Balmoral Hotel head chef scores third AHA win

Head chef Wendy Miedzinski at the Balmoral Hotel, East Victoria Park. Picture: David Baylis.
Head chef Wendy Miedzinski at the Balmoral Hotel, East Victoria Park. Picture: David Baylis.

THE head chef of an East Victoria Park pub has won her third Australian Hotels Association Hospitality Award for Excellence earlier this month.

The Balmoral Hotel’s Wendy Miedzinski was named the joint winner of the Head Chef award alongside Wills Domain head chef Seth James at the awards night held at Crown.

Mrs Miedzinski said the category pool increased throughout the years, with 16 finalists from restaurants, hotels and pubs around WA this year.

“I’d just come back from the national awards and they were saying that the Head Chef of the year is the fastest growing category as a whole,” she said.

Mrs Miedzinski said the Balmoral Hotel worked hard to stay true to its traditional pub setting while also offering quirky items.

“It’s finding that mix between classic pub roots and something a little bit different that keeps customers interested all the time and the chefs interested all the time too,” she said.

“You just need to listen to what your customers want, stay current, invest in your staff, invest in apprentices, try and be firm and fair.”

Meanwhile, Karalee on Preston in Como received the Casual Pub Dining award for the metropolitan area, shared with Currambine Bar & Bistro.

Karalee on Preston general manager Ashley Cranenburg said they also keep up with emerging food trends including pushing slow cooked meats during winter.

“People pay money to come to a restaurant or pub or wherever they go, because they want a real food experience and we don’t lose sight of that,” he said.

“We want to make sure that when they leave, they’d want to come back again.”

Other winners included The Camfield in Burswood for Outdoor Area award and The Merrywell in Burswood for WA’s Best Steak Sandwich.