Just when you think Australia's dining scene couldn't get any more competitive, the Australian Financial Review Australia's Top Restaurants comes along to provide another benchmark for all eateries to be measured against.
So what sets this award ceremony apart from the others? The most interesting thing about the Australian Financial Review's iteration of a top restaurants in Australia-style competition is who is in control of the vote. For three months, chefs and restaurateurs from 500 of the best venues across the nation will have the chance to vote for their ten favourite restaurants anywhere in Australia.
Traditionally, restaurant awards are driven by critics and a public vote, however the chance to have top establishments judged by their peers could create a completely new perception on what's hot and what's not in the nation's dining scene.
The awards are sponsored by Qantas and Vittoria Coffee, and will also include a people's choice prize as voted for by the Australian public. Australia's Top Chef will also be voted on, and voters are not allowed to vote for their own venue – or one they have never dined at.
A gala event held at the Crown in Melbourne on May 18 will see all the results announced, with the Australian Financial Review and goodfood.com.au publishing the results to a wider audience.
The official Australia's Top Restaurants Website already has a list of the top 500 restaurants, compiled with help from reviewers, industry experts and Good Food Guide editors. Professionals from these restaurants will be able to vote for their favourite restaurants in the country, in what is sure to be a hotly-contested competition.