Magill Estate SA’s best in new awards

May 19, 2015
Magill Estate Restaurant. Photo: supplied

Magill Estate Restaurant. Photo: supplied

Magill Estate was last night named South Australia’s best restaurant in the Australian Financial Review’s list of Australia’s Top 100 Restaurants.

In what was the greatest gathering ever of Australia’s top chefs in one place, more than 200 chefs and food industry identities were at Crown Melbourne as the list was revealed, with Sydney’s Sepia taking the number one spot.

Along with Magill Estate, which was ranked 44, were South Australia’s Orana at 47, Africola at 60, Hentley Farm at 66 and Peel Street at 92.

Magill Estate chefs Scott Huggins and Emma McCaskill were at the ceremony to collect their inscribed plate, along with Africola chef Duncan Welgemoed.

Australia’s Top Restaurant was launched in February this year with the release of a list of the Top 500 restaurants in Australia, with South Australia allotted 50 places.

What distinguishes the final selection is that it has been made by the chefs and restaurateurs themselves, making it the only national awards program of its kind determined solely by peer voting.

As distinguished restaurant critic Terry Durack, who co-directed the awards with food writer Jill Dupleix, said: “If you don’t like the results, don’t blame us, blame the chefs.”

Although some concerns had been raised that too many chefs simply don’t have the time to travel and experience competitor restaurants, the consensus was that overall they’d got it pretty well right.

“There was always a risk that they’d all end up voting for places like Belles Hot Chicken (which did in fact rank at 79),” Durack said, “but in fact they’ve taken a very broad and informed look at Australia’s restaurant scene.”

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Crown Melbourne gave the awards ceremony plenty of glamour, with gold swim-suited water belles cavorting on the edges of the Crown Tower swimming pool, which had been largely covered with a clear, Perspex floor.

“So many of these chefs can walk on water, so I thought it was time to really make that happen,” Durack added.

The Top Ten:

  1. Sepia (NSW)
  2. Attica (Vic)
  3. Quay (NSW)
  4. Brae (Vic)
  5. Cutler & Co (Vic)
  6. Vue de Monde (Vic)
  7. Cumulus Inc. (Vic)
  8. Sixpenny (NSW)
  9. Tetsuya’s (NSW)

The highest ranked non-NSW or Vic restaurant was Tasmania’s Garagistes, now closed, followed by Hobart’s Franklin restaurant at 34.


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