continue to amaze our guests.”

“...there are many great opportunities in store for her establishment.”


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Best Indian Restaurant - Vienna

Company: Tulsi Indian Cuisine Contact: Swati Sharma Contact Email: kontakt@tulsi.co.at Address: Fluchtgasse 1, A-1090 Wien, Austria Phone: 004313101777 Website: www.tulsi.co.at

Best Indian Restaurant - Vienna Tulsi Indian Cuisine is an Indian Restaurant based in Vienna, entertaining a variety of guests all of which come to try the exquisite food and receive excellent food. Swati Sharma provides us with an overview of the restaurant and its services. Providing great customer service, guests come from all over Vienna to try the delicious food served up by staff at Tulsi, with the clientele including students, university professors, doctors and hospital staff, to name a few. Swati alludes to the fact that the Indian Restaurant aims to always achieve excellence and ensure only the best food and beverages are served, providing good communication with suppliers and also excellent staff training, telling us more about the restaurant’s reputation. “In November 2012, me and the team started Tulsi. Back then our area was not well known for good food. Over the years many great restaurants, also with famous chefs, have become our neighbours and this keeps up a healthy competition.” Telling us a little about the staff, Swati mentions how the staff are all trained by the Tulsi team, describing the checks and standards that are in place which help the restaurant to thrive, as well as the staff ethos of working together in a team environment. “Besides being a good cleaning company and trained staff, our own attendance and quality check are a must

for us. All staff members get trained by us, the chefs as well as service staff. Everybody brings their own nature and character to work and we try to understand them. Accordingly, we give them their room for responsibility in their natural style for their section.” Since starting up Tulsi, Swati details how clients’ expectations have changed and how the firm has adapted around this. Spreading the awareness of Indian food within Austria enabled staff to be more innovative, and she explains how the nature of operations has become easier, which has led to a positive impact. “Once our clients became adjusted to good Indian food, we were able to become more innovative. Also, operations have become much easier for everybody in the team, which has a positive impact on staff and therefore on clients.” Looking to the future, Swati hints that there is a production kitchen on the horizon for Tulsi, which will include a kitchen sharing concept with other food businesses, which will offer the firm many great opportunities going forward.

“Once our clients became adjusted to good Indian food, we were able to become more innovative. Also, operations have become much easier for everybody in the team, which has a positive impact on staff and therefore on clients.” LUX - Food & Drink Awards 2017 63


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Best Vegetarian Restaurant 2017 – Vedge, Mumbai

Company: Bombay Hospitality Management Pvt. Ltd. Contact: Mr. Aditya Sawant Contact Email: aditya@bombayhospitality.in Address: 818A, B Wing, Samartha Aishwarya, Off New Link Rd, Lions SOL Marg, Opp. Highland Park, Oshiwara, Andheri, (West), Mumbai 400053, India. Phone Number: 0091 9820750025

Best Vegetarian Restaurant 2017 – Vedge, Mumbai Bombay Hospitality Management is an innovative restaurant development firm based in India. We profile the firm to find out more. Established in 2013 Bombay Hospitality was founded with a focus to develop, expand and deliver high quality restaurant brands that specializes in targeting all segments of the market within India and Internationally. The company’s primary aim is to deliver excellence by creating businesses and restaurant outfits that are deeply rooted in delivering customer satisfaction via an element of surprise. Since the firm’s inception, newer consumer expectations have arrived in regard to food quality choices, quick service, healthy eating and electronic / digital payments etc. Bombay Hospitality has kept pace with the same via innovating, maintaining quality and consistency in food served, experimenting with healthier food options and ingredients and being technology savvy and efficient. Today the CDR (Casual Dine Format) that is offered at Vedge is evolving and we have been working hard to keep pace with consumer expectations. Today’s millennials do not mind paying extra for good quality and healthy food. As such, its vision has always been to wow every customer with a delicious eating experience: great ambience, great service, food well presented with great taste, all at a great value. To ensure clients receive the

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best possible experience, Bombay Hospitality completely believe in value for meal principle, and aim to deliver high quality dining experiences tailored to delight every guest. Moving forward, Bombay Hospitality and Vedge is focusing on expanding across India targeting cities, including Mumbai, Pune, Delhi NCR, Ahmedabad, Surat, Indore, Baroda, Jaipur and Bangalore. The company is also planning to open “Vedge Express”, a unique, QSR (Quick Service Restaurant) concept of the flagship brand “VEDGE” and take it to Tier - 2 and Tier - 3 cities in India. Longer term, expansion plans for Vedge include growing internationally and branching out into new markets such as home meal kits. Overall, this vast array of plans looks set to provide Bombay Hospitality with many exciting opportunities to build upon its current success.

“Bombay Hospitality has kept pace with the same via innovating, maintaining quality and consistency in food served, experimenting with healthier food options and ingredients and being technology savvy and efficient.”


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Gourmet Italian Restaurant of the Year - Leuven

Company: La Divina Commedia Contact Email: info@ladivinacommedia.be Address: Rector De Somerplein 15/A, 3000 Leuven Instagram: ladivinacommedialeuven Facebook: www.facebook.com/ ladivinacommedialeuven/ Website: www.ladivinacommedia.be

Gourmet Italian Restaurant of the Year - Leuven La Divina Commedia is a family run Italian restaurant based in Leuven. We profile the establishment to learn more. La Divina Commedia has 34 seats, allowing for guests to enjoy an intimate meal with only the very highest standards of service and delicious, authentic Italian dishes. Run by a husband and wife team, the hosting is friendly and warm, making this a great venue for a cosy meal with friends. To ensure that every dish is of the highest possible standard, the restaurant selects only the best products to work with from the beginning till the end. For example, the chefs only cook with BIO olive oil from the owner’s native town in Sicily (Agrigento), from the beginning till the last finishing touch. Additionally, the owners have selected artisanal producers from Italy for the products that they can import such as cheeses and truffles. For fresh products such as meat, fish and vegetables, the restaurant only selects the freshest, highest quality products in order to guarantee the best taste for the clients. Everything is homemade for a truly authentic taste of Italian cuisine in the heart of Leuven. Every dish is both a culinary and a visual pleasure, ensuring that diners are always happy to return again and again to La Divina Commedia. Looking ahead, La Divina Commedia is keen to build upon its current success and offer guests new dishes that

will delight and surprise them. The continual challenge facing the team is to create unique dishes that are stunningly presented and expertly crafted to ensure that every visit to La Divina Commedia is truly incredible.

