2021 Hospitality NT Aristocrat Technologies Awards for Excellence

After missing out in 2020, it was amazing to see the Territory’s hospitality industry gathered together on the lawns of Mindil Beach Casino and Resort in May for the Hospitality NT Aristocrat Technologies Awards for Excellence. It was the perfect setting for 500 hospitality operators, suppliers, and supporters to gather to celebrate excellence in the Territory’s hospitality industry.

The Territory’s hospitality industry has been on a rollercoaster ride over the past 12 months, but together we gathered for a well-deserved night off to celebrate excellence and to recognise outstanding achievements by our venues and their amazing staff.

Major award winners included Hilton Darwin named Best Overall Accommodation Hotel, The Landmark for Best Overall Metro Pub/Tavern, Silks Darwin named Best Overall Large Club, Gapview Hotel for Best Overall Regional Hotel and Darwin Trailer Boat Club named Best Overall Small Club.

In what has been a very challenging year, it was great to see so many nominees for Best New Venue, which judges could not split between Dom’s Bar and Lounge and Silks Darwin, who were awarded joint winners.

Live music in licensed venues is not only a crucial part of our industry, but is vital for the development of local NT musicians. This year the Best Live Music Venue title went to Shenannigans.

All licensed venues support their local communities, through sponsorship arrangements, in-kind support, hosting events and many more. The Outstanding Community Achievement Awards are always very competitive, and this year went to The Landmark and Nightcliff Sports Club.

Over the past year, the Territory’s nightlife has been incredibly busy, with other jurisdictions around Australia operating under very restricted conditions or in many circumstances, not able to operate at all. The 2021 ‘Best Late Night Venue’ went to Monsoons Restaurant and Party Bar.

Its always a positive for the industry to see our ‘Best Redeveloped’ categories well contested, as it shows there is confidence in our industry moving forward. This year the ‘Best Redeveloped Accommodation Hotel’ went to the Hilton Darwin team who undertook a huge and transformative renovation to their reception area, restaurants and reception bar area. The ‘Best Redeveloped Licensed Premise’ went to Lil’Ripper Café, Bar and Bistro at the Litchfield Motel, which created a modern and fun space for both locals and visitors to the area.

A consistent performer in this category for many years, Saffron again picked up the Award for Best Environment and Energy Efficiency Practice.

A new Award in the 2021 Hospitality NT Aristocrat Technologies Awards for Excellence, ‘Best Cultural Engagement or Initiative’ went to the team at the Darwin Convention Centre for their work, particularly on their Seven Seasons Menu and Conference packages.

The hospitality industry is a service industry, so we have always relied on our dedicated staff. This year, this statement has never been more important, as hospitality businesses are asking more of their staff than they ever have.

The individuals’ recognised in this year’s Awards for Excellence Employee Categories are fantastic role models for people who may be considering a career in the hospitality industry.

A well-known personality of our industry, Joy-joy Craufurd, was awarded the ‘Service Excellence (Front of House) Award, for her outstanding contribution to The Cavenagh Hotel. Joy-joy always has a smile on her face and epitomises great customer service, being a team player and making a difference to her community.

Hospitality would not survive without great food, so the coveted ‘Best Chef’ Award, was a highlight of the night. In the end, the judges named Hoang Ton Co from Darwin Trailer Boat Club and Ryan Hamilton, from Phat Mango joint winners of the Award. Both are a pinnacle part of their business, coming up with innovative ideas, and delivering a high-class dining experience, with a focus on locally grown and sourced food.

Darwin Trailer Boat Club’s star line up of staff, also included the ‘Best Marketing/Sales/Events’ Award winner, Nicola Bell. Through hard work and connecting with a raft of local businesses, Nicola has substantially grown the events and functions line up at the Club, as well as connect and promote many community organisations.

The ‘Bartender of the Year’ went to a very talented Ahad Hussain ‘Sunday’ from Phat Mango. This year judges considered the overall bar experience, including service, ability to serve a range of beverages, and interaction with customers.

The need to train locals is now more necessary than ever, so the Apprentice/Trainee of the Year Award was very competitive, with the winner an outstanding contributor to Ayers Rock Resort, Marcellus Ah Kit.

A long-standing Award in the NT’s Awards for Excellence, which qualifies for the National Awards for Excellence, is the ‘Industry Rising Star’ Award. This year it went to Jarrod Everett, who is the current Sous Chef at Berry Springs Tavern.

Jarrod’s story and rise through the hospitality industry is a great story, and one Hospitality NT is very keen to promote and encourage more Territorians to take this journey.

In 2015, Jarrod started his hospitality career at the Berry Springs Tavern, working evenings as a dishwasher. It was evident from his first shift that Jarrod had potential. His enthusiasm and energy was infectious. In 2016 Jarrod approached owners of the Berry Springs Tavern, to express his interest in undertaking a school-based apprenticeship. Since that time Jarrod has gone from strength to strength, finishing his apprentice, entering and winning the following competitions; Nestle Golden Chef Silver Medal 2017, World Skills Culinary Skills Silver Medal 2017, Regional Winner Nestle Golden Chefs 2018, Regional Winner Nestle Golden Chefs 2019 and our Award for Excellence ‘Completed Apprentice of the Year’ in 2019.

Congratulations to all the employees who were nominated for the Awards for Excellence from their employers. Our industry is very lucky to have such talented and hardworking staff.

Hospitality NT would like to once again thank all of our members that nominated for this year’s Awards and say a special congratulations to all of this year’s Award Winners!

For a full list of the 2021 Award winners please click here.

To view photos of the event please visit our Facebook page.