Melbourne Food & Wine Festival has revealed the winner of the 2019 Hostplus Hospitality Scholarship as well as eight inductees to the Legends Hall of Fame at its industry awards event this week.

Following a four-month selection process, Julie Davaine, General Manager of four venues (Fred’s, Charlie Parker’s, The Paddington and The Chicken Shop) in the Merivale group in Sydney, has been named the winner of the 2019 Hostplus Hospitality Scholarship.

As the winner of the scholarship, Davaine now has the opportunity to work across three countries in internationally acclaimed hospitality businesses. When she returns to Australia Davaine will continue to build on her industry experience over a year-long mentorship with a local industry leader.

The judging panel were particularly impressed with Davaine’s inspiring leadership skills and her desire to shape the future of Australia’s hospitality industry. She is passionate about creating a supportive working environment while ensuring career progression opportunities are equal for women and men with families.

Davaine grew up in Paris where she developed her passion for the hospitality industry before moving out of her comfort zone by heading to Australia. Ten years after joining the Merivale group as a food runner at Sushi E, Davaine is now general manager of The Paddington precinct, overseeing four celebrated hospitality venues and more than 150 employees.

The Scholarship is open to hospitality workers aged 22 to 35, and 2019’s applications represented a diverse and highly skilled cross-section of the business, from sommeliers and coffee professionals, to chefs and front-of-house. This year’s runners-up were Laura Dyba, restaurant manager at The Agrarian Kitchen Eatery, just outside Hobart, and Saba Alemayoh, owner/manager at Saba’s Ethiopian Restaurant in inner-city Melbourne.

The awards event also celebrated food and wine industry leaders of longer standing as eight local identities were inducted into the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival Legends program.

Launched in 1993, the Legends program pays tribute to the leaders, ground-breakers and visionaries of Victoria’s food and drink scene. Joining this prestigious group of industry stars, the 2019 inductees are:

  • Chef/restaurateur/hospitality professional – Con Christopoulos
  • Food producer/retailer/advocate – John Portelli, Enoteca Sileno
  • Drink producer/retailer/advocate – Nat White OAM
  • Communicator/educator – Richard Cornish
  • Local hero – Annie Smithers, chef/owner, Du Fermier
  • Hostplus Trailblazer – Mike Russell, Baker Bleu
  • Honorary Legend – John Haddad AO
  • Honorary Legend – Natalie O’Brien AM

The 2019 Legends inductees join more than 150 leaders from the food, wine and hospitality trade. The program recognises an individual’s contribution to the industry and celebrates their role in shaping and sustaining Victoria’s international reputation as a centre of food, wine and hospitality excellence.

Andy Young

Andy joined Intermedia as Editor of The Shout in 2015, writing news on a daily basis and also writing features for National Liquor News. Now Managing Editor of both The Shout and Bars and Clubs.

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