“La Divina Commedia is keen to build upon its current success and offer guests new dishes that will delight and surprise them. The continual challenge facing the team is to create unique dishes that are stunningly presented and expertly crafted.” LUX - Food & Drink Awards 2017 65


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Best Casual Fine-Cuisine Restaurant - South West London


lux Company: Salt Flakes Restaurant Contact: Davide Vieira Contact Email: info@saltflakeslondon.co.uk Address: 128-130 Heath road, Twickenham, London, TW1 4BN, UK Phone: 2088929875 Website: www.saltflakeslondon.co.uk

Best Casual Fine-Cuisine Restaurant - South West London

Salt Flakes Restaurant offers cuisine from around the world, all with a French twist. We caught up with Davide Vieira to learn more about this newly opened establishment and how it works to attract a crowd. Drawing on over 20 years’ experience in the restaurant market provided by its Founders, Salt Flakes is a Twickenham based dining establishment dedicated to offering the highest standards of service, a varied menu of delicious dishes and a relaxed and welcoming atmosphere. Davide discusses how the restaurant came about in more detail. “Salt Flakes was established because, having worked in other establishments and made famous chefs and owners very successful, we have chosen to go it alone and reach our own goals, utilising our passion and love of food and drink. Our main objective is to achieve a Michelin star, and show that a dedicated and small company can make it big by dedication and passion in what we do.

restaurant’s bar serves some of the finest cocktails and is perfect for group gathering or intimate get together. “As our location is not situated around many restaurants we rely on customer experience to achieve a regular trade and for a new restaurant in the area we are looking forward to becoming a destination place. We rely a lot on word of mouth in this area and so far, all feedback has been excellent and beyond our original expectations.” Alongside the excellence of its dishes, Salt Flakes also seeks to draw in customers thanks to the quality of its staff, as Davide highlights.

“To achieve this, we pride ourselves on using top quality products and specifically chosen suppliers who are well established and have the same passion about their products as we do. This ensures that every dish we serve is of the highest possible standard, and our dedicated chefs cook every meal to perfection. Our varied menu ensures that there is something for everyone regardless of taste or preference, making Salt Flakes the perfect London dining venue.”

“Staff are crucial to our success, and we have a very small and tight team who are always made aware of our initial goal, and as such they work towards perfection at all times. Be it a slice of bread or a butter nob every dish or drink must be perfect. The brigade here at Salk Flakes are more like a small family, where we eat together and discuss improvements or issues collectively. This ensures that we are constantly communicating and that everyone is happy to pull together to create a truly exceptional experience for our guests.

Operating in the highly competitive London dining market, Salt Flakes faces stiff competition, however, thanks to its commitment to providing guests with only the best meals and service, Davide believes that the establishment can go far and above the success its longer serving competitors have achieved.

“Hard work, passion and consistency are the three main skills to succeed in this industry, as it is incredibly hard and very demanding. As such, loving what you do is imperative to success, and this is what we aim to foster in every member of staff here at Salt Flakes.”

“What truly sets us apart from our competitors is the level of excellence we pride ourselves on. Dishes created by our chef director are of the highest quality and presentation is paramount we take many photos of all dishes and put them on our website. Our innovative menu is inspired by best culinary Chefs, and we select only fresh local supplies for use in our kitchen so that every meal is not only beautiful but delicious too.

Moving forward, Salt Flakes has a bright and exciting future ahead of it, as Davide is proud to conclude.

“Salt Flakes is both; a destination and a neighbourhood diamond for casual elegant dining. The

Ultimately, main objective for Salt Flakes is to become the first restaurant in Twickenham to be awarded with a Michelin star. Longer term, we are keen to open another restaurant more centrally and even abroad. These ambitious plans offer us many great opportunities that we are excited to take advantage of.”

“Longer term, we are keen to open another restaurant more centrally and even abroad. These ambitious plans offer us many great opportunities that we are excited to take advantage of.” LUX - Food & Drink Awards 2017 67


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Specialty Café of the Year - Kuala Lumpur

Company: CV Purnama Desak Contact: Christoph Kaffanke Contact Email: info@bali-alm.com Address: Jl Bukit Bintang 18a, 80361 Jimbraran Puri gading, Bali, Indonesia Phone: 0062 82146380112 Website: www.bali-alm.com

Best Dairy Products Provider – Indonesia & LUX Excellence Award for Blue Cheese Production - Indonesia Bali-Alm is a leading producer of dairy, with a firm focus on crème yoghurt and camembert. Christoph Kaffanke tells us more about the dairy production company. Established in 2012, Bali-Alm has produced a variety of dairy products since its inception, and has rapidly grown its offices, adding new rooms every year to fulfil the needs of more space and adapt to meet the required hygienic requests. Located in Jimbaran Puri Gading, this is an ideal spot to deliver to hotels and restaurants based around Indonesia. Christoph provides us with an overview of the company, talking about customer service and the award-winning cheeses it produces. “Having started small as most companies do, we first started producing our products inside a kitchen. Nowadays, Bali-Alm has the capacity of storing several tons of cheese in the cheesecakes. “Regarding the customer, the team at Bali-Alm always aims to satisfy the needs of our customers, so that we produce goods to the highest standards possible expected of us. An example of this would be Paneer Cheese or Hartzer Cheese, a German specialty which is not that well known outside of Germany. Flexibility is the key to our success, so we try to build all production process as flexible as possible, ensuring we can meet the customers’ needs.”

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Bali-Alm and its team are highly innovative in the way that they produce their products, and innovation is the key aspect of its success. Every year, the firm is developing new flavours of yoghurt, and within five years, the team has produced around 15 different yoghurt tastes. Its most recent flavour of orange curd and lemon curd flavours has gone down a treat, however it is the company’s award winning blue cheese, calabres, which really stands out from the rest, and is constantly requested by luxurious hotels. It is the constant rate of production and impressive quality of the products produced which makes the company stand out, as Christoph notes. “The food and drink industry is becoming increasingly competitive and is constantly growing, particularly in regard to dairy products, and it is not east for a small company to be successful with all the big companies hovering. There are companies from Germany, America and New Zealand which are constantly entering the market with more money than us, but our innovation and consistency is key to us establishing ourselves as a company.” “Furthermore, the staff at Bali-Alm produce the cheese out of passion, and the team has a wealth of experience in learning how to produce excellent food,

within the food industry. Even today, after over 30 years’ experience, the owner still checks every cheese that is produced and made in the cheese cake. We are a small company, so there is not a budget for all the technology required, and so the process is done by humans, ensuring that the only best products are produced. However, the team ensure that all the relevant health and safety standards are met and exceeded, and there are no comprises taken in order to save money. The overall target of the company is 100% satisfaction, and this is what makes the company unique from the rest.” Regarding the future of Bali-Alm, Christoph notes that dairy companies and the industry is still relatively young within Indonesia, and he is excited about the endless possibilities that the firm still have to explore. There is a new cheese in store for around Christmas time, and there seems to be a lot of positivity buzzing around the company. “Essentially, Indonesia in terms of dairy, is still learning and there are endless possibilities within the industry. Starting from production of the supplies until the finished product, we ensure excellence and make sure every step is taken with the utmost care. What we can say is that for Christmas, we have made a new cheese in cooperation with a big wine producer in Bali.”


