HOW THE NIGHT UNFOLDED: Bendigo restaurants, cafés and pubs impress at Golden Plate awards
THE Golden Plate gala presentation saw central Victoria's best restaurants recognised for their hard work and service to the community.
The awards celebrate excellence in hospitality and give recognition and multimedia exposure to restaurants, hotels and cafes.
The Woodhouse in Bendigo took out the 2014 Golden Plate Award for the first time.
Owner Paul Pitcher said he and his team had worked hard to get to where they were.
"We have tried hard to achieve this," he said.
"From the restaurant's point of view this is a great outcome.
"It's hard when there is a lot of great competition around.
"I'm proud to be in Bendigo and a restaurant owner.
"All of our staff have worked so hard."
Maldon local and chief judge Kevin Moloney said The Woodhouse staff had an obvious passion in all they did.
"This is a seriously professional restaurant in all aspects," he said.
"The food is high quality, the service equally so."
Judges commented on the outstanding level of finalists this year.
"This year restaurants had to be more creative, more competitive and one step ahead of the competition," Mr Moloney said.
This year restaurants had to be more creative, more competitive and one step ahead of the competition.Kevin Maloney
"To make any money out of this industry you have to be one step ahead all the time and our winners were."
Mr Moloney said he was noticing an increase in high-quality hotel meals.
"The Cambrian Hotel is a family-run business entered into its first awards," he said.
The Cambrian Hotel took out the award for most innovative.
Mr Moloney said he had observed an explosion of coffee culture in the Bendigo region.
"Bendigo has the best selection I have seen in regional Victoria," he said.
Locky Doherty from Cortille took out the Australasian Specialty Coffee Association's best barista award.
"We have been working really hard to take our coffee to the next level and it is nice to see that we are," he said.
Food enthusiasts had the opportunity to sing praise for their favourite restaurant in the people's choice awards.
The Bendigo Corner Store cafe took out the people's choice award with Cortille receiving a highly commended recognition.
Brougham Arms chef Greg Egan was awarded best chef for the second year and will now compete at a state level to win a trip to Europe.
Golden Plate award winners:
The 2014 Central Victorian Golden Plate Winner was The Woodhouse.
The restaurant also took out the title of best customer service, best contemporary dining.
Cortille in the CBD took out the award for best coffee, healthy choice, best cafe - unlicensed and their barista Locky Doherty was awarded ASCA best regional barista.
The award for best menu of local foods was taken out by Sim'R.
Malayan Orchid were awarded with the title of best cellar of local wines and the best relaxed dining award.
The Cambrian Hotel was this year's dark horse contestant taking the award for best value for money, judges innovation award and best hotel.
Rocks on Roslind's Finn Vedelsby took out the award for outstanding front of house person.
Last year's best hotel winner, the Brougham Arms, was awarded Garuda best chef for the work of Greg Egan.
To see the winners from other regions of the state, visit www.goldenplateawards.com.au