Hey Presto!

Hey Presto!

Limestone Coast eateries were successful in the 2022 SA Restaurant and Catering HOSTPLUS Awards for Excellence, held on Monday night.

The Awards for Excellence program formally recognises hospitality operators across a broad range of categories which consistently provide exceptional service and demonstrate culinary excellence in their respective fields.

Mount Gambier’s Presto Eatery claimed the title for Café Dining – Regional, as well as being a finalist in the Breakfast Restaurant – Regional category.

Port MacDonnell’s Periwinkles Café was a finalist in the Café Dining – Regional, while Pipers of Penola was named a finalist in the Contemporary Australian Restaurant – Formal.

Mount Gambier’s The Commodore was a finalist in the Contemporary Australian Restaurant – Informal, with Coonawarra’s Ottelia a finalist in the Restaurant in a Winery category.

Millicent’s Mayura Station Tasting Room Restaurant received an honourable mention in the Steak Restaurant – Formal category and was also a finalist in the Tourism Restaurant class.

Presto Eatery co-owner Josslyn Jenkin, café manager Kate Wilson and venue manager Mikaela Johnston said winning the award was “very exciting”.

“I feel like winning the awards, for the staff, is just a massive credit to them,” Ms Jenkin said.

“For them to get this recognition against everyone else it’s just awesome and I guess it just shows the locals too that what we’re doing in Mount Gambier is something special.”

Ms Johnston said Presto Eatery prided themselves in producing high-quality food and beverages.

“It goes up against the cafes in the cities and people can come to a really regional area and get a really good quality meal in a beautiful atmosphere café,” Ms Johnston said.

“We pride ourselves on our service as well to match the quality food,” Ms Wilson said.

Ms Jenkin said everyone was extremely proud of the business, which had come a long way from its humble beginnings and said head chef Kathryn Holmes had been an integral part of the kitchen leadership since the beginning.

“It’s nice to reap the benefits of all those years of hard work,” she said.

“I just think there’s a lot of respect all around for everything, for the team, the staff, the customers that come through the door, we’re just really appreciative of everyone.”

Restaurant and catering chief executive Belinda Clarke congratulated each of the winners on behalf of the association, recognising their significant contributions to the SA hospitality sector.

“R&CA’s Awards for Excellence is one of the most important nights on the hospitality calendar. It is always such an amazing experience to recognise some of the state’s finest hospitality businesses who showcase the very best our industry has to offer,” Ms Clarke said.

“This year’s winners include household names such as Yuki in Burnside in Glen Osmond, who won Restaurant of the Year, The Banksia Tree who was hailed as Adelaide’s best cafe and Nicola Palmer of the Watervale Hotel Restaurant who was awarded this year’s Chef of the Year.

“Other categories this year include hospitality awards such as Restaurateur of the Year and Manager/Supervisor of the Year as well as the announcement of a new Lifetime Achiever.

“After two years of hardship, the industry is now facing new challenges that require new solutions to fix them. Among others, rising cost of business and staffing shortages have made it so hard for hospitality to do what it does best. Tonight, is a true display of what it takes to survive and thrive in such trying times and all the winners should be immensely proud.”

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