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Specialty Café of the Year - Kuala Lumpur

Company: The Bean Belt Coffee Contact: Darwin Arriega Contact Email: darwin@degayo.com Address: Ground Floor Menara Haw Par, Jalan Sultan Ismail, 50250 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia Phone: 0060 3 2022 1166 Website: www.degayo.com

Specialty Café of the Year - Kuala Lumpur Degayo Coffee Group is an innovative coffee company specialising in farming, sourcing, processing, roasting and serving high quality Arabica Coffee and Specialty Coffee. The Bean Belt Coffee is the firm’s first retail outlet, as Darwin Arriega discusses. Degayo Coffee Group, operator of the Bean Belt Coffee shop, is a supplier that provides green coffee beans and roasted coffee to those with a passion for premium quality coffee. Darwin explains how the firm works to provide the very highest standards of product to its valued customers. “At Degayo, we are a coffee company/coffee shop serving Premium and Specialty coffee to consumers in Central Business District of Kuala Lumpur, 10 minutes’ walk from the iconic tower of Kuala Lumpur “Petronas Twin Towers”. We also operate coffee farm, coffee processing facilities for Premium & Specialty Coffee in Sumatra, Indonesia. Our coffee roaster, located in Kuala Lumpur roasting and packing roasted coffee under the brand DEGAYO and our first retail outlet the Bean Belt Coffee has been attracting coffee lovers and coffee enthusiasts from various country “Being a coffee farms owner, coffee processing plant, coffee Roastery and coffee shop we are in control of the entire supply chain and able to serve the best quality coffee to our consumers. The founder was born in the farm and a fourth generation from coffee farming family. On the foods supply we are working closely

with experience chef who has spent years in crafting excellence foods with Western and Asian flavour in Australia. Our staffs at the coffee shop are well trained on preparing quality food and provide good service.” With regards to the future, Darwin believes that both Degayo Coffee Group and the Bean Belt Coffee will flourish as demand continues to grow, as he proudly concludes. “Being based in such a vibrant and affluent market, moving forward we foresee a bright future in our business, as we aim to continue and build upon our current growth. Over the coming years we are keen to expand our business to support even more clients, and look forward to the opportunities this will bring.”

“...Darwin believes that both Degayo Coffee Group and the Bean Belt Coffee will flourish.” LUX - Food & Drink Awards 2017 69


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Sushi Restaurant of the Year 2017 - Antwerp

Company: Roji Contact: Gunter Landuyt Contact Email: info@roji.be Address: Oude koornmarkt 26, 2000 Antwerp, Belgium Phone: 0032 3 296 61 33 Website: http://roji.be/

Sushi Restaurant of the Year 2017 - Antwerp Roji is a unique French / Japanese restaurant located in the heart of the historic in the city of Antwerp. We profile this innovative establishment to provide you with a fascinating overview of the once in a lifetime experience it offers. Roji is not just a restaurant; it is an experience. The Japanese / French kitchen combined with the restaurant’s unique signature sushi rolls and some of the best cocktails in the region is just one side of the story. The other is the unique location; a medieval basement located in the centre of Antwerp. With the interior designed by Axel Vervoort and handmade tableware, Roji offers a dining experience that guests will never forget. Dishes are made using only the finest produce to ensure that the restaurant is not only a beautiful venue, but also the ideal setting for a tasty and engaging meal. The moment that a guest enters the establishment the attentive and supportive staff tend to their every need, working hard to immerse them in the French/ Japanese atmosphere that Roji has cultivated. Every guest receives a personalised experience tailored to their individual needs and preferences so that they leave satisfied and bring others to this innovative, cross cultural experience. Ultimately, the rise of social media and reviewing sites has meant that customers can always review 70 LUX - Food & Drink Awards 2017

restaurants easily, meaning that no dining establishment can afford to ever offer bad service or a poor quality product. As such, Roji works hard to ensure that every diner an experience that they will always remember for all the right reasons.

“Every guest receives a personalised experience tailored to their individual needs and preferences so that they leave satisfied and bring others to this innovative, cross cultural experience.”


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Best for Turkish Cuisine 2017 - East London

Company: Meydan Sofrasi Contact: Orhan Kibarogullari Contact Email: info@meydansofrasi.co.uk Address: 67 Barking Road, Canning Town, London, E16 4HB, UK Phone: 020 7476 88 79 Website: http://meydansofrasi.co.uk/

Best for Turkish Cuisine 2017 - East London The Meydan Sofrasi is an innovative London based restaurant dedicated to bringing a true taste of Turkey to the capital. We profile the establishment to give you an overview of the delicious flavours and tempting dishes to be found there. Turkish food is a huge part of what makes Mediterranean cuisine special, that’s why Turkish cuisine is fast making a name for itself on the worldwide culinary platform. Every dish is filled with such rich flavours and exquisite tastes that people often keep coming back for more. When looking back at Turkish history the reason Turkish cuisine is been ranked among the top three cuisines in the world can be understood better. As such, the Meydan Sofrasi is dedicated to creating a truly unique atmosphere for those looking to experience and authentic Turkish meal. The Meydan Sofrasi has an open kitchen which gives diners the opportunity to see its chefs in action. All of the establishment’s meals are prepared on the kitchen carefully and passionately in front of all its customers so that they feel involved in the whole process. Diners can choose to indulge in the comfort of the sumptuously decorated restaurant, where they will be waited on by attentive and well trained staff. Alternatively, they can select from the establishment’s

extensive take-away menu, and enjoy their favourite Turkish cuisine in the comfort of their own home. Fundamentally, the Meydan Sofrasi aims to offer an authentic taste of Turkish cuisine, alongside a exceptional dining experience, and this will remain its ongoing focus as the establishment looks towards a bright and opportunity laden future.

