Restaurateur Caterina Borsato, “Queen of Chocolate” Kirsten Tibballs and Heathcote winemaker Bruce Chalmers were among the latest inductees to Melbourne Food and Wine Festival’s Legends Hall of Fame.
The annual roll-call of hospitality professionals who have contributed significantly to Victoria’s food and drink scene was announced last night in a ceremony at the Australian Centre for the Moving Image in Federation Square.
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Italian culture was front and centre this year, with Borsato, the owner of Caterina’s Cucina e Bar, recognised for 25 years of skill and flair on the floor, while Chalmers’ introduction of Italian grape varieties to Victoria was celebrated.
The seven Legends also included fisherman Bruce Collis, favoured by many of the country’s best chefs; Hayley Purbrick of Tahbilk Wines for her work on reducing her industry’s carbon emissions; and restaurateur Sonia Anthony of Masons of Bendigo for her role in the city achieving UNESCO City of Gastronomy status.
The late Pamela Bakes, Melbourne Food and Wine Festival’s inaugural wine program manager in 1993, was named an Honorary Legend. She went on to fulfil many other roles for the festival, including curating the program.
The next generation of hospitality talent were celebrated with two other awards: Shannon Martinez (Smith & Daughters) as the Hostplus Trailblazer, awarded to a person under 40 who has made an outstanding contribution to Victoria’s food scene, and chef Sarah Cremona of Pt Leo Estate as the Hostplus Hospitality Scholarship winner. The latter will travel around the world to further her knowledge.


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