The ATC crew, including (from left) Rosehill Gardens executive chef Gersu Mertel, logistics manager Eddie Leuluai, Rosehill Gardens and Canterbury Park general manager Matt Sharman and operations manager Sunam Amatya picked up Gold at the National Restaurant & Catering Awards.

Geelong Football Club’s Higher Mark and the Australian Turf Club at Rosehill Racecourse in Sydney were both awarded Gold at the Australian Restaurant & Catering HOSTPLUS Awards for Excellence at Brisbane’s Gambaro Function Centre last night.

The ATC was awarded top Function/Convention Centre Caterer with ATC Executive Chef Gerry Maher telling Club Management the award was recognition for “all the hard work that the team put in, year in, year out”.

“It’s also acknowledgement and an indication of how seriously we take our food and our food delivery,” he said. “We compete with the best of them. We are the best event centre out there, whether it’s as a sporting arena when the racing is on or whether it’s as an events space.

“I’ve been saying it for a long time, I think we are the benchmark. We continually strive to improve. 

“And it’s not just my kitchen team, its sales, back of house, front of house. It’s good because it gives people validation for the effort that they have put in. And it’s evidenced by the food on the plate.”

Higher Mark, at GMHBA Stadium, which is regional Victoria’s largest event venue and is located in the heart of Geelong, picked up the top caterer award. The venue’s unique and architectural design offers sweeping floor-to-ceiling windows flooding with natural light, contemporary design features and views over surrounding parklands, Geelong’s skyline and the AFL Cats’ home ground. It has a total of 32 premium event spaces and can be adapted to suit all event sizes from two to 2450 guests. Higher Mark could not be reached for comment.

Restaurant & Catering (R&CA) President Mike Palmer congratulated each of the winners on behalf of the Association, recognising their significant contributions to the Australian hospitality sector.

“R&CA’s Awards for Excellence is one of the most important nights in the hospitality calendar. It is always such an amazing experience to recognise some of the state’s finest hospitality businesses who showcase the very best our industry has to offer,” Palmer said.

“After two years of hardship, the industry is now facing new challenges that require new solutions to fix them. Among others, the rising cost of business and staffing shortages have made it so hard for hospitality to do what it does best. 

“Tonight is a true display of what it takes to survive and thrive in such trying times and all the winners should be immensely proud.”

You can see a full list of award winners here.

The Higher Mark team, pictured picking up the state award for Caterer of the Year in March.

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