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Our restaurants make foodie list

A number of Wairarapa’s restaurants have been selected by Cuisine Magazine to feature in its 2023/2024 Good Food Guide.

The foodie magazine has announced a list of more than 250 of the best restaurants in New Zealand, with the Wairarapa region securing 10 spots.

The Wairarapa restaurants are Aunt Ginger’s Kitchen, Brac and Bow at The Royal Hotel, Cool Change Bar and Eatery, Karahui Wine Bar and Eatery, Mesita, Moy Hall Vineyard, Saint Sebastian, The Captain’s Dining Room, The Screening Room, and Union Square Bistro and Bar.

All the establishments that made the cut were carefully assessed by the Cuisine Good Food Guide judging panel – consisting of food writers, chefs, critics, hospitality-industry professionals, and lead judge Kerry Tyack.

Owner and chef at Aunt Ginger’s Kitchen Kirsten Berry – the only Carterton restaurant to feature on the list – told the Times-Age its inclusion is “a nod to the hard work that Sarah – who was my business partner – and I have put in for the past three years”.

“I’m really honoured because we regard Cuisine Magazine highly, and we’ve had the editor visit us,” Berry said.

“We really love our region, and we love championing Carterton and bringing an amazing customer experience into the village.”

The Cuisine Good Food Awards will be held on August 7 at SkyCity Auckland, at which restaurants featured in the annual guide will be boiled down to 18 category winners.

This year’s cream of the crop will receive one, two or three hats, New Zealand’s equivalent of France’s Michelin stars, and a prestigious accolade awarded to those restaurants judged to provide the country’s most outstanding culinary experiences.

Cuisine Chef of the Year and American Express Restaurant of the Year will also be named.

In addition, Cuisine Magazine has introduced a new section called ‘Cuisine Destinations’.

“This new section will give a wide view across regional and metro areas of the diverse taste of Aotearoa that is craved by both Kiwis and international visitors,” Cuisine editor Kelli Brett said.

“Cuisine Destinations will throw a spotlight on those experiences that you wouldn’t want to miss: it might be showcasing some of the best kai moana in town; the place for popping the big question over bubbles and snacks; or a spot that makes all of your sourdough pizza dreams come true.”

The other Wairarapa restaurants to make the Cuisine list will be featured in upcoming Times-Age issues.

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