The annual launch of The West Australian Good Food Guide reviewing season is an important event on our calendar. It’s the official starting gun for our annual reviewing season – which runs from late June to September each year – and lets our restaurant and hospitality community know that our reviewers are fanning out across the state to critique nearly 200 restaurants, casual dining venues and bars.

Our annual launch event is also the mechanism by which we announce new innovations and improvements to the WAGFG and the WAGFG Awards program for the year ahead.

The West Australian Good Food Guide is Western Australia’s most credible, authoritative and respected guide to dining and eating in WA.

The West Australian Good Food Guide does not seek money from those restaurants it reviews (unlike other, less transparent awards programs). Nor does the WAGFG accept inducements from restaurants who may wish to be reviewed positively. The WAGFG editorial team is completely independent of any commercial considerations which may compromise its cherished independence.

Which is why, when we innovate, year on year, we bring new and exciting additions to the WAGFG, without compromising our core values of ethical behaviour, transparency, social good and forthright writing and journalism.

Our reviewing panel will be joined this year by one of the world’s most prominent and respected restaurant reviewers. He is Joe Warwick from The Guardian Newspaper in London. He will be our first International Reviewer in Residence, a program we hope to continue with every year.

We strongly believe that the more the local restaurant sector matures, improves and expands, the restaurant reviewing that serves our hospitality community should also be exposed to the best of the best as restaurant journalism matures, improves and expands over the years to come.

Not only is Joe an inspirational and critically acclaimed writer and critic, he is the co-founder of the recently launched World Restaurant Awards which is set to dominate the global restaurant rankings scene in coming years.

And the innovations continue. Also new in 2019, we are announcing The West Australian Good Food Guide’s inaugural Wine Of The Year Award.

It makes sense to us that – as wine is such an important part of civilised and enjoyable dining – we should acknowledge, celebrate and give a platform to the best wines in WA.

The wine award competition will be open to WA produced wines only and to wines released in the financial year prior to the awards ceremony: in this case the inaugural Wine Of  The Year Award for 2019 will request entries which were released only between July 1 2018 to June 30 2019.

Unlike most wine awards and the traditional wine judging system, this is a consumer-faced award with a strong emphasis on the restaurant experience.

With that in mind, we have one of the most awarded sommeliers in the country – Emma Farrelly – on our small tasting panel.

Emma will be joined by the extraordinary Mike Bennie – one of the nation’s best “new breed” wine writers, judges and reviewers. There is lots to say about Mike. His talent is formidable; his impact on the Australian wine scene can’t be under-estimated and his ability to tell it how it is (and let’s face it, so few traditional wine reviewers do) has earned him enormous respect with both consumers of his journalism and within the wine sector itself.

And in October this year, you’ll start seeing prominent Good Food Guide billboards popping up at Perth airport, directing inbound tourists and business travellers to the WAGFG website. Our community will just keep growing and growing as we expand our reach to overseas markets.

What does this mean for you? Whether you live in Nedlands or Hong Kong, Carine or Singapore, you will have a restaurant guide with a broader-than-ever range and diverse of informed opinion, writing, restaurant criticism, great stories from our best restaurants and chefs and straightforward, plain speaking advice from WA’s pre-eminent “where to dine” guide.

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