Restaurant industry honours lifetime achievers

Posted by Nicole Eckersley on 23rd March 2010

The Restaurant & Catering Industry Association has recognised and celebrated six individuals at their annual Lifetime Achievers presentation dinner, held on Tuesday 9 March 2010.

The annual awards night, the seventh since the program was launched in 2003, was held at Parliament House in Canberra and was attended by previous recipients of the award, as well as over fifty MPs.

The Lifetime Achiever Program was launched by RCIA to acknowledge those individuals who have made a commitment and contribution to the restaurant and catering industry throughout their lives.

The recipients of the awards, and RCIA’s listings of their achievements, were:

NSW – Raymond Kersch and Jennice Kersch
Raymond, as chef, and Jennice, as queen of front-of-house, are a brother and sister team who have delighted Sydney diners with their innovative use of native ingredients, turning bush tucker into haute cuisine.

QLD – Michel Flores
Michel has spent the past thirty years in Townsville bringing five very different styled restaurants into existence, all of which have been favoured by the locals and tourists in the region, while also being responsible for a large number if trainees.

SA – Cheong Liew
Cheong is one of South Australia’s most well known chefs and has spent the last fifteen years in charge of the Grange Kitchen at the prestigious Hilton Hotel in Adelaide.

VIC – Alla Wolf Tasker
Over the past three decades Alla has not only built a thriving business with her husband in regional Victoria, the Lake House in Daylesford, she has also worked tirelessly for the growth of the tourism and hospitality industries by freely giving her time and expertise.

WA – Dawn Davies
Dawn owned the famous Oyster Beds Restaurant on the Swan River for 23 years, in that time rebuilding it so it didn’t get flooded on high tide, while turning it into the premier tourist attraction where she hosted numerous functions and parties, raising money for charity.

All six winners had been honoured at their state Awards for Excellence event in 2009 before coming together in Canberra last week to be recognised at a national level.

The Hon Dr Craig Emerson MP congratulated the award recipients when he addressed the audience and described RCIA as ‘one of the most engaged business organisations in Canberra’. Dr Emerson was also presented with an award for his own contribution to the industry, particularly through the Award Modernisation process, where he was influential in convincing the Deputy Prime Minister to pursue a separate restaurant award.