Judging Process

The judging process is anonymous and confidential.  To ensure anonymity in judging, no names of applicants or collaborating parties may appear on submitted images, drawings or written support materials.

Jurors and their practices are not permitted to enter the Eat Drink Design Awards in the year they are participating in the program. Jurors must declare any other perceived conflict of interest regarding an entry and step down from the panel for assessment of that entry.

The Jury reserves the right to re-classify the project to a more appropriate category, if deemed necessary.

Jury decisions are final and no correspondence will be entered into.

2017 Jury

Ingrid co-founded Richards & Spence Architects in 2008 with partner Adrian Spence with the aim of choreographing vibrant public spaces from private commissions. Operating in their home town of Brisbane, Richards & Spence has contributed to the retail and hospitality landscape of Brisbane, including the Brisbane International Airport Retail refurbishment, the development of Burnett Lane in the CBD and the ongoing development of the James Street Retail Precinct, which includes the 178-room James Street Hotel scheduled for completion mid- 2018.

Richards and Spence has authored a variety of hospitality fitouts, including Survey Co. (Brisbane) and Donna Bionda (Townsville) and was awarded winner of Best Retail Design for The Standard Market Company in the 2014 Eat Drink Design Awards.

Ingrid is a member of the Brisbane City Council Independent Design Advisory Panel and the University of Queensland Advisory Board.

Cheshire Architects is a trans-disciplinary design practice. It operates across a huge breadth of types and scales, of luxury and poverty, newness and age, roughness and refinement. In pursuing this, Nat works on development strategy and architecture, to branding and product design.

Nat works daily on everything from apron buttons, web design and light fittings, to basement cocktail dens, luxury retreats and the creation and transformation of huge chunks of the city. Among this work, Nat has built or fitout much of the nine-city-block Britomart in downtown Auckland, and invented the four-hectare City Works Depot.

Nat has been awarded twelve Best Award gold pins, the Metro’s Designer of the Year Award twice, HOME's Home of the Year and its Product Design of the Year Award. His work is regularly published in global magazines like MonocleWallpaper, Dezeen and Dwell.

Regarded as one of the best hospitality professionals in Australia, Vanessa started her career in 1990 as a waiter in Adelaide. While studying at university, she worked at the city’s leading wine bars and restaurants while juggling her academic commitments.

After Vanessa finished her studies in 1996, she went on to work in senior management positions at Lloyd’s Brasserie in Dublin, Magill Estate Restaurant in Adelaide, and Langton’s Restaurant and Taxi Dining Room in Melbourne.

When Neil Perry decided to open Rockpool Bar & Grill in Melbourne – his first restaurant outside of Sydney in 2006 – Vanessa was handpicked for the general manager role and now, as one of Neil’s senior executives, she oversees all of Rockpool Dining Group’s restaurants in Melbourne and Perth.

Vanessa has received numerous accolades for her service to the industry including Gourmet Traveller’s ‘Maitre d’ of the Year’ in 2016 and The Age Good Food Guide’s ‘Service Excellence Award’ in 2014.

Ross Lusted is chef and owner of three-hatted restaurant The Bridge Room in Sydney, winner of the coveted Sydney Morning Herald Good Food Guide’s Restaurant of the Year 2016 and Hottest Restaurant in Australia by The Australian.

After an extensive career in restaurants and hotels around the globe, including Rockpool, Darley Street Thai, harbourkitchen&bar, Singapore’s Mezza9 and Aman Resorts, Ross returned home to Australia to open his own venture, The Bridge Room, with his wife Sunny.

Ross was awarded Chef of the Year by the Sydney Morning Herald Good Food Guide and Hottest Chef in Australia by The Australian HOT 50 Restaurants 2014. The Bridge Room has been additionally awarded three stars and #7 in Australia by Gourmet Traveller Magazine in their 2017 guide, honoured with the World’s 50 Best Restaurants Academy – Global Selection 2015 and awarded #13 in Australia by Financial Review’s Australia’s Top 100 Restaurants 2016. Ross has been featured on MasterChef and SBS’s Food Safari program.

Cassie Hansen is the editor of Artichoke, Australia’s interiors and design magazine. She has a degree in creative industries, majoring in journalism. Cassie has written for a range of publications, including HousesLandscape Architecture Australia, and Kitchens + Bathrooms. She has served as juror on many national and international design awards, including the Asia Pacific Interior Design Awards.