“Diners can choose to indulge in the comfort of the sumptuously decorated restaurant, where they will be waited on by attentive and well trained staff. ” LUX - Food & Drink Awards 2017 71


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Most Innovative Sushi Restaurant - Singapore


lux Company: Sushi Airways Contact: Arul Inthirarajah Contact Email: pilot@sushiairways.com Address: 20a Baghdad Street, 199659, Singapore Phone: 0065 6291 1151 Website: http://sushiairways.com/

Most Innovative Sushi Restaurant - Singapore

Sushi Airways offers a unique gastronomic adventure on board Singapore’s first and only aircraft themed restaurant. Owner Arul Inthirarajah tells us more about this innovative establishment and how it cultivates a relaxed and friendly atmosphere. Sushi Airways is a sushi bar and Japanese restaurant which takes as its design inspiration the classic and timeless qualities of the DC-3 aircraft in order to differentiate itself in a highly competitive food and beverage landscape. Arul discusses the inception of this creative concept and how he has developed it into a popular restaurant. “When I first located the property that Sushi Airways now occupies in the iconic Arab Street quarter of Singapore, and decided to use it for a restaurant, I realized that the area was crowded with a plethora of eateries offering Middle Eastern and Turkish cuisine, providing a magnet for diners to come to the area. Somewhat counter-intuitively, I felt that it would be an advantage rather than a disadvantage to offer a cuisine that would stand out from the crowd, rather than to play to the existing gallery. I also recognised that it would take skilful execution and a dedicated vision to make it succeed. “After much research, I decided on a restaurant that would initially attract customers on the basis of its theme, but that would subsequently retain their patronage by offering them consistently excellent food. I needed a concept that would make this restaurant equally attractive as a destination restaurant for diners further afield. “After evaluating the unique architectural features of the property, I came to the conclusion that its long narrow shape, its many windows and the elevated location on the upper level of a two-storey listed property lent itself to being developed thematically into the interior of an aircraft. It was only after all this that I decided on the cuisine to be served. Japanese cuisine was quickly becoming more appreciated in Singapore, so I opted to open what would be the only sushi restaurant in the area at the time. I found an experienced chef to provide a strong operational footing for the new business, and the first design for the restaurant was finalized and implemented. It was thus that Sushi Airways was ‘air-borne’.” It is the level of excellence that the establishment provides that has helped it to grow and flourish despite

the competitive nature of Singapore’s restaurant market, as Arul explains.

Chinese qipao, an outfit that is not only original, but elegant and practical as well.”

“Since inception, word of mouth, a strong social media presence, and repeated mentions in the press (including numerous inflight magazines which highlight Sushi Airways as a place to visit in Singapore) have all contributed to the restaurant’s success. We had to deliver in overall customer experience to maintain these numbers, and I am pleased to say that I believe we have.

Looking ahead, Arul has a number of exciting plans to grow Sushi Airways even further, as he highlights in his concluding comments.

“At lunch, our clientele are mainly office executives who frequent us for our set lunch specials. We are also popular with ladies-who-lunch who favour our a-la-carte menu. Some patrons have also chosen to make Sushi Airways their choice for corporate entertainment. It is certainly different from your run-ofthe-mill Japanese restaurant. Lately, we have even had the pleasure of receiving a thumbs-up in satisfaction from CEO Tony Fernandes of AirAsia after he dropped in for lunch. “For dinner, our customers are usually young to middle-aged adults who focus on our exotic seasonal menu items and the top selling favourites, our signature Maki rolls. These are discerning clientele who are well travelled, knowledgeable about Japanese cuisine, and who appreciate the exotic and the unusual, like shirako (cod sperm or milt), uni (sea urchin) served in their shells (so fresh that one can taste the waters of Hokkaido as one slurps up their roe), and crisp deep-fried sawagani (tiny crabs found in the cold mountain streams of Japan) which one pops into one’s mouth with a delightful crunch.” The menu is a key draw that brings people back for more, as Arul is eager to emphasise. “My chef and I work together to update our main menu every eighteen months and our seasonal menu that changes every week. Our regulars look forward to the consistent quality of our food and our innovative and exciting menu choices. I have also designed and implemented a unique uniform for our service crew, which is a cross between a kimono and a traditional

“To take Sushi Airways to even greater heights, we recently brought in a top-notch team of seasoned sashimi chefs led by our new Executive Chef. This has allowed us to enhance our ability to deliver a superior ‘Omakase’ experience for our customers as an additional dining choice. ‘Omakase’ means ‘leave it up to the chef’, and is usually offered in the finest of Japanese restaurants, allowing our Business Class diners a chance to savour a First Class experience.”

“My chef and I work together to update our main menu every eighteen months and our seasonal menu that changes every week. Our regulars look forward to the consistent quality of our food and our innovative and exciting menu choices.”

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Best Chinese Restaurant 2017 - Surrey


lux Company: Yimchai Contact: Kalvin To Contact Email: kalvin.to@yimchai.com Address: 37 Richmond Road, Kingston Upon Thames, Surrey, KT2 5BW, UK Phone: 0208 5462776 Web Address: www.yimchai.com

Best Chinese Restaurant 2017 - Surrey

Yimchai is an independent restaurant and café that specialises in serving visitors the finest, freshest and tastiest authentic Chinese and Hong Kong style food and drinks. Kalvin To tells us more about the establishment and the range of dishes it offers. Yimchai combines the coffee culture with Oriental eating, creating a unique cafe restaurant where guests can enjoy a freshly cooked oriental meal with their regular choice of coffee or a pot of specialty Chinese tea. Kalvin provides more detail and how the restaurant creates a unique atmosphere and exceptional meals for its valued diners. “At Yimchai, freshness is our watchword. From our handmade Mao Mao Bao (steamed buns) through to our crowd-pleasing roast duck, we ensure that all of our food is fresh, tasty and expertly prepared. Our chefs have the passion to create exceptional dishes which cater to all tastes. “Additionally, our front-of-house team also goes above and beyond so that every guest has a truly unforgettable experience. We love to show our visitors that there is more to a Chinese dining experience than a bottle of Tsing Tao. As such, we offer and serve a range of traditional HK-style drinks, smoothies and teas, which require our waiters to be on top of their game.” As such, it is no wonder that Kalvin is eager to showcase the importance of staff at his restaurant, as he expresses his pride in the exceptional service they provide to guests. “As a business operating in the service industry, Yimchai’s success is solely down to our staff. We are fortunate that our team is packed with attentive, passionate and dedicated people, along with our secret weapon – a team member described on TripAdvisor as “definitely the best waitress in Kingston.” “To keep a strong team dynamic and ensure continued excellence, when we hire, we put attitude at the top of our list. If someone has the right attitude, and is willing to pull together and work towards our aims, we don’t have to worry about their behaviour. A team with the right attitude is always willing to go the extra mile, for diners, for Yimchai, and for each other.” Thanks to its talented staff, the establishment’s

commitment to providing guests with the experience they want has helped it to develop and succeed over the years, as Kalvin is keen to highlight. “Since inception, Yimchai has been shaped and moulded by the changing expectations of our customers. We initially launched with just a handful of authentic Hong Kong dishes, and found that visitors would often request traditional Chinese dishes or modern fusion food. Drawing upon their comments and feedback from TripAdvisor and social media, we slowly and deliberately expanded our menu. We still only offer dishes that fit in with Yimchai’s commitment to HK cuisine – but our menu has slowly and consistently grown to offer a wider choice without losing out on quality. “Fundamentally, in the food and drink industry, the only way to stand out is to impress customers. You can impress someone with flash marketing or gimmicks once, but great food at an affordable price keeps them returning time and time again. By ensuring our authentic and fusion dishes are fresh and beautifully cooked, that our front of house team creates a relaxed atmosphere, and that we offer great value for money, we generate great word of mouth and superb online reviews.” The Chinese restaurant market in the UK is highly competitive, therefore Kalvin and his team understand the need to offer only the highest quality food and exceptional hospitality, as he emphasises. “The food and drink industry has always been competitive, and that shows no sign of slowing down. Serving traditional Hong Kong cuisine is incredibly labour intensive, and our requirements for fresh, specialist ingredients keeps our running costs high. That means our main challenge is finding a balance; we need to turn a profit and reward our team, all without overcharging diners. “To meet this challenge, at Yimchai we are dedicated to keeping a focused menu. Unlike many high street Chinese restaurants, which feel the need to juggle hundreds of menu items, Yimchai offers a curated

