Proving our place as a foodie region

Daylesford and the surrounding region has again proved it is home to some of Victoria’s best restaurants, winning a number of awards for state-wide excellence in regional hospitality.

Daylesford’s Belvedere Social and the Perfect Drop were crowned as two winners of the Golden Plate Awards, alongside Smeaton’s Tuki Farm and Clunes’ Quigley and Clarke. The Famers Arms Creswick won the award for best hotel in south west Victoria.

LOCAL FOOD: Tuki Farm owners Robert Jones and Jan Jones celebrate their Golden Plate Award for best menu of local food with restaurant chef Benjamin O'Brien. Most food served is sourced from their own farm. Picture: Dylan Burns

LOCAL FOOD: Tuki Farm owners Robert Jones and Jan Jones celebrate their Golden Plate Award for best menu of local food with restaurant chef Benjamin O'Brien. Most food served is sourced from their own farm. Picture: Dylan Burns

Tuki in Smeaton was crowned the winner of the state-wide award for best menu of local food. 

Tuki owners Jan and Robert Jones said all produce served at the restaurant was sourced from their own farm or farms within the region. 

“The trout comes out of the ponds, the lamb is our own lamb and the beef is our own beef. We have got a really big vegetable garden so most of the vegetables come out of our garden, and if they don’t come out of our garden they come from local suppliers,” Mrs Jones said. 

“We have always been about a tourist experience. You want them to have another reason to come back to the region. You want them to say, ‘oh gee, where is this winery?, can we go there?, or where else can I sample your regional wine?’.”

Belvedere Social in Daylesford was the region’s biggest winner at the Golden Plate Awards, taking the crown for three state awards. Adding another five south west regional award wins to the tally, Belvedere Social was the recipient of more awards than any other venue in the state. 

Belvedere Social chef Matthew Carnell won the title of best chef. Belvedere Social also won best casual dining and best cellar of local wine/ beer/ cider. 

Daylesford’s the Perfect Drop took out the title for the south west region’s best contemporary dining and Larder took out the best coffee category for top honours in regional Victoria.

Quigley and Clarke, a Clunes cafe and restaurant, won best value for money in the south west region. 

Owner Steven Hunter said he and operators Donall Quigley and Jane Clarke were pleased to receive the award after only seven months in business. 

“We have tried to design our menu so we are inclusive for the entire community,” Mr Hunter said. 

“Our pricing is considerate to that. We give good quality and we give reasonable pricing. You can feel comfortable sitting in a group with the community where someone may order a $32 main while you order a $20 or $18 main and don’t have to feel like you are on a budget.”

The Golden Plate Awards were designed to encourage excellence in hospitality in regional Victoria. 

For the full list of winners, visit http://goldenplateawards.com.au/