A 23-year-old who grinds his own flour and rolls his own oats was the only West Australian to win one of the prestigious national Gourmet Traveller awards at the magazine's annual gala presentation in Melbourne last night.
Matt Stone, the young head chef at the Greenhouse restaurant in Perth, was named Best New Talent for 2010.
His award was one of nine national awards, including Restaurant of the Year, Bar of the Year and Maitre d' of the Year.
"It's pretty amazing," Stone said.
"I suppose to win an award like this at my age is amazing.
"This is as much for the kitchen team at Greenhouse as it is for me.
"Greenhouse attracts a lot of attention in its own right, and my award also reflects its vision and the vision of the owners."
Greenhouse has been open less than a year at its St Georges Terrace site and has taken Perth by storm with its compelling combination of well-priced, innovative food made with good produce and a strong sustainability agenda.
The kitchen staff make their own flour from organic wheat and the business has recently bought an oats rolling machine to make cereal for muesli.
"Greenhouse is speaking to a larger trend that is happening in Australia and worldwide," Pat Nourse, Gourmet Traveller chief food critic, said.
"What has impressed me the most about Matt's choices is that he has gone his own way; a lot of young guys striking out on their first head chef's role overdo it with all the bells and whistles, but he has got serious attention to detail."
There were just two WA finalists nominated for the nine awards - with the other, CBD small bar Helvetica, pipped at the post for Bar of the Year.
Nourse said he was impressed with the range of quirky, individual small bars in Perth.
In a predictably Sydney- and Melbourne-centric list, Gourmet Traveller also announced its Top 100 Australian restaurants of the year last night.
WA restaurants accounted for just three of the spots.
They were Divido at Mt Hawthorn (85), Star Anise in Shenton Park (49) and Restaurant Amuse in East Perth (43).
The Gourmet Traveller Restaurant of the Year award went to Melbourne's Cutler and Co., while the Bar of the Year was awarded to Sydney's Eau-de-Vie.
PERTH'S TOP RESTAURANTS
1. Restaurant Amuse
2. Star Anise
4. Dear Friends
5. Pata Negra
7. The Loose Box
10. The Gala
Qantas and the operators of Perth Airport are poised to strike a deal within days to allow the first non-stop flights from Australia to Europe through the airline’s domestic terminal.