Chris Williams admits that a burger bar might not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of Nelson’s best restaurant.
But on Monday night the Burger Culture team proved that perception wrong, taking out the big award at the Ōra Salmon Nelson Hospitality Awards.
“We were just happy to be in the category, let alone win it,” said owner Chris Williams. “It’s a real testament to the hard work of all the guys.”
Burger Culture opened just over two years ago and since then has made a name for itself in developing innovative and tasty burgers, along with donuts and milkshakes.
In winning the Restaurant of the Year it beat out competitors like fine dining stalwarts Hopgoods and Urban Oyster Bar & Eatery.
“Burger or not, we think it’s a fantastic place to come and eat – we can still provide something that can be a special night out for everybody. The beauty of Burger Culture is that it’s accessible.”
The sell-out event at the Rutherford Hotel saw luminaries from Nelson’s hospitality scene gather to celebrate the best in the business.
Full awards list:
Outstanding Host Responsibility sponsored by Alcohol Accord: McCashins Brewery Kitchen & Bar
Outstanding Beverage List sponsored by Kono: Cod & Lobster Brasserie
Best Accommodation Provider sponsored by Nelson Weekly: AH House Nelson City B&B
Barista of the Year sponsored by Pomeroys Tea & Coffee company: Tania Kitto – The Coffee Factory
People’s Choice Best Local Supplier sponsored by Restaurant Association of NZ: Raeward Fresh Richmond
Outstanding Ambience & Service sponsored by One Music: Burger Culture
Café of the Year sponsored by Mediterranean Foods Wholesale Nelson: DeVille
Outstanding Ethnic Cuisine sponsored by Waimea Weekly: Nahm
Best Local Distributor sponsored by Hospitality New Zealand: Mediterranean Foods Wholesale Nelson
Waiter/MaitreD of the Year sponsored by Westmeat: Zinnia Nicol Foster – Urban Oyster Bay & Eatery
Restaurant of the Year sponsored by Raeward Fresh Richmond: Burger Culture
Barperson of the Year sponsored by Hospitality NZ: Kris Seymour – Kismet Cocktail & Whiskey Bar
Bar of the Year sponsored by Lion New Zealand: The Speights Ale House Nelson
Up and Coming Chef of the year sponsored by Ora King: Chase Tangohau – Urban Oyster Bar & Eatery
Head Chef of the Year sponsored by Ora King: Takeshi Nagahama – La Capilla