By Anita McInnes
CHESTERS of Heafod Glen, Caversham House, Sandalford Winery and The Coffee Club all picked up gongs at the annual Gold Plate Awards on the weekend.
For the third year in a row Chesters of Heafod Glen won the best Tourism Restaurant category.
Co-owner Duncan Head said he was extremely proud of the Henley Brook restaurant’s staff.
“With the Gold Plate the hardest thing is maintaining the high food quality and service level required,’’ he said.
The judges visit three times before the finalists are announced and then at least another three times during the finals to determine the winner and on top of that the restaurant staff have no idea when the judges are going to visit.
Mr Head said after winning the same category for three years consecutively the restaurant was eligible for a Prix D’Honneur next year as long as they were judged to have maintained the same high standard.
Caversham House co-owner Eric Lembo said it was exciting to win the best Licensed Casual Dining – Metro category for the second year in a row.
“It’s one of the most competitive categories to win so I think it’s a complement to the staff and me for the work we do,’’ he said.
Mr Lembo said their aim was to provide a contemporary-style menu for people to enjoy in an alfresco setting under the property’s 160-year-old wisteria.
He said they aimed for a laid back less commercial approach to cater for a maximum of 50 to 60 people.
Sandalford Winery chief executive officer Grant Brinklow said the winery had won the best Restaurant within a Winery Perth-Surrounds category six times and he was delighted it had won it for the past three years in a row.
The winery would now be in the running for a Pix D’Honneur.
Mr Brinklow said training was important so that staff treated every visitor to Sandalford as a Gold Plate judge.
He said the Swan Valley was no longer seen as a poor second cousin to Margaret River.
The Coffee Shop co-owner Kevin Gooch paid tribute to his daughter and manager Cushla Gooch and her staff for the high standard they provided.
He said the business had been a finalist before but this was the first time it had won a Gold Plate award.