Double pride as eatery scores two finalist spots

Callum HunterSouth Western Times
Owners Ian and Jennifer Spear say they are so proud of their staff and they are all looking forward to the big awards presentation night.
Camera IconOwners Ian and Jennifer Spear say they are so proud of their staff and they are all looking forward to the big awards presentation night. Credit: South Western Times, Callum Hunter

Italian restaurant Nicola’s was named as a finalist in not one, but two categories in the upcoming Gold Plate Awards.

Described by owners Ian and Jennifer Spear as the Brownlow of WA hospitality, judging for the finalists will start next week with no indication of who the judges will be or when they will turn up.

“To be the only restaurant in Bunbury and named as a finalist twice is a big thing for us,” Mr Spear said.

“We won a Gold Plate in our first year of trading and then we’ve been in the finals for quite a few years but we’ve had bit of a break from it to concentrate on the business.”

The Spears’ restaurant was named on Monday as a finalist in the Mediterranean dining and casual dining categories.

“We think that we’ve nailed everything now to go in these competitions and think we can do it,” Mr Spear said.

“It’s not just for us, it’s for the staff as well, we run and train the staff pretty tight.

“It will be a real morale booster for all of them to know they’ve achieved something by winning a Gold Plate... it’s a team effort.”

The Gold Plate Awards are organised and run by the Catering Institute of Australia and have been held each year since 1967, rewarding “excellence and to encourage the endeavours of committed industry professionals by giving them a means of improving and promoting their businesses”.

“We’re a family business... it’s hard to go up against the big guns with the million-dollar budgets,” Mrs Spear said.

With the finalists announced this week, the winners will be announced on November 25 at a gala event at Crown Perth, a night the Spears and their staff say they are looking forward to.

“All the staff get get their tuxes on and the girls get to dress up like princesses,” Mr Spear said.

“We really have to thank our team, we’re just the captains.”

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