Margan Wines looks back at the year that culminated in Lisa Margan winning the highest honour at the Hunter Culinary Association’s annual Awards in December.
2020 was quite the year for the Margan family of winemakers. Andrew Margan was named Winemaker of the Year, while Nicole Brasier was named the Hunter’s Rising Star. Lisa Margan was applauded for her Outstanding Contribution by an Individual to the region’s hospitality industry, while Margan Restaurant was named Best Wedding Venue in NSW. And all the while, the silverware poured in from wine shows all around the country in recognition of Margan’s single vineyard and sustainably farmed wines.
Having just been awarded Best Red Blend at the prestigious NSW Wine Awards, it was the icing on the cake when Lisa Margan was presented with the highest honour for her Outstanding Contribution by an Individual to the local hospitality industry. The award was in recognition of Lisa’s tireless work to promote, advocate for, raise the bar and educate on behalf of Hunter’s hospitality industry. The award is presented to a person who has over the years been instrumental in representing the Hunter Region’s Culinary Industry with distinction.
“I am very proud and humbled by the award. I have been on the HCA executive for more than a decade, many of that as Deputy Chair and have loved working alongside a group of passionate industry professionals. I have been working in this region for decades now, and it has been inspiring to witness the rise and rise of the culinary scene in the Hunter. We have such quality and diversity from casual dining all the way through to the hatted restaurants, and it is great to see the region truly ‘on the map’ for the food and wine lover. HCA supports the people (seniors and juniors alike), food and wine producers and venues in this industry across our region, and I have loved being part of that. I am also proud to be the first woman (solely) to be awarded this, and I look forward to applauding many more as there are so many women in our industry quietly achieving great things,” says Lisa of her recognition.
HCA Chairman Gus Maher lavished praise on the contribution of Lisa, who in recent years has been Deputy Chair of HCA. “Lisa has arguably done more than anyone to raise the profile of both food and wine, which are inextricably linked to Tourism in the Hunter Region. Lisa is retiring from our committee after eleven years of service to the industry; in that time, she has been instrumental in both the promotion of our industry, but also in achieving our other key aim, which is nurturing young and aspiring chefs through the HCA suite of scholarships.”
It was a pretty special day for Margan in more ways than one, proving it’s a breeding ground for young talent with Margan Restaurant’s Brittany Watts presented the Rising Star Award for an up-and-coming Front of House professional and Harrison Roese named a Preliminary Finalist for the prestigious Brett Graham Award which will see a young chef win $10,000 to propel them towards working in London at Graham’s eponymous The Ledbury Restaurant, announced this year.