26 April 2013 by Luke McCormick
Three properties within the Spicers Retreats group have walked away with an impressive total of four Chef Hats at the 2013 Queensland Good Food Guide awards.
The Long Apron restaurant at Spicers Clovelly Estate in Montville retained its two Chef Hat ranking in the prestigious awards which were announced on Monday night.
The Peak restaurant at Spicers Peak Lodge in the Scenic Rim and The Tamarind at Spicers Tamarind Retreat in Maleny also each retained their one Chef Hat ranking.
"Each property retained their Chef Hat status attained from last year's Queensland Good Food Guide, proving great food and wine is at the heart of the Spicers' experience," Spicers Group CEO Danielle Duell said.
"We're thrilled to again be recognised by these awards and so proud of our chefs and restaurant teams.
"Awards like this reinforce Spicers' reputation as being home to some of the best restaurants in Queensland and the great part is, after a delightful meal, you're able to stay the night!"
A total of 45 Queensland restaurants were awarded one or more hats in this year's awards.
Headed by acclaimed chef Cameron Matthews, The Long Apron in Montville in Queensland's Sunshine Coast hinterland specialises in an innovative European-inspired menu showcasing local ingredients, an extensive wine list and personalised service.
It was lauded by the judges for its "European inspired dishes, which blend classic technique and the finest local produce with exquisite results".
The Long Apron's ever-changing menu can include innovative creations such as slow roasted lamb belly with sesame, black cardamom, date and onion molasses; hay aged and roasted duck breast, celeriac, chestnut, berries and pickled rhubarb; and braised Glasshouse snails with roasted leek, morcilla crumble, fennel and apple.
The restaurant prides itself on using local produce such as Hervey Bay Scallops, Kenilworth yoghurt, Maleny cream, Mooloolaba squid and herbs from the restaurant's kitchen garden.
The Long Apron has won of host of awards, including retaining its two Chef Hat ranking in the recent Australian Good Food Guide's (AGFG) Chef Hat Awards 2013. Others include Best Fine Dining Restaurant for the Sunshine Coast region at the 2012 Savour Australia Restaurant & Catering Awards for Excellence in Queensland.
The Peak restaurant, at Spicers Peak Lodge two hours' drive south west of Brisbane, offers an award-winning degustation menu based on locally-sourced ingredients, grown in the rich Scenic Rim soil, as well as internationally-sourced delicacies.
With head chef Ashley Martin at the helm, the restaurant team provides an unforgettable dining experience and, as the highest non-alpine lodge in Australia, the Peak Lodge dining room boasts spectacular views over Main Range National Park.
The team follows the gourmet philosophy of "paddock to plate" - focusing on locally-sourced, seasonal, sustainable ingredients to create a refined and exciting menu best described as modern European but with an Aussie twist.
Its seven-course degustation menu can include cured salmon with beetroot, citrus and vodka, puffed quinoa, melon and cucumber; red claw yabby with morcilla, mandarin and yoghurt; and confit Warwick pork belly with remoulade, pork cracker and vierge.
The Peak also recently achieved one Chef Hat at the 2013 Australian Good Food Guide Awards, and has won a host of other accolades including Best Fine Dining Restaurant and Restaurant Of The Year at the 2012 Savour Restaurant & Catering Awards.
The Tamarind at Spicers Tamarind Retreat in Maleny in the Sunshine Coast hinterland, is headed by executive chef Daniel Jarrett and brings a taste of Asia to the foothills of Maleny.
Set in a tranquil outdoor pavilion designed to make the most of the peaceful location, The Tamarind specialises in innovative modern Asian cuisine which combines sweet, sour and spicy flavours into dishes that melt in your mouth.
The menu can feature seared Moreton Bay bug tails with chestnut noodles, choy sum, black beans, braised shiitake, pork crackle, Asian broth and a crispy ginger, chilli and garlic relish; and pan fried barramundi with slow braised oxtail wonton dumpling, sweet and sour sauce, lime, chilli and coconut.
Accolades include One Chef Hat in the 2013 Australian Good Food Guide, One Chef Hat in the 2012 Queensland Good Food Guide and Best New Restaurant at the 2011 Savour Awards.