LOCAL restaurants have shone in The Age Good Food Guide 2015, a prestigious foodies guide that features outstanding eateries.
Hepburn Springs establishmentThe Argus Dining Room was awarded one hat for the first time in its history, an achievement executive chef David Willcocks said was a result of a terrific team effort.
“It’s good recognition for everyone who has workedhere, whether it’s the people on the floor or the owners,” he said.
“They have all played their part.”
Mr Willcocks said the restaurant served contemporary Australian cuisine, whichincluded Asian and European-inspired dishes.
“It touches on a bit of everything … we don’t limit ourselves to one cuisine,” he said.
He said using fresh, local and ethically grown ingredients was the key to the kitchen’s success.
“We provide Argus diners an authentic, high-end paddock-to-plate experience,” he said.
“Fruit and vegetables are picked and brought to the kitchen daily, which allows us to change the menu to reflect the seasonality of produce available.”
He said owners Chris Malden and Wayne Cross owned a nearby farm, Vale Hill, which providedan impressive range of orchard fruits and vegetables to the restaurant, as well as cured meats.
He said the fact Daylesford restaurantsKazuki’s and Lake House had also been awarded hats proved the Hepburn region was cementing its reputation as a fine dining capital.
Lake House marketing and communications co-ordinator Ben Cole said Lake Housecontinued to win accolades after 30 years in operation.
“(Co-owners) Alla and Allan Wolf-Tasker are constantly innovating and staying current and always looking to stay relevant while maintaining a strong sense of place,” he said.
He said the restaurant was also awarded Best Regional Getaway and Best Regional Wine list of the year in the guide.
He said the husband and wife duobought the property when tourism in Daylesford was non-existent and the site was a berry-infested swamp.
He said Mrs Wolf-Tasker, as culinary director and proprietor, had a clear vision for the restaurant all those years ago and it was now a much-lovedregional institution.
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