The Good Food Guide returns in 2021

26th May 2021 | Eativity editors

After COVID kyboshed last year’s edition, the Sydney Morning Herald and The Age’s esteemed Good Food Guide will be returning later this year to celebrate Australia’s dining scene, with Citi and Vittoria Coffee once again committing as co-presenting partners.

“As Australia’s restaurant and bar scene reawakens after an incredibly tough period of lockdowns, forced closures and capacity limits, the country’s most trusted dining guide will return in November with two separate editions in NSW and Victoria,” says publishing director Trudi Jenkins. “The team is looking forward to celebrating everything that’s great about our dining scene, and helping readers discover the best of the best places to eat.”

Hats will still be awarded, but there’ll be no scoring, in a nod to the tough time hospitality has been through.

The editions will showcase what makes Australia one of the most diverse and celebrated food and drink cultures in the world. Edited by Myffy Rigby, and with reviews by well-known contributors including Sydney Morning Herald chief reviewer Terry Durack and The Age’s Gemima Cody, the process of reviewing has recently begun.

“Just as the hospitality industry has changed, so too has the Good Food Guide,” says Rigby. “In a refreshed overhaul, this year’s editions will focus on inclusion, not exclusivity.”

The scoring system has been updated to reflect today’s dining culture, but the cherished “hats” will still be awarded to indicate which places are well worth a visit.

While the guide will still feature fine dining, it has broadened its scope to cover more eating experiences.

“With working from home being the new normal, many Australians have discovered more about dining in their local neighbourhoods,” Rigby continues. “Our focus is covering a broad spectrum of eating experiences, from a solo bowl of peanutty khao soi at a laminex table to sharing an elaborate hotpot or getting dressed up for a fine-dining experience.”

More accessible eating-out options will run alongside what readers are accustomed to, with the top end of Sydney and Melbourne restaurants and bars being recognised.

The categories for award-winners have also been reimagined, with Sommelier of the Year updated to Drinks Professional of the Year to better reflect the changing face of the industry, along with the addition of Cafe of the Year and a New Guard Award to reflect the new wave of young professionals making a name for themselves within the industry.

The SMH Good Food Guide and The Age Good Food Guide will be released in November.

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