Home' Phillip Island and San Remo Advertiser : November 25 2015 Contents PAGE 10 - THE ADVERTISER, WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 25, 2015
2015 Tourism & Hospitality Awards
With only three weeks' notice, Head Chef at the Shearing Shed, Damien
Thompson, and the kitchen crew got to work to create a Shearing Shed signa-
ture "battle dish" - a Cape Grim (Tasmania) scotch fillet accompanied by potato
galette, candied shallots, broccolini and porcini mushroom butter, all matched
perfectly with a pepper infused Pepperjack Shiraz. The dish was awarded sec-
ond place for the Victoria/Tasmania region in the 2015 Pepperjack Battle of the
Stakes are high for
The Shearing Shed
IN LESS than 12 months, one of
Phillip Island's newest restaurants
has not only established itself on the
local dining scene but has earned na-
tionwide recognition in its preparation
and presentation of dishes.
The Shearing Shed Grill and Bar, in
Gap Road, has recently been awarded
second place for the Victoria/Tasma-
nia region in the 2015 Pepperjack Bat-
tle of the Steaks.
The Pepperjack Wine Company is
from South Australia's noted wine
growing region of the Barossa Valley.
It specialises in crafted wines that go
perfectly with red meat dishes.
The Battle of the Steaks is an annual
event open to restaurants from around
the country who have been nominated
to participate. They compete on a re -
gional basis and range from large, well
known and corporate establishments
to the smaller, boutique style restau-
Each contestant is asked to present
a dish featuring a steak which compli-
ments one of Pepperjack's red wines.
The Battle of the Steaks was conduct-
ed recently over an eight week period.
It is conducted in-house with diners
being asked to rate their opinions by
These opinions cover all aspects of
the dish including the quality for the
steak, its presentation and tender-
This year over 450 restaurants par-
It is the first time that The Shearing
Shed has been nominated for such an
In representing the region of Victoria
and Tasmania, this local restaurant
knew it faced a challenging task.
"It was overwhelming to be selected
as this region is huge and we were up
against some of the bigger restaurants
and venues, " said Abbie Patton, res-
With only three weeks' notice, Head
Chef Damien Thompson and the
kitchen crew got to work to create a
Shearing Shed signature "battle dish"
- a Cape Grim (Tasmania) scotch fillet
accompanied by potato galette, can-
died shallots, broccolini and porcini
mushroom butter, and matched per-
fectly with a pepper infused Pepper-
The approval and popularity of this
dish saw Shearing Shed diners cast
the second highest number of votes
within the region. The well- established
Club Kilsyth was declared the regional
This experience and the heartening
response from the public was both
gratifying and reassuring for this
small, family-run restaurant.
"We want to thank everyone who
took the time out to vote and to give
us this acknowledgement, " said Abbie.
"We are thrilled and excited by this
result. Kudos goes to our Head Chef
Damien and the kitchen staff. They are
a dedicated and talented team and are
inspired by Damien's flair and creativ-
Also congratulation to Albert
D'Antonio of Enzo's Ristorante, Piz-
zeria e Bar (South Australia), who
was crowned as the 2015 Battle of the
Steaks champion. He has won brag-
ging rights and $30,000 courtesy of
Congratulations to Albert and all the
entrants who have taken part in this
year's quest to find the ultimate steak.
"Hopefully we'll be able to take out
next year's award, if we are nominated
again, " she added.
The Shearing Shed has come a long
way in a short space of time. It is be-
coming a restaurant of choice for lo-
cals and visitors who are looking to
savour a culinary experience and dine
in its unique setting.
As the name suggests this venue was
an original shearing shed, and bears
witness to some of the heydays in Phil-
lip Island's farming history.
Now no longer needed for this pur-
pose, the Patton family have brought it
back to life as a restaurant and recep-
In keeping with this rural and rustic
theme much of the décor comes from
recycled timbers and familiar items
from around Phillip Island.
Along with its casual fine dining
restaurant, The Shearing Shed Grill
and Bar also offers a reception venue
which is perfect for weddings and spe-
cial occasion celebrations.
Outside the battle of the steaks The
Shearing Shed can be found and re-
viewed on Australian Good Food
Guide, TripAdvisor and Zomato.
