The hats are back! First group of top restaurants named in the Cuisine Good Food Awards 2021/2022

by | Dec 21, 2021 | News

The first restaurants named as part of the annual Cuisine Good Food Awards, proudly presented by American Express, have been announced, in the first of a two-part announcement designed to celebrate excellence and encourage support of New Zealand’s diverse hospitality industry.

Typically presented as one list, Cuisine made the decision to proceed with a two-part announcement in 2021/2022 due to ongoing Covid-19 restrictions across the country, in particular in Auckland, which have impacted judging timeframes this year. The first instalment features restaurants based outside Tāmaki Makaurau, with the full list and Category Awards scheduled to be revealed at a digital awards ceremony on 8th February 2022.

The list announced today comprises 72 restaurants from Russell to Dunedin, including veterans such as Queenstown’s Amisfield, Hiakai and Capitol in Wellington, and Fleur’s Place in Moeraki; and newcomers including Mr Pickles of Hamilton, Wallingford Restaurant in Wallingford, and Helen Turnbull’s 50-50 in Paraparaumu Beach.

With significant presence across multiple regions, Cuisine’s Good Food Awards list indicates the strength of New Zealand’s restaurant offering nationwide and is regarded as the country’s pre-eminent awards list. The ever-growing culinary hotspot of Wellington particularly shines in this year’s list, with 23 placements located in the capital; as does Christchurch with six placements, and Dunedin with five.

Cuisine editor Kelli Brett says that there has never been a better time for the Cuisine Good Food Awards to get behind the hospitality industry and help to drive a story that is filled with opportunity and promise.

“This year we have navigated ever-changing restrictions to uncover New Zealand’s best dining experiences and have gained even more respect for an industry that has shown great creativity and resilience. Despite huge challenges, it has bounced back and is forging ahead with even brighter plans for the future,” says Kelli.

“We encourage you to celebrate our selection of the diversely talented teams and their restaurants in many locations around the country, who are offering exceptional dining experiences. This is your opportunity to make sure that they are on your summer restaurant hit-list.”

The Cuisine Good Food Awards is the only nationwide restaurant awards programme of its kind. Now independently owned, the annual awards are viewed globally as the authority on the dining scene in New Zealand.

At the digital awards ceremony on 8th February, Cuisine will recognise the highest-achieving restaurants in 16 categories, including the highly coveted American Express Restaurant of the Year and Chef of the Year awards, and newly added categories of Best Pastry ChefBest Hotel Restaurant, and Champions for Change. The much-anticipated hats will also be revealed.

The March issue of Cuisine magazine, on sale 14 February, will include New Zealand’s much-anticipated dining bible the Cuisine Good Food Guide for 2021/2022, including the Auckland restaurants.

Cuisine selects over 40 experts located around the country, led by food and dining expert Kerry Tyack, to anonymously judge restaurants nationwide throughout the year and determine the list and winners.

“It’s always been important to us to celebrate restaurants right across the country, and we’ll ensure Auckland restaurants have their moment early in 2022. We look forward to recognising those restaurateurs, owners, and chefs who have done so well despite the most challenging circumstances,” says Kerry.

For more information on the Cuisine Top 100, full list of awards, and information on viewing the awards online, visit


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Peter Wright

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