PENFOLDS Magill Estate Restaurant husband-and-wife chef team Scott Huggins and Emma McCaskill have been named Best New Talent in the annual Gourmet Traveller restaurant awards.
The restaurant, which reopened in August last year after a two-year closure, is also the highest-rated South Australian establishment in the magazine’s 2015 Australian Restaurant Guide, coming in at number 10 in a list of 100 topped by Melbourne’s Attica.
Head chefs Huggins and McCaskill moved to Adelaide to take up positions at Magill Estate after having previously worked at international fine-dining and Michelin-star restaurants including Iggy’s at The Hilton in Singapore, Narisawa and Nihonryori Ryugin in Tokyo, and Micolau Hotel and Restaurant in Spain.
The pair has a strong focus on South Australian produce, with a seasonal menu emphasising simplicity and “purity of flavours rooted in nature”.
“Yes, jointly they've got a great CV, having worked across the diverse likes of St John, Tetsuya's, The Royal Mail and, perhaps most notably, RyuGin in Tokyo,” Gourmet Traveller noted. “But what distinguishes the work of Emma McCaskill and Scott Huggins at Magill Estate isn't so much the pieces of their background as the seamless way they've put them together, creating a cuisine that's making people sit up and take notice.
“Subtle, elegant and absolutely convincing, their cooking is a must for any committed diner.”
The next top-rating South Australian restaurant on the Gourmet Traveller 2015 Australian Restaurant Guide top 100 list is Orana, the Rundle Street fine-dining restaurant opened by former Magill Estate executive chef Jock Zonfrillo. It was recently named Restaurant of the Year in the 2014 Restaurant and Catering Association (SA) Awards.
Other SA restaurants on the list are Appellation (47), Hentley Farm (67), Peel Street (85), Bistro Dom (96) and Fino (99).
National award winners announced last night at the Sydney Opera House included New Restaurant of the Year and Regional Restaurant of the Year, which both went to Brae, a restaurant in Birregurra, south-west of Melbourne, and Chef of the Year, which went to Martin Benn at Sydney’s Sepia.
Gourmet Traveller chief restaurant critic Pat Nourse said Restaurant of the Year Attica was Australia's culinary standard-bearer on the world stage, taking diners on “a voyage of deliciousness”.
InDaily restaurant review: Penfolds Magill Estate
AUSTRALIAN GOURMET TRAVELLER RESTAURANT AWARDS WINNERS:
Restaurant Of The Year
Chef Of The Year
Martin Benn, Sepia, Sydney
New Restaurant Of The Year
Brae, Birregurra, Vic
Wine List Of The Year
Print Hall, Perth
Sommelier Of The Year
Nick Hildebrandt, Bentley, Sydney
Maitre D' Of The Year
Christian McCabe, The Town Mouse, Melbourne
Best New Talent
Scott Huggins and Emma McCaskill, Magill Estate, Adelaide
Regional Restaurant Of The Year
Brae, Birregurra, Vic
Bar Of The Year
Lefty's Old Time Music Hall, Brisbane
Vue de Monde, Melbourne
Cutler & Co, Melbourne
Momofuku Seiobo, Sydney
Story first published on InDaily.