The 2023 Golden Plate Awards honour regional Victoria’s very best culinary stars

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The 2023 Golden Plate Awards honour regional Victoria’s very best culinary stars

Kodota Daylesford
Words by Staff Writer

Here are the local venues that cleaned up the 2023 Golden Plate Awards, celebrating the best of regional Victoria’s hospitality industry

Celebrating the cream of the crop in regional Victoria’s vibrant hospitality scene, the Golden Plate Awards have once again shone a spotlight on the establishments that go above and beyond in delivering exceptional experiences. In their 21st year, these awards continue to be a testament to the outstanding quality of hospitality in regional Victoria.

This year’s judging process took a closer look at eateries and wine bars that were nominated by the public between March and June— once again a challenging time for the hospitality industry as a whole.

Held this week, on Monday, 27 November at 1915 in Geelong, more than 100 of the State’s top culinary achievers witnessed the region’s hospitality sector excel, awarding venues from across Victoria with state titles.

Keep up with the latest food and booze news across the region here.

Daylesford favourite Kadota took home gold once again, winning the prestigious Golden Plate culinary award last night for the third year in a row. The love child of globetrotting Daylesford wunderkind Aaron Schembri and partner Risa Kadota, who met while slinging hospitality in Japan, this venue wowed the judges with its technical brilliance to take out the coveted State Golden Plate. Kadota also was the State Winner for Best Contemporary Dining and apprentice of the Year (Alexis Saville), as well as highly commended for best customer service.


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Geelong and the Bellarine rose to the top once again with a slew of beloved venues taking our state titles, including the 18th Amendment Bar Geelong who take out the Best Customer Service, Surfside Cafe in Ocean Grove taking out the best coffee in the state for the second year in a row, and The Q Train taking out Best Menu with their Local Drinks List.

Providing how incredible this region is, these outstanding venues not only weathered the storm but also raised the bar for excellence.

Golden Plate Winners 2023

Gold Plate Winner 2023

Best Customer Service – Sponsored by Maxim PR
18th Amendment Bar Geelong

Highly Commended: Kadota

Best Coffee – Sponsored by Warral Maldon
Surfside Cafe

Highly Commended: Firebean Cafe, King of the Castle

Best Menu: Local Produce – Sponsored by Ecofresh Filters
The Shared Table

Highly Commended: The Q Train

Best Menu: Local Drinks List – Sponsored by Maxim PR
The Q Train

Highly Commended: The Shared Table, Fook Shing

Best Value Venue – Sponsored by Warral Maldon

Highly Commended: Fook Shing, I Ragazzi

Most Outstanding Front of House Sponsored by Calibre Workforce
Savannah Stevens

Highly Commended: Briony Christie

Special Category Winners 2023:

Best Unlicensed Cafe – Sponsored by Provincial Media
Ket Baker

Highly Commended: Maldon Bakery

Best Licensed Cafe Sponsored by Provincial Media
Higher Society

Highly Commended: House of Jack Rabbit

Best Hotel Dining Sponsored by Comcater
The Kyneton Hotel

Highly Commended: Five Flags Hotel

Best Cocktail Bar/Cellar Door Sponsored by Warral Maldon
Miss M’s Lounge

Highly Commended: 18th Amendment Bar Geelong

Best Casual Dining Sponsored by Comcater

Highly Commended: Fook Shing

Best Contemporary Dining Sponsored by Comcater

Highly Commended: 1915

Chefs’ Choice – Regional Producer Sponsored by Ecofresh Filters
Inglenook Dairy

Highly Commended: Lard Ass

People’s Choice Award Sponsored by OneMusic
Bean & Base

Highly Commended: Surfside Cafe

Peter Watson Memorial Best Chef Sponsored by Warral Maldon
Douglas Kerr: Peasant

Highly Commended: Danielle Rensonnet – Fook Shing, Luke King – Claribeaux

Apprentice of the Year Sponsored by Calibre Workforce
Alexis Saville: Kadota

Highly Commended: Ebonii-Rose Tapp – The Q Train

These winners have not only raised the bar but set a new standard for excellence in regional Victoria’s hospitality. Here’s to another year of outstanding culinary experiences and vibrant communities.

You can find out more about the awards here