2020 Hospitality NT Australian Liquor Marketers Gold Plate Awards

Under the stars at the Darwin Waterfront, just under 500 hospitality owners, operators, staff and supporters came together and enjoyed a hard-earned night out at the 2020 Hospitality NT Australian Liquor Marketers Gold Plate Awards.

This spectacular outdoor event was the first of its kind for the Darwin Waterfront, with food supplied by several of the local Waterfront restaurants shared on large tables, celebrating our tropical laidback lifestyle we are fortunate to enjoy.

Each year the ALM Gold Plate Awards celebrate the passion and dedication that goes into ensuring high quality food and service continues in the Territory, with 2020 being an extraordinary year for this. Owners and staff have had to work harder than ever, adapt their business model, be open to new ways of doing things, have their trading conditions changed overnight, have borders closed missing out on the 2 million tourists that visit the NT each year.  Experiencing all of this, but still greeting their locals with a smile and delivering great food, wine and service.

Venues were also recognised for their adaptation efforts during the COVID shutdown, with bartenders and kitchen hands taking to scooters delivering meals, creation of drive-thrus, musicians playing in backyards and cocktails being served in driveways – all done to keep businesses open and staff employed.

The 2020 ALM Gold Plate Award Gala Dinner looks likely to be the only hospitality industry awards night run this year. The Hospitality NT office could not have undertaken this event without the strong support of President, Paul Palmer and the Board, who ensured that not only the Awards, but the Gala dinner was made accessible for all.

A special thank you to David Robinson (Snapper Rocks/Hot Tamale), James Fiske (Head Chef Snapper Rocks), Fiddlers Green, Wharf One, the Darwin Waterfront Corporation, Jason Hanna, The Precinct Tavern and Dreamedia for assisting in the organisation and execution of the whole event.

During June and July, a throng of judges discretely dined out and enjoyed the very best venues across the Territory. The judges’ scored on the quality of food and customer service with local provenance a focus. This year venues were also judged by comments and feedback they had received from customers online – an area of increased importance post-COVID.

The 2020 Gold Plate Restaurant of the Year, went to Moorish Café, a consistently high performer in these Awards for many years.

“Moorish Café is a Darwin institution with Gertrude, Marc and their team continually delivering great service and food with a strong focus on local produce,” said Hospitality NT Chief Executive Officer, Alex Bruce.

“The Gold Plates showcase the diverse nature of the NT’s restaurants and dining scene – from Good Thanks, Winner of Best Casual Dining to Best Contemporary Dining Winner Snapper Rocks, we really do food and wine well here in the NT,” said Mr Bruce.

“Congratulations to the winners, nominees and everyone surviving in the restaurant industry.

“This year the focus was on coming together and acknowledging what we have all been through and recognising the hard work that still lies ahead.

“As tough as the road ahead is, with the great staff and businesses showcased tonight, our fighting spirit backed by the community is stronger than ever”, said Mr. Bruce.

Sarah Andrews