The Burger Culture team celebrating winning the title of Best Restaurant at the Nelson Hospitality Awards. Photo: Sarah Board.

Nelson’s hospitality shines at awards


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