Press Release – Hospitality New Zealand
One of the New Zealand hospitality industry’s most passionate advocates for apprentices and trainees – as well as being one of the country’s most successful hospitality entrepreneurs – has been named Personality of the Year at the annual Hospitality New Zealand Awards for Excellence.
Judith Tabron from Soul Bar and Bistro in Auckland’s Viaduct Harbour was presented with the prestigious accolade at Hospitality New Zealand Awards for Excellence announced at the organisation’s national conference held in Wellington on September 26.
Hospitality New Zealand chief executive Bruce Robertson said Judith Tabron is renown for her passion and commitment to the industry – not only running one of the country’s best drinking and dining establishments, but also for her dedication to bringing through the next generation of chefs and front of house staff.
“Judith’s lifelong commitment to the hospitality industry is unquestionable. Judith has risen through the career ranks – starting as a junior chef in the kitchens, to running her own highly successful establishment, which in its own right is among the best of its genre in New Zealand. She has also continued to give back so much to the industry through her support of training,” Mr Robertson said.
“Judith Tabron epitomises everything great about the hospitality industry in New Zealand – vibrancy, enthusiasm, passion, innovation, and a heartfelt desire for the continuing success of young staff and the sector as a whole.”
Judith Tabron began her hospitality career as a young chef at Logan Park Hotel in the Auckland suburb of Greenlane. She then spent time in the UK at London restaurant L’Escargot, before returning to Auckland to work in one of the most pumping restaurants of the late 1980s, De Bretts.
Judith Tabron launched her own restaurant, Ramses, in the trendy Auckland retail precinct of Newmarket in the early 1990s before selling up toward the end of the decade.
She then had short stints running the kitchen, and indeed the restaurant, at Meccano restaurant in Auckland, and then heading up food and beverage operations at Sky City Auckland.
In the early 2000s, as Auckland’s Viaduct Harbour came into its own with an explosion of growth in dining and drinking venues around the time of the America’s Cup, Tabron established Soul Bar and Bistro
Since then the venue has gone on to become an icon in Auckland’s hospitality scene – winning numerous industry awards – including Hospitality New Zealand titles for Excellence in Customer Service, Excellence in Training and Staff Development, Excellence in Marketing, Best Restaurant, and of course Supreme Champion in 2010.
In addition, under Judith Tabron’s leadership, Soul Bar and Bistro has been named as:
Finalists in the Cuisine NZ Restaurant of the Year Awards over multiple years
Among Metro magazine’s Top 50 restaurants in Auckland over multiple years
Finalist in the Lewisham Awards
Finalist in the HANZ Awards for Excellence Best Bar category
Supreme Award for Excellence in Training and Innovation at the HSI Awards
As well as winning a stack of awards, Judith Tabron has also been a board member for the Hospitality Standards Institute training organisation, and was made an ambassador for the organisation in 2009. She is also a cook book author.