Best Welcome 2017
If you’ve sat at the U-shaped dining counter at this teeny Italian in the North Laine, you’ll already have experienced the warm charm of owner David Toscano.
A constant presence in the open bar, he embodies the true spirit of hospitality, chatting away to diners without ever intruding, while seamlessly pouring flutes of Prosecco and ferrying plates of silky handmade pasta from the open kitchen.
Toscano hails from Italy but grew up in Sydney, before becoming a lawyer. He gave it up to follow his true vocation in 2013, setting up a street food business operating from a vintage van in Brighton, before opening Cin Cin in 2016. It’s been nothing short of a smash hit since day one.
3-16 Vine Street, BN1 4AG
Sponsored by DesignLSM
Best Chef 2017
When Michael Bremner opened 64 Degrees in 2013, he helped kick-start a revolution in Brighton’s restaurant scene. Born in the North East of Scotland, Bremner began his career as kitchen porter in a country house hotel where his mother worked as a chef, then moved to London to work at the Orrey and Quo Vadis.
He travelled to Canada and Australia before settling in Brighton to head up the kitchens at the critically acclaimed sustainable restaurant Due South (now closed).
In addition to being voted Best Chef two years running in Brighton’s Best Restaurants awards, 64 Degrees has also topped Brighton’s Best Restaurants top 20 list in both 2016 and 2017 and is currently rated 16 in the National Restaurant Awards.
In 2016, Bremner represented the South East in the BBC’s Great British Menu series, winning a maximum 40 out of 40 from the judges for his Message from the Lodestar mackerel dish.
Sponsored by Nisbets Catering Equipment
Best Sunday Roast 2017
In a town famous for its Sunday roasts, Dizzy Gull at the Brighton Beer Dispensary stands out for two reasons.
The first is that the kitchen is run by Dan Kenny and Semone Bonner – two of Brighton’s best chefs who have made their name by pushing boundaries at their experimental restaurant The Set. The other is that the Brighton Beer Dispensary is simply a brilliant boozer with a crack (or should that be craic?) team of hopheads behind the bar serving craft ales from the country’s very best micro-breweries.
The roast is an epic affair. Think Sussex rib-eye, middle white pork belly or a lentil, miso and squash nut loaf. Roasties are done in dripping (unless you’re a veggie) and the super-light Yorkshire puds are the yin to the yang of the thick, soulful gravy.
Dizzy Gull at the Brighton Beer Dispensary
38 Dean St, BN1 3EG
Sponsored by Barfields Butchers
Best Barkeep 2017
If Trivial Pursuits did booze, then the Salt Room’s bar manager Matt Ottley would win every time. A walking encyclopaedia of alcohol knowledge, Ottley is a keen student of the history of spirits and cocktails.
He’s just as good at serving them at the Salt Room’s stylish bar, which has become a destination in its own right thanks to an epic drinks list that shines with creative cocktails and a superb range of gin and tonics.
He originally trained as a chef, but soon realised that his destiny was to be behind the bar. His CV includes stints at some of Brighton’s best bars, including Merkaba and the Ginger Pig.
The Salt Room
106 King’s Rd, BN1 2FA
Sponsored by Brighton Gin