selection of fresh, flavourful dishes. This keeps costs down, allows our chefs to focus their talents, and ensures that our customers only receive the finest, freshest dishes that offer real value for money.” Moving forward, Kalvin has a number of exciting plans to grow Yimchai and build upon its current success, as he proudly outlines in his concluding comments. “Looking to the future, we will continue to deliberately and regularly expand our menu, adding new dishes that our chefs will continue to cook to the very highest standards. We also have big plans for the front of house too, and are looking forward to expanding our bar menu to offer a range of cocktails.”

A “ dditionally, our front-of-house team also goes above and beyond so that every guest has a truly unforgettable experience. We love to show our visitors that there is more to a Chinese dining experience than a bottle of Tsing Tao. As such, we offer and serve a range of traditional HK-style drinks, smoothies and teas.” LUX - Food & Drink Awards 2017 75


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Best Bar & Grill 2017 - Phuket City & Best Catering Services 2017 – Phuket, Thailand

Company: Two Chefs Catering Contact: Adam Goodman Contact Email: adam.goodman@twochefs.com Address: Patak Road East, Karon,Muang,Phuket 83100 Website: www.twochefscateringphuket.com Facebook: twochefscateringphuket

Best Bar & Grill 2017 - Phuket City & Best Catering Services 2017 – Phuket, Thailand Two Chefs Restaurants and Catering is an innovative hospitality firm based in Phuket, Thailand. We invited Adam Goodman to tell us more. Drawing on the vast experience of its committed team, Two Chefs aims to offer the very highest standard of service to clients ranging from businesses and event planners through to couples who are due to get married and people planning intimate family celebrations. Adam talks us through the firm’s service offering in more detail. “Here at Two Chefs, our Phuket catering team provides a professional and personalized service for any event, not just weddings. We have helped clients in the past with their yacht company events, M.I.C.E., corporate events, and private events all throughout Phuket. We also provide catering in Koh Samui and Krabi.” The firm also operates four restaurants. Established back in 2000 Two Chefs has a long tradition of taking care of their guests who visit the restaurants located in Phuket, Thailand. Tradition, quality and innovation is something they always strive for in their restaurant kitchens and menus. As such, the establishments serve international cuisine with Scandinavian specialties and delicious Thai food in a modern and creative style. This is done in house by experienced Chef Adam, who explains the firm’s

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dedication to providing staff with exceptional support to ensure excellence for clients. “Two Chefs Catering does extensive training with both our kitchen and service teams to ensure the highest standards are constantly being achieved in all aspects of our catering services and restaurants. We work with our suppliers to get the best possible ingredients for each dish and drink that we make. The kitchen and bar development teams work hard to create new innovative items that use local product and change seasonally.” Working in a variety of kitchens and environments, the firm has to work hard to ensure food safety is achieved, as Adam highlights. “At Two Chefs, we take food safety and hygiene extremely seriously. As such, we not only follow the HACCP standards in our kitchens but also on site at all of our catering events. Two Chefs does regular certified food safety and hygiene training seminars with both our kitchen staff and service staff to ensure all staff meet our high standards. Overall, the future looks bright for Two Chefs, as Adam shares the company’s plans for further growth.

“Over the coming year we will be expanding our services into Koh Lak, Krabi, Koh Samui and Bangkok, to build upon our current success and grow even further.”

“We work with our suppliers to get the best possible ingredients for each dish and drink that we make. The kitchen and bar development teams work hard to create new innovative items that use local product and change seasonally.”


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Real Ale Pub of the Year 2017 - Shropshire

Company: Bailey Head Ltd Contact: Duncan Borrowman Contact Email: info@baileyhead.co.uk Address: The Bailey Head, Bailey Head, Oswestry, SY11 1PZ, UK Phone: 01691 570418

Real Ale Pub of the Year 2017 - Shropshire The Bailey Head is a free house nestled in Oswestry close to the border between Shropshire and Wales. We profiled the establishment to find out more about the warm welcome guests can expect. Owned and run by husband and wife team Duncan and Grace, the Bailey Head opened in March 2016 on the site of an 18th century public house with a poor reputation. Everything was changed, the name of the pub, the drinks and food on offer and the clientele. Serving over 420 different real ales a year the pub was quickly voted Market Towns Pub of the Year by the Shrewsbury and West Shropshire Campaign for Real Ale, as well as being runner up for their overall pub of the year. At the first opportunity, the pub went straight into the CAMRA Good Beer Guide 2018. Oakham Ales are regularly on the bar, with the pub accredited as an Oakham Oakademy of Excellence. As well as great real ale, the pub has an extensive craft beer list. On tap, there are six craft beers and as well as imported German Pils. To cap this there are three fridges filled with bottles and cans from some of the best UK Craft Beer producers as well as from Belgium, Italy, Japan, Holland and the USA. It is not only about beer; the rest of the menu includes 60 gins on the extensive spirit menu and a soft drinks

list which has earned a five-star award from Club Soda. The food menu is simple but high quality; cheese boards using handmade Welsh and Shropshire Cheeses, Antipasti from Trealy Farm in Wales, Ploughman’s Lunches, local handmade pork pies & scotch eggs and bowls of local Venison Casserole and vegan soups – both served with hot crusty rolls. None of the success has come easy. Nearly a year passed with Grace and Duncan working alone. Since then a team of part time staff has been recruited, all of whom were regulars in the pub. It has been hard work getting the message across that just because it is the same building, it is a totally different pub and for people to give it a try. Now there is a strong following of locals drinking beer, sipping gin and tonics and maybe playing a game from the board games collection. Looking ahead, Grace and Duncan remain committed to the belief that the day that they think there is nothing that can be improved is the day to stop.

