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The 2022 Visa Wellington On a Plate winners

September 11, 2022

We celebrated at the Felix Wellington Hospitality Awards where we announced our Visa Wellington On a Plate 2022 festival winners.

The festival awards recognise excellence in our Visa Wellington On a Plate participants, and winners are chosen by a combination of public ratings and our expert judging panel who've been busy tasting and sipping the top 5 from each category this past week. With so many entries for Dine Welly, Cocktail Welly presented by Tommy's and Garage Project presents Burger Welly, this year was the year to experience a taste of change as we transition into new horizons for the festival for 2023. So without further ado, our festival winners are...

Best Dine Wellington 2022

Chef Shuchi Bhardwaj from Neo Café – The Flat White Project

Congratulations Café Neo! For Dine Wellington, Neo Café & Eatery served 'The Flat White Project': Whittaker’s Flat White Chocolate mousse with Garage Project Cereal Milk Stout torte, chocolate almond dacquoise, chocolate shell, hazelnut praline and a Coffee Supreme blend espresso pour-over. Read the story that inspired the dish on our website!

Read the story that inspired the dish below:

Neo Café & Eatery are here to celebrate the flat white and the good work of the Wellington coffee pioneers of the early 1990s. It was their efforts and love for coffee that led to the innovation of this beloved morning staple - now a coffee lovers’ addiction worldwide. For cafés and baristas, the flat white has become the measuring stick for excellence. The evolution of brewing equipment and coffee quality has only added fuel to the fire of perfection. This year, in a playful take on the quintessential coffee-and-cake combo, Neo offers a melded dish designed to take you on a journey of delight and surprise; one that is reminiscent of those cuddly feelings you get when your lips meet the silky-smooth foam of the flat white, followed by the intense espresso hit of blended coffee, chocolate and malt flavours, forming a perfect balance as you head towards the bottom of the cup - or in this case, plate.


Runner Up: The Old Quarter – Grandma's Kung Fu

Story inspiration:

Wellington is the craft beer capital of New Zealand, and passionate brewers can be found almost on every corner, creating some of the finest brews available on the Kiwi market. The Old Quarter is proud to serve local beer to Wellingtonians and visitors alike. Taking inspiration they've incorporated local craft beer into their Festival Dish, demonstrating the diversity of local beer as a culinary ingredient.

Dish description:

Braised pork belly with Grandma's Parrotdog Lager stock, bok choy, baby carrot and Grandma's Kung Fu caramel sauce.


2nd Runner Up: Charley Noble Eatery & Bar – The Han-guk Cook: Master Yeong

Story inspiration:

A culinary identity originates in time-mastered traditions and local produce that thrives in a particular region. Charley Noble’s team is rich in Korean, Chinese, Scottish, English, Italian, Chilean, American, and of course, Māori culture. Wellington has a culinary magic trick: embracing all of the different cultures in a uniquely Wellington experience. Charley Noble are fortunate to draw inspiration from the experiences of their multinational team and are proud to showcase Master Yeong’s Duck Bulgogi as a celebration of their story and the team behind the dream.

Dish description:

Awatoru wild bush honey bulgogi with doenjang marinated duck breast, tamarillo bulgogi sauce and saeng chae (pickled relish).

Best Cocktail Wellington presented by Tommy's 2022

Regan Gaffney from Boulcott Street Bistro – The Martinborough Martini

Congratulations Boulcott Street Bistro! For Cocktail Wellington presented by Tommy's Real Estate, Boulcott Street Bistro served 'The Martinborough Martini': Brown butter washed Reid & Reid Rev. Dawson’s gin with housemade Palliser chardonnay vermouth and fresh dill. Accompanied by a crayfish éclair.


Runner Up: Lulu Bar – Mango Unstrained

Custom blend rum, coconut and mango milk punch with locally foraged horopito. Accompanied by a turmeric macaroon, curried pork shank and lime pickle.


2nd Runner Up: Nolita – Fly Me to the Moon

Cherry, lemon and apple Southward Distillery gin. Accompanied by a brandy snap cannoli with lemon curd cream cheese, miso caramel and chocolate brownie dust.

Best Garage Project presents Burger Wellington 2022

Vaibhav Vishen from Chaat Street – Dabeli

Congratulations Chaat Street! For Garage Project presents Burger Wellington, Chaat Street served 'Dabeli': Crispy dabeli spiced potato patty with Fix & Fogg Smoke and Fire peanut butter, coriander, onions, crispy chickpea noodles and tamarind chutney in a masala butter brioche bun, with kala masala chips.  Perfectly matched with Garage Project's Transit of Venus beer.


Runner Up: Thistle Inn – Au Poivre

60/40 chuck and brisket blend patty with housemade Longbush Pork nduja, double cheese, onion, café de Paris, pickled red onions and au jus in a potato bun, with seasoned fries.

Garage Project beer match: Chipper


2nd Runner Up: Huxley's – Doors of Perception

Aged Wagyu beef and pork patty with black pastrami, yuzu, black garlic, American cheese and housemade pickles in a Brezelmania potato milk bun, with skin-on shoestring fries.

Garage Project beer match: Golden Path

Rising Stars winner

In partnership with Lumina Lamb this year, we introduced the Rising Stars Award during the Felix Awards.

Nominated by their head chefs, these are young chefs at the start of their careers that are showing a natural passion and promise for hospitality. We're pleased to announce Benny Forshaw from Charley Noble Eatery and Bar, Jacob Spackman from Kisa, Ben McKenzie from Ortega Fish Shack & Bar, Chinar Raut from Field & Green and Kritika Mahajan from Shepherd as the 2022 Rising Stars.

As part of their prize, each one of them will attend four tutorials and training throughout the year (including butchery, boning, and media training), a farm tour of a Lumina Lamb farm and a $500 Prezzy card per Rising Star.

Next Gen Cook Off by Everybody Eats winner

Every Monday during August, Everybody Eats hosted the Next Gen Cook Off at LTD. as part of Visa Wellington On a Plate.

Each week, an up-and-coming chef was invited to a mystery box challenge where they had to serve a three-course menu. The lineup of talented chefs who took on the challenge includes Maxime Gnojczak from Concord, Conor McDonald from Atlas, Kahlivia Russell from Rita, Tak Tanaka from Field & Green and Maddie Grace from Hillside,

After each session, diners were invited to rate their dining experience to help determine the winner of the cook-off. And so the winner of the Next Gen Cook Off 2022 is... 

Tak Tanaka from Field & Green! Thanks to everyone who joined our pop up event. Everybody Eats operates all year long at LTD. Sunday to Tuesday to serve you a three-course meal on a pay-as-you-feel basis.