Three Blue Mountains restaurants maintained their spots on top of the culinary tree in the prestigious 2013 Good Food Guide released this month.
Restaurant Como in Blaxland, Darleys Restaurant in Leura and Vulcans Restaurant in Blackheath were all awarded a coveted single hat in the The Good Food Guide’s regional list.
It was the sixth year in a row for Restaurant Como owners Grant Farrant and Rachel McNabb, who said they still sweat on the outcome of the judging.
“There’s no complacency. It means a lot to our business as well as a lot to us personally,” said Ms McNabb.
The couple shared the honour with their staff at the event’s awards night.
“All our staff came down to Sydney [for the night] and we had a bit of a party afterwards which was great,” said Mr Farrant.
The couple said being awarded the single hat was as much a reward for their loyal customers as it was for them.
“They really are so proud and I think they feel a part of it too because they’ve travelled this journey with us from the beginning,” said Ms McNabb.
Darley’s Restaurant at Lilianfels Resort and Spa retained its one hat rating under new executive chef Lee Kwiez, who has led the restaurant since the beginning of May.
Lilianfels Group general manager Brian McHenry praised Mr Kwiez, telling the Gazette “it is a pretty big effort to hold a chef’s hat rating when you are joining a new restaurant”.
“His food is sensational and is getting even better.
“We also have a team that is very strong both in the kitchen and on the floor.”
Darley’s is also benefitting from a $400,000 refurbishment that has retained the unique heritage features of its building while adding an extra touch of comfort and class.
The upper floor of the restaurant can now be used by diners for the first time and has its own bar and small function area.
Vulcans Restaurant in Blackheath was awarded one hat again, providing head chef and proprietor Phillip Searle with a fitting accolade before he retires at the end of this year.
“We’ve been here in Blackheath for 16 years and have had at least one hat all that time, so it is good to retain it,” Mr Searle said.
“You don’t want to lose it, but I didn’t want to gain another hat either because when you have two hats people’s expectations of what the restaurant is changes.
“We have a relaxed and casual atmosphere at Vulcans, so we’re pleased.”
Mr Searle said a new restaurant will open once Vulcan’s closes.
The Good Food Guide is published by Fairfax.