The Hunter Valley's reputation as one of Australia's top dining destinations has been reinforced in recent weeks, with a number of local restaurants enjoying success at state and national awards.
Several local venues and individuals were recognised at the NSW Restaurant and Catering Awards for Excellence, which were announced on September 16.
Crowne Plaza Hunter Valley received a major award, taking out the regional Caterer of the Year category, and also the award for best regional function/convention centre caterer.
Circa 1876 at Pokolbin took home two awards, winning best regional contemporary Australian restaurant (formal) and best regional restaurant caterer.
Peterson House won best regional venue caterer; Esca Bimbadgen won best restaurant in a winery and Il Cacciatore received an honourable mention in the best regional Italian restaurant category.
The Valley Restaurant at Easts Leisure and Golf won the best regional restaurant in a pub, club or tavern.
The overall regional restaurant of the year went to The Cottage at Scone.
Former Maitland resident Josh Niland (of Saint Peter restaurant) won the NSW Young Achiever award, while Hunter chefs Garreth Robbs (Bistro Molines) and Thomas Boyd (Margan Restaurant) were finalists for the Chef of the Year category.
It was Circa 1876's fourth consecutive year of success at the NSW Restaurant and Catering Awards, having previously taken out the best regional fine dining restaurant and best restaurant caterer (weddings) for the past three years.
Executive chef Trent Barrett thanked his team of chefs and wait staff for contributing to the success of the heritage venue, and congratulated other the Hunter Valley winners.
"It's an exciting reflection of the fantastic food scene we have here with so many talented chefs working with quality food that nourishes our guests.," he said.
The winners will go on to represent regional NSW at the national Restaurant and Catering Awards For Excellence, which will be announced in Brisbane on October 28.
The Hunter Valley's good run continued on Monday this week, when four local restaurants were honoured at the Good Food Guide 2020 awards.
Muse Restaurant at Hungerford Hill retained its two-hat status, while Bistro Molines (Mount View), Margan Restaurant (Broke) and Muse Kitchen (Pokolbin) all retained their one-hat ratings.
Now in its 40th year, the Good Food Guide is published annually by the Sydney Morning Herald and The Age and is regarded as the most trusted authority on dining out in Australia.