Shelter owners Andrew Love and Troy Noonan are celebrating a professional highlight, after their 18- month-old Lennox Head restaurant was awarded a Hat by the Sydney Morning Herald Good Food Guide this month.
The guys admit it was a dream to achieve this kind of recognition for all their hard work and focus on a great product. They are grateful to their head chef Dennis Baker, who has been with them from the beginning, and was instrumental in bringing home the hospitality accolade.
Dennis has been working in the Northern Rivers area for many years, after training at Tetsuyas, and working at such establishments as the Three Blue Ducks and Belle General. He also worked at the same (Shelter) location when it was called 7 Mile.
Good Food Guide judges visited the restaurant anonymously and without warning twice during the year, assessing the quality of the food and beverage, service, atmosphere and ‘wow factor’.
The Shelter owners were invited to attend the ceremony in Sydney earlier this month, but were never informed about their award. They now join other Northern Rivers restaurants like Harvest and Byron at Byron who have also been awarded a Hat.
Andrew and Troy admit that this Hat seems so much sweeter, after they spent months building up the new establishment, and weathered more than a few ‘what if’ and ‘why not’ moments.
‘What got us through was the feedback from our regulars, who kept on telling us that what we were doing was good,’ says Andrew.
The guys had no idea what was in store, but were pleased to see that they were cited as one of the top 12 Hot New Restaurants in the country.
‘After that we knew we were a chance,’ says Andrew.