“It has been hard work getting the message across that just because it is the same building, it is a totally different pub and for people to give it a try. Now there is a strong following of locals drinking beer, sipping gin and tonics and maybe playing a game from the board games collection.” LUX - Food & Drink Awards 2017 77


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Best Italian Brasserie 2017 - Southampton & LUX Excellence Award for Italian Wine Testing

Company: Momento Brasserie Contact: Francesco Contact Email: info@momentobrasserie.co.uk Address: Unit 2, One Guildhall Square, SO14 7FP, UK Phone: 02380 233717 Website: http://momentobrasserie.co.uk

Best Italian Brasserie 2017 - Southampton & LUX Excellence Award for Italian Wine Testing Momento Brasserie is an Italian eatery dedicated to providing the very highest standards of service and delicious meals. We profile the firm to find out more and explore the secrets of its success. Established in 2014, Momento Brasserie is the destination for a warm, Italian welcome in Southampton. It is the ideal destination to relax and a good coffee, breakfast, lunch, an afternoon cake or Cannoli, an early evening supper, pre-theatre or otherwise. Located in the heart of the city’s new Cultural Quarter (10 minutes from Central station, 5 minutes from Mayflower theatre and West Quay ,Nuffield Southampton Theatres.) Momento offers a place for guests to indulge and take time out of their busy lives. The restaurant is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, as well as a tempting pastry or celebratory prosecco in between should the need arise. It boasts an indoor seating area and an outdoor area in Guildhall Square, where guests can dine on Italian comfort food and treat themselves to a glass of wine, making the experience a perfect marriage on a lovely day. To ensure it caters to every taste, Momento offer a wide variety of food, with the meat and fish being sourced from the best local producers. The establishment have handpicked its wine list from the best vine yards in Italy to ensure excellence.

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All things Italian come to Momento, and as such the establishment regularly hosts Italian Wine Tasting evenings, as well as offering authentic, Italian food and wine menus. Additionally, the brasserie offers a range of celebratory services, from wine tasting to lady’s lunches, bottomless brunch events, pre-theatre suppers and lazy Sunday lunches. There is also live Italian music, cooking demonstrations and book club events. Events such as weddings, birthdays and christenings are also catered for. Overall, Momento Brasserie draws on owner Francesco’s experience in the hospitality market, which spans more than 30 years, to deliver the very highest standards of food and service, and moving forward this will remain the establishment’s ongoing focus.

“Events such as weddings, birthdays and christenings are also catered for.”


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Best Food Nutrition Social Media Specialist 2017 – New South Wales

Company: Healthy gf Asian Contact Name: Daphne Goh Contact Email: daphne@healthygfasian.com Website: www.healthygfasian.com

Best Food Nutrition Social Media Specialist 2017 – New South Wales Healthy gf Asian is an innovative lifestyle blog offering healthy Asian recipes and support for those seeking to achieve and maintain a balanced diet. We spoke to creator Daphne Goh to gain an insight into the content she creates and how this influences her readers from around the world. Healthy gf Asian provides a wide range of recipes including gluten free Asian desserts, Chinese, Japanese, Singaporean, Thai and many more. Daphne outlines the aims of her blog in more detail and highlights how she works to support her readers. “Healthy gf Asian was created to educate, inform, share my recipes and provide healthy and tasty options to people on restricted diets, and as such are my recipes not only gluten free but allergy friendly as well. The majority of my Asian recipes are authentic traditional recipes plus new original recipes created based on naturally gluten free food like lean meat, poultry, seafood, nuts and seeds, legumes and fresh fruits and vegetables. All the recipes are carefully selected, organized and presented online including triple tested recipes, food history, food nutrition and food photography. This is in order to inspire people to eat well despite being on a restricted diet.” “Fundamentally, I focus on encouraging them to eat a balanced diet based on healthy food choices. Many of my readers are people with celiac disease, gluten sensitivity, inflammatory diseases and autoimmune disorders plus parents of children with behavioural

problems. Furthermore, many readers just want to eat healthier to improve their health and wellbeing.” The food market is constantly evolving, and gluten free meals are increasingly popular as consumers look to their health. Daphne talks us through the developments she has noticed in the market since starting Healthy gf Asian and how she has adapted around these. “Within the global food market, since starting my blog/ website nearly three years ago consumers have become increasingly focused on nutritional values, varieties, look and taste of gluten free food, rather than just gluten free ingredients. Additionally, consumers are more engaged with value and health benefits of gluten free and freefrom foods. I have extended my gluten free recipes to include other free from healthy food trends for wider audience.” “Overall, the global gluten free food market is highly competitive and disintegrated with a few large and small wholesalers with swift technological transformations. They compete based on status, value, quality, invention, advertising and service. Likewise, gluten free food blogging platform is quite saturated and competitive.

I differentiate my blog/website from other competitors by focussing on gluten free and free-from innovative and quality Asian food recipes “niche”. Together with illustrious food photography, food history and food nutrition details meticulously curated for each recipe. I also leverage the use of social media for advertising.” Looking to the future, as an informative blog operating in a growing and constantly evolving market, Daphne foresees growth for Healthy gf Asian. “Since I created it, my blog has been promoting and will continue to expand on healthy eating by featuring gluten free, vegan, paleo and other free-from recipes. Sourcing sustainable ingredients is what I have been doing and will persist in doing so. In 2018, I will also look at releasing meal plans and innovative recipes that will reduce food wastes.” “Longer term, I will be looking at extending my recipes to include Western cuisines, publishing eCookbooks, establishing an online store, a new, more detailed and separate food nutrition section and making cooking videos. These developments will provide me with many exciting new opportunities.” LUX - Food & Drink Awards 2017 79


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Best Contemporary Dining Experience 2017 - Mansfeld- Südharz & LUX Most Atmospheric Restaurant Location 2017

Photo: Marcel Senz

Company: Orangerie Seeburg Contact: Alexander Mönch, Christian Zerban Contact Email: info@orangerie-seeburg.de Address@ Schloss Str. 18, 06317, 06317 Seegebiet Mansfelder Land, OT., Seeburg, Germany Phone: 03477 4701780 Website: www.Orangerie-Seeburg.com

Best Contemporary Dining Experience 2017 - Mansfeld- Südharz & LUX Most Atmospheric Restaurant Location 2017 Orangerie Seeburg offers modern fine dining in a stunning setting to create a unique experience. We profile the establishment to find out more and explore how it came to win in our prestigious LUX Food & Drink Awards. Orangerie Seeburg creates culinary art using only the finest, locally sourced products. To create a truly exceptional experience, food is stored for a maximum of two days, and a new menu devised every eight weeks, so that no two visits are ever the same and diners always receive fresh, innovative dishes. Close cooperation with suppliers as well as the inspection of breeding and production of the food that the restaurant uses contribute to safety and health, and highlights the extreme lengths to which the management at Orangerie Seeburg go to ensure excellence for everyone who dines there. Innovation and creativity are central to the establishment’s offering, and as such they use only the latest technology, including a sous vide cooking appliance with water basin and immersion circulator to create unique meals that keep diners coming back for more. Located at Seeburg Castle, which is over 1000 years old, guests of Orangerie Seeburg have an excellent view over the Süßen See lake to the harbingers of the Harz mountains. 80 LUX - Food & Drink Awards 2017

Staff are vital to the restaurant’s success, and therefore Orangerie Seeburg works tirelessly to ensure that they are always motivated and trained to provide exceptional service to their valued guests. Looking ahead, the team at Orangerie Seeburg are always seeking to innovate and grow, providing clients with the very highest standards of food and service, and going forward this will remain their ongoing focus.