An exceptional finalist
ONE of the district's newest
tourist operators, Kirsty Mawer of
San Remo, was thrilled when her
business was named as a finalist
in the 2015 RACV Victorian Tour-
ism Awards held recently in Mel-
Exceptional Phillip Island Area
Tours was entered in the New
Tourism Business category.
It is a boutique style business
and has been in operation since
the end of 2014.
Kirsty, who has lived in the area
for 10 years, had discovered that
there was much more to Phillip
Island than its trademark pen-
guins and world- class racetrack,
including interesting out- of-the -
way sights, artisans, framers, and
purveyors of fine foods.
She saw a niche and now offers
locals and visitors a well-planned
Her driving force was a desire to
change the impression in the tour-
ism market that Phillip Island was
only worth a day trip, or at best a
one -night stay.
Tourism Victoria figures show
that of the millions of people who
visit each year, the majority are
Kirsty knows only too well that
there is no public transport be -
tween tourism attractions, leaving
visitors who arrive without their
own transport few options to ex-
plore the vast and varied attrac-
tions on and around the island.
In catering for the smaller group
experience, Exceptional Phillip Is-
land Area Tours gives visitors a good
reason to stay longer, enjoy all that
the area has to offer and in so doing,
benefits the whole community.
Up to 11 guests are transported
in a Mercedes Sprinter minibus by
Kirsty on her tours.
Kirsty's long-term vision is to
grow the business and to add long-
term value to a community she is
so very passionate about.
"We are extremely proud to be
finalists, especially as this is our
first year in business," said Kirsty
following the announcement.
"A lot of work has gone into
building the business and the
awards process was incredibly rig-
"This award validates for us that
we are on the right track to build-
ing a sustainable and prosperous
business that is valued by our
community and visitors."
It was a proud moment for Phillip Island tourism operator Kirsty
Mawer and her husband David when the business Exceptional Phillip
Island Area Tours was named as a finalist at the 2015 Victorian Tour-
ism Awards held recently in Melbourne.
Shire's information centres win gold
THE Phillip Island and Bass
Coast Visitor Information Cen-
tre Network beat a strong field to
win the top award in the Visitor
Information Services category at
the 2015 RACV Victorian Tourism
Awards on Monday.
Bass Coast Mayor, Cr Jordan
Crugnale said that it was a fantas-
tic achievement that recognised
the consistently high level of ser-
vice council's team of staff and
volunteers delivered each day to
"Our visitor information cen-
tres would be shockingly dull if it
weren't for our dedicated group of
volunteers and staff who have an
enthusiasm with an accompany-
ing smile for everyone entering the
doors, " Cr Crugnale said.
"Our local residents are our on-
the -ground tourism ambassadors
for the millions of visitor and holi-
day home owners that visit, stay
and even pass through on route to
other areas in this wonderful re -
The Phillip Island and Bass
Coast Visitor Information Centre
Network provides a service to our
visitors, local residents and those
new to the area.
Visitors not only receive a friend-
ly welcome, but also receive free
information and booking service
to local accommodation, attrac-
tions and tours.
In the last financial year the
Network had more than 230,000
visitors and answered more than
21,000 phone calls contributing
$2.57 million to the local economy
through accommodation book-
ings, ticket and merchandise
With friendly locals promoting
the area, visitors are encouraged
to stay longer and explore more,
which ultimately contributes to
our local economy and influences
many people to come back and
"Council would also like to con-
gratulate Phillip Island Nature
Parks, Wildlife Coast Cruises and
Exceptional Phillip Island Area
Tours who also won awards in
their categories," Cr Crugnale
"As a Council, we are actively
moving into the eco, cultural and
adventures tourism space and
have identified some major gaps
and opportunities. Awards like
this raise the bar and feed into the
tourism narrative of bass coast,
providing a tourism experience
that caters to a wider market."
The Phillip Island and Bass Coast Visitor Information Centre were gold winners at last week's 2015 RACV
Victorian Tourism Awards. Celebrating the announcement are Bass Coast Shire representatives at the cere-
mony, from left, Peter Francis, Mayor Cr Jordan Crugnale, Jenni McMillan, Lucy Couper and Janette Little.
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