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Cafe hopes it will be second time lucky for national award

Dec 1st, 2014 | By | Category: Front Page Layout, Latest News, News

COMPETITION FINALIST: Scott Barrett, owner of Elements cafe in Lyall Bay. IMAGE: ROSS GIBLIN Fairfax

COMPETITION FINALIST: Scott Barrett, owner of Elements cafe in Lyall Bay. IMAGE: ROSS GIBLIN Fairfax

A popular Lyall Bay eatery has made the finals of the New Zealand Cafe of the Year competition for the second year in a row.

“Two years in a row shows it isn’t a fluke and our customers like what we do. It’s also a reward for the front of house staff,” says Elements Cafe owner Scott Barrett.

It would be nice to do better than last year, but there are a lot of people out there doing a lot of good things and we’re quite happy to be in the final”.

The beachside suburb café also celebrates its 10th anniversary this year and he says “anything on top of that would be brilliant”.

Their most popular dish, twice baked goat’s cheese soufflé served with herb salad, shredded rocket and cherry tomatoes, has been on the menu since day one.

Elements, Sweet Vanilla Kitchen in Lower Hutt and Karori Park Cafe are the three Wellington regional finalists.

Cheryl McIvor, who owns Sweet Vanilla Kitchen says: “We are pretty stoked to be in the running”.

“Our customers are right into it. They are always asking us when the results are going to be in.”

Ms McIvor says around 50% of the large range of cabinet food is gluten free and the menu is advertised on a board outside the café.

One customer is so addicted to her daily fix that she gave Ms. McIvor some water resistant chalk, so that she can read the board as she drives by even if it’s raining.

Chanden Cheav, owner of the Karori Park Café, is very happy to have made the finals.

He says that everything in the café is home – made, but the plum cheesecake and chocolate brownies are especially well liked.

The smoked salmon, cream cheese and avocado on ciabatta bread is very popular with the local Mums, says Mr Cheav.

The supreme winner, who will hold the title “Café of The Year 2014”, is expected to be announced on December 3.

Eighteen national finalists were chosen from over 1100 entries from votes of more than 39,000 café lovers nationwide.

Last year Elements was pipped by Greta Point Cafe in Evans Bay.

Head judge Kerry Tyack says the competition aims to let Kiwis know about the fantastic café fare that’s available around the country and to identify and recognise the best of the best.

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