“Looking ahead, the team at Orangerie Seeburg are always seeking to innovate and grow, providing clients with the very highest standards of food and service...”


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Best Asian Fusion Restaurant - London

Company: Sticky Mango Contact: Peter Lloyd Contact Email: info@stickymango.co.uk Address: 33 Coin Street, London, SE1 9NR, UK Phone: 2079284554 Web Address: www.stickymango.co.uk

Best Asian Fusion Restaurant - London Drawing on the vast experience of Founder and Head Chef Peter Lloyd, which spans over 24 years in some of the world’s best kitchens, Sticky Mango offers visitors and innovative menu and first class service. We profile the establishment to find out more. Sticky Mango was created by Chef Peter Lloyd in 2016, originally as a residency taking over 2 floors at the RSJ restaurant in Waterloo. Peter was previously the executive chef for 5 years at the Spice Market Restaurant in London a concept created by 3 Michelin Star Chef Jean Georges Vongerichten. The concept of Sticky Mango is to offer its guests a progressive style of South East Asian flavours inspired predominately by the street food of Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Vietnam and Indonesia. By December 25th Sticky Mango had reached the number 1 position on Trip Advisor out of 18,000 restaurants in London. In April 2017 RSJ Restaurant closed its doors and due to the continued success of Sticky Mango we took over all 3 floors giving us a seating capacity of 110. The positioning of Sticky Mango just five mins from Waterloo Station and the Southbank really lends itself to a wide demographic of customers. With a number of Theatres around the restaurant including The Old Vic and the National it has a good pre-theatre trade. As a casual dining concept with a kitchen led by an experienced chef, the establishment is able to offer

guests a blend of relaxation and refined luxury which cannot be found elsewhere. Overall, Sticky Mango has achieved phenomenal success since inception, but despite this Peter and his team will not be resting on their laurels, and instead are eager to continue developing the restaurant to ensure continued success. Investment needs to be made in adapting the building, and Peter is also keen to develop Sticky Mango’s beverage program further with more signature cocktails and a good beer collaboration to attract an even wider range of customers.

“The concept of Sticky Mango is to offer its guests a progressive style of South East Asian flavours...” LUX - Food & Drink Awards 2017 81


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Best Indian Restaurant - Harrogate


lux Company: Cardamom Black Restaurant, Harrogate Name: Nick Rahman Email: nick@cardamomblack.com Address: The Old Empire Theatre, 2-6 Cheltenham Parade, Harrogate, North Yorkshire, HG1 1DD, UK Telephone: 01423 313136 web: cardamomblack.co.uk

Best Indian Restaurant - Harrogate

Cardamom Black is Harrogate’s premier Asian dining experience, occupying one the most iconic buildings in the beautiful Spa town of Harrogate - The Old Empire Theatre. We explore how this exclusive establishment works to offer every diner an experience they will never forget. Opened in December 2011, Cardamom Black Harrogate was born from the love and passion of serving great food in a truly unique environment. The building started its life as a Methodist chapel in 1872 but subsequently became the Empire Theatre in 1910 and closed in the 1920s. The building was near derelict when Cardamom Black’s owner, Nick Rahman lovingly restored it, keeping the original structure including the Grand stage area that now plays host to the large circular revolving remote-controlled table, a favourite choice for large groups and parties. Combining the strengths of two generations of restaurant experience, highly-skilled chefs and exquisite ingredients, Cardamom Black is renowned as being one of the best restaurants in Harrogate. Cardamom Black aims to offer every guest a truly exceptional experience and has played host to celebrities, such as Gareth Southgate and Ian Botham. It also provides a glamorous corporate entertainment venue where industry giants like Coca-Cola or Proctor & Gamble have held events, but primarily is a firm favourite with local and regional diners. Offering live entertainment, one of the most interesting Pan South Asian menus anywhere in England and a stunning, historical venue all combine to create a dining experience like no other. With two bar areas, a fresh fish bar, private dining facilities and conferencing as well as a grand stage area, Cardamom Black is a restaurant like no other, and is able to create an unforgettable night no matter what their visitors a looking for. The MD, Nick Rahman, personally designed nearly all the furniture, and even the crockery and steel ware used in the restaurant having flown to Dubai, India and China to the factories himself. This dedication to perfection, alongside a combined 100 years of experience in the food and drink industry highlights the fact that the management at Cardamom Black do not cut corners. Head chef Litu and his team of six chefs produce three fresh stocks every single day, the restaurant’s MD buys fresh local produce daily and the establishment never uses pastes, preservatives or carcinogens. Fresh spices are ground daily to create

intense, flavourful dishes, prepared to customers exact taste. Cardamom Black takes great pride in having some of the most exquisite dishes in any Asian restaurant in the country, and as such guests can be assured of a truly authentic Indian dining experience featuring incomparable flavours and well-balanced meals. Although an Indian restaurant at heart, Cardamom Black is not what you would describe your usual ‘curry house’ and everything from the décor to the food is impressive, so much so, that the restaurant was awarded Yorkshire Evening Post’s prestigious Oliver Award for Best Indian Restaurant in 2013. Cardamom Black restaurant in Harrogate was also selected for the Best in Britain Awards as one of three exceptional Asian restaurants in the North East and listed in the top 50 Best in Britain Awards alongside some of country’s long-established and Michelin starred Asian restaurants. The extensive menu places huge emphasis on local, fresh, produce combined with the accomplished skills of the chefs, who take the flavours and styles of the different regions of India, Pakistan and Bangladesh. Combined this helps create the unique Pan-South Asian menu with the restaurant adding its own twists on classics and original creations. Thanks to a resurgence in the pub culture within the UK dining market, Cardamom Black has created a glorious Gin Library and a 200-bottle spirit bar, as well as introducing some special Craft Beers to entice customers to spend their ‘social drinking time’ at the restaurant. Another key development within the food and drink market over recent years has been the increased focus on home delivery, and as such Cardamom Black have also invested heavily in logistics for its own home delivery service and to facilitate a unique Off License. Moving forward, Cardamom Black are keen to remain at the forefront of emerging developments in the food and drink market which will increase exposure for the restaurant, and the team are excited for the opportunities this will bring.

“Cardamom Black aims to offer every guest a truly exceptional experience and has played host to celebrities, such as Gareth Southgate and Ian Botham. It also provides a glamorous corporate entertainment venue where industry giants like CocaCola or Proctor & Gamble have held events, but primarily is a firm favourite with local and regional diners.”

