|Les Schirato of Vittoria Coffee presents The Bridge Room's Sunny and Ross Lusted with their award. Photo: Lucas Jarvis|
The guide - the bible when it comes to restaurant ratings in Australia - also declared Pasi Petanen, of Cafe Paci in East Sydney, to be the Citi Chef of the Year, describing him as "a chef's chef and in possession of one of the most forward-thinking idiosyncratic food brains in the country".
Sydney's most anticipated opening of the year, Bennelong, housed under the soaring sails of the Sydney Opera House, also got a gong, taking out Best New Restaurant and debuting with two hats.
|Pasi Petanen, of Cafe Paci, in East Sydney, named 2016 Citi Chef of the Year. Photo: Lucas Jarvis|
In this year's guide, 100 of NSW and ACT's top eateries received a total 137 hats; of these, 36 were awarded in the regions. Interestingly, there are now more two-hatted restaurants than ever before. Chief restaurant critic of The Sydney Morning Herald, Terry Durack, says he's always more excited when the greatest amount of action comes with the one-hatted restaurants than the three hats.
|Chef Peter Gilmore and team onstage with SMH chief restaurant critic, Terry Durack. Photo: Lucas Jarvis.|
Lauren Elridge, pastry chef at Marque, was also recognised as being one of the brightest young talents on the NSW dining scene as the fifth woman to win the Josephine Pignolet Award in its 25-year history.
The talent was more pronounced than ever this year in a dining landscape that the new editor of the Good Food Guide, Myffy Rigby, describes as "not so much competitive as collaborative".
|The Ivy Ballroom was transformed for the Good Food Guide 2016 awards. Photo: Lucas Jarvis.|
The new stars on the drinks scene in the 2016 version of the guide include Brent Savage and Nick Hildebrandt, who won Best Bar for Monopole and Best Wine List for their CBD Restaurant, Bentley Restaurant & Bar. The latest edition of the guide also awarded Sebastian Crowther, Head Sommelier at Rockpool, the coveted title of Champagne Pol Roger Sommelier of the Year.
|The teams that took out three hats in the Good Food Guide 2016. Photo: Lucas Jarvis.|
Rob Caslick was rightly overjoyed when he took to the stage to accept The Food for Good Award, which celebrates innovation, charity and sustainability. Caslick runs Inside Out Organic Soup Kitchen, which teaches young mothers and pregnant teens to eat well and cook for themselves, Two Good, which employs women affected by domestic violence and St Canice Rooftop Garden, run by asylum seekers providing produce to local business and the soup kitchen.
|Chef Sean McConnell, of Monster Kitchen & Bar, awarded one hat in the GFG 2016. Photo: Supplied|
|Muse Restaurant in the Hunter Valley rightfully retained its two-hat status. Photo: Carla Grossetti|
Carla Grossetti is one of 40 restaurant critics to contribute to The Sydney Morning Herald Good Food Guide.