WINNER: Samir Allen of Gemmayze St
Having honed his craft in some of the city’s finest establishments, such as Baduzzi and The Grove, talented young chef Samir Allen decided to pursue his dream of a pilgrimage back to his ancestral homeland of Lebanon, to immerse himself in the local gastronomic practices, and where the vision for his own restaurant in Auckland first materialised. Since 2016, Allen has shared the warmth of hospitality that runs in his blood at Gemmayze St -— a casual yet refined, cool yet familiar eatery. From the kitchen streams an array of undeniably creative ‘mezze’ dishes, designed to be shared. And while Allen may suggest his food is simple and homely, there is an inherent and undeniable expertise to his cuisine that does more than just warm the soul.
HONOURABLE MENTION: Ed Verner of Pasture
HONOURABLE MENTION: Tom Hishon of Orphans Kitchen