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Best Indian Fusion Restaurant - Oxfordshire

Company: The Snooty Mehmaan Contact: Asad Ahmed Contact Email: asad@snootymehmaan.com Address: A420 Littleworth, Faringdon, Oxfordshire, SN7 8PW, UK Phone: 01367 242 260 Website: www.snootymehmaan.com

Best Indian Fusion Restaurant - Oxfordshire Featuring an award winning chef and exceptional service, The Snooty Mehmaan is an innovative fusion restaurant based in Faringdon, Oxfordshire. We spoke to Asad Ahmed to find out more. With an emphasis on refined yet creative Indian and Thai cuisine, The Snooty Mehmaan offers a creative menu, which incorporates both traditional classic favourites and original new dishes that apply classic flavours with a modern twist. Asad discusses how the establishment works to create an atmosphere that encourages clients to keep coming back for more. “At The Snooty Mehmaan we work hard to deliver the best in Indian and Thai food combined with a relaxed atmosphere, making this a great venue to hold a business function or simply to enjoy a drink at our bar. Thanks to this flexibility and the level of excellence we are able to achieve with our food and service, the majority of our clientele are regular local patrons, although we have also attracted large businesses seeking a unique yet refined establishment at which to hold their meetings.” As the restaurant market remains highly competitive, innovation is key, and as such Asad is eager to highlight how his establishment has worked hard to remain at the forefront of the latest developments and works to meet guests’ needs and exceed their expectations.

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“Since we created The Snooty Mehmaan, diners’ perception of a good meal has changed as they get to know more about the cuisine and cooking methods. To ensure our continued success, we have adapted our methods of cooking to meet their expectations. We constantly strive to provide good quality meals and a great service to stay ahead of our competitors and always aim to be at the very cutting edge of the latest market developments.” Overall The Snooty Mehmaan has achieved phenomenal success over the years, and moving forward the team are eager to enhance this further and explore new avenues, as Asad concludes. “Going forward, exciting developments abound at The Snooty Mehmaan, as we have just been given planning permission to extend our business to build a purpose-built events venue for up to 150 guests and 11 guest bedrooms, including a bridal suite. We hope the development will start early 2018 and are looking forward to unveiling the new facilities to our valued customers in the future.”

“Overall The Snooty Mehmaan has achieved phenomenal success over the years, and moving forward the team are eager to enhance this further and explore new avenues, as Asad concludes.”


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Best Specialty Steak Restaurant - Maidstone

Company: Buenos Aires Nights Steakhouse Contact: Craig Tinham- Manager Contact Email: info@ba-nights.co.uk Address: 63 High Street, Maidstone, ME14 1SR, UK Phone: 01622 688 655 Web Address: www.ba-nights.co.uk

Best Specialty Steak Restaurant - Maidstone Buenos Aires Nights Steakhouse is managed by an international English-Spanish group of food enthusiasts dedicated to creating stunning meals that exceed their guests’ expectations. We invited Company Director Linda Pontoriero to tell us more. Buenos Aires Nights Steakhouse offers an enticing combination of exceptional quality food and superb service to ensure that it meets the needs of its diners and provides them an experience they will remember for all the right reasons. Linda discusses the restaurant’s menu and dedication to quality in more detail.

business meal, date nights/first dates, and even smarts small weddings.”

“At Buenos Aires Nights Steakhouse, our passion are wines and steaks and we are proud of it. Casual dinner, a party, a business meeting or for a special occasion, we will always ensure that our customers enjoy a welcoming and elegant atmosphere with an excellent service and food. Buenos Aires Nights presents Argentinean cuisine influenced by Spanish and Italian cooking techniques, bringing back our historical influence with appreciation of the best quality ingredients available from Argentina.

“Looking ahead, the future looks bright for Buenos Aires Nights Steakhouse, as we seek to capitalise on our popularity and grow even further. We care constantly seeking to improve our service offering and our chefs constantly seek the very best quality products, such as our seafood for our Surf and Turf night, which we source from top suppliers on the Kent Coast, although the majority of our ingredients and drinks come directly from Argentina, giving guests a truly authentic experience. Moving forward we will seek to continue this as we look to offer the same high quality service and food, adapting around the changes we see in the food and drink market along the way.”

“Since we opened we have grown in popularity as a high-end restaurant because of our quality wines, steaks and décor, and as such our restaurant has become a choice for special occasions and is the top choice for people looking for a night out dining experience, from casual friends and birthdays to

Thanks to the restaurant’s continued growth and success Linda is enthused by the thought of the future, as she is proud to conclude.

“Buenos Aires Nights presents Argentinean cuisine influenced by Spanish and Italian cooking techniques, bringing back our historical influence with appreciation of the best quality ingredients available from Argentina.” LUX - Food & Drink Awards 2017 85


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Bar of the Year 2017 - Vienna

Company: Kem’s Bar & Kitchenette Contact: Kemal Erbulan Contact Email: klees.wien@gmail.com Address: Kleeblattgasse 5, A-1010 Wien, Austria Phone: 00431 8906316 Website: www.kems-bar.at

Bar of the Year 2017 - Vienna Kem’s Bar & Kitchenette is a relaxed bar offering a range of light meals and snacks to entice weary travellers. We explore the secrets behind the bar’s success. Kem’s Bar & Kitchenette offers an ideal atmosphere for a relaxing bite to eat and a refreshing drink for anyone sightseeing in the stunning, historical city of Vienna. The outdoor seating is perfect for reclining when the weather is clement, but for chilly, winter days the interior offers a cosy space to enjoy a light meal and a drink. A selection of beers, wines and cocktails are available, ensuring that there is something for everyone. The small but well-equipped kitchen is able to offer a selection of light bites and tasty treats, and the bar also offers a takeaway and catering service. There are also regular events held at the bar, including live music and fancy dress parties, and as such regulars often flock to Kem’s Bar & Kitchenette to experience the excitement and enjoy the exceptional service they offer. Situated in Vienna’s best-known district, pedestrian boulevards Kärntner Strasse and Graben connect guests with landmarks such as the Wiener Staatsoper (Vienna State Opera), Vienna’s iconic Stephansdom (St. Stephen’s Cathedral) and the vast compound of Hofburg, the Habsburgs’ former Imperial Palace. Adventurous diners can peek down side streets such as Annagasse and Weihburggasse, and Graben’s

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Seilergasse and Habsburggasse, to get a feel for the centre. The Imperial Apartments and the refreshingly demystifying Sissi Museum are must-dos at Hofburg. Ultimately, Kem’s Bar & Kitchenette provides a range of drinks, events and meals to ensure that it offers something to please everyone, and moving forward this will remain the establishment’s ongoing focus.

“The small but well-equipped kitchen is able to offer a selection of light bites and tasty treats, and the bar also offers a takeaway and catering service.”


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LUX 2017 Food & Drink awards  
LUX 2017 Food & Drink awards