Craggy Range Restaurant wins two hats

Newly relaunched winery restaurant triumphs at Cuisine Good Food Awards

Craggy Range Restaurant last night earned its place among New Zealand’s finest restaurants, picking up two hats at the Cuisine Good Food Awards in Auckland.

The event, which honours New Zealand’s best chefs and restaurants, recognised Craggy Range for “well-presented dishes… executed with a deft and talented hand”. Craggy Range Restaurant joins an elite collection of just 18 restaurants winning the coveted Two Hat accolade.

The award follows a period of transition for the Hawke’s Bay restaurant which started just over a year ago with the appointment of Casey McDonald as Head Chef. Bringing with him experience working in Michelin-star and hatted kitchens worldwide, Casey quickly set out to transform Craggy Range Restaurant’s food offering, meeting with suppliers across Hawke’s Bay to seek out the region’s best produce. Under Casey’s tutelage, the food offer has evolved to reflect the best local and seasonal produce, which is exemplified in the restaurant’s Hawke’s Bay menu; a tasting menu featuring ingredients sourced from across the region.

Craggy Range Restaurant recently underwent an extensive refit to reflect the new focus, with an expanded bar area, comfortable booth seating, and an open kitchen. Taking inspiration from the region and the seasons, the restaurant re-design aimed to provide a welcoming and relaxed environment, where guests could enjoy the best produce and wine Hawke’s Bay has to offer.

Craggy Range Restaurant is one of four Hawke’s Bay restaurants to earn the coveted Two Hat accolade – a tally equal to that of Wellington, reflecting the region’s status as a world class food and wine destination.

Speaking at the Cuisine Good Food Awards, Casey said “it is incredibly humbling and inspiring to be recognised with two Hats, and is a reflection on the dedication of our team, as well as the wonderful local Hawke’s Bay suppliers which we’re so fortunate to work with. It has been incredibly exciting to be part of the journey of redeveloping the restaurant. We have already had some great feedback on the refit, and we can’t wait to share our new space and Hawke’s Bay flavours with many more guests over the summer.”