28 CONFERENCE & EVENTS WAIKATO BUSINESS NEWS, AUGUST/SEPTEMBER <strong>2023</strong> Late Night Lounge Ernest dominates <strong>2023</strong> <strong>Waikato</strong> Hospitality Awards Hamilton Late Night Lounge Ernest, a trailblazing establishment in the <strong>Waikato</strong> hospitality scene, celebrated a resounding victory at the <strong>2023</strong> <strong>Waikato</strong> Hospitality Awards. BY EDITH SYMES Winning an impressive four awards out of seven nominations, this outstanding achievement solidifies Ernest's status as an industry leader, marking them as the nightspot of choice for guests seeking an unparalleled bar experience. Since its grand opening in November 2021, Ernest has captivated guests with its distinctive blend of sit-down seating, top-tier service, and a curated selection of premium beverages spanning from delicious cocktails to exquisite wines. Among the accolades, Ernest bartender Roberto Valenzuela proudly secured the title of Outstanding Bartender. With over two decades of bartending experience, he has dedicated relentless effort to reach this milestone. “Creating unique experiences through my cocktails has always been a passion of mine. This award has been a long time coming and I am grateful for the recognition from my peers,” he says. Ernest also claimed Outstanding Front of House Team and Outstanding Bar. These awards serve as a testament to the unwavering commitment of the team to elevate the standard of service and hospitality in the <strong>Waikato</strong> region. However, the crowning achievement was the coveted Overall Supreme Award presented to the establishment with the highest number of nominations and votes, a great recognition of industry support. Craig Loveday the visionary behind Ernest says the team was thrilled and humbled to receive these awards. “It is a testament to the hard work and dedication of our team, who consistently go above and beyond to create a memorable experience for our guests. We look forward to continuing to push boundaries and raising the bar in the <strong>Waikato</strong> hospitality scene." Ernest can be found at 30 Alexandra Street, Hamilton, open Wednesday to Saturday from 4pm till late. Now there’s just the barbie to match with those sauces BY EDITH SYMES An enterprising Raglan couple who started out six years ago making their own brand of chimichurri sauce at the Raglan Old School Arts Centre kitchen are now about to launch locally a traditional style of woodfire barbeque from their native Argentina to help promote their products. The venture follows on from an Argentinian-style barbecue catering business which Ben Parodi and wife Ani have set up to push their popular range of sauces. Cooking with charcoal or wood gives a much better flavour than cooking with gas “We found that more and more people were asking about the barbeque itself,” Ben says. So on a recent trip back home Ben met with Asaparri – a factory specialising in products for cooking over fire – and as a result will launch at Labour Weekend a woodfire and charcoal barbeque that, he says, challenges the Kiwi idea of summertime-only outdoor cooking. He decided to import the barbecue himself because, unlike a gas barbecue, it has a firebox that keeps on burning and creating the embers on which to cook – in turn, evoking warmth and ambience for outdoor eating at any time. The fire transforms this method of cooking into a year-round event, Ben insists, and continues the South American tradition that he and Ani grew up with of socialising around a woodfire barbecue Diego Nicholson and Ben Parodi – specialty sauces at the ready. “The weather is not important, it’s the experience of being out,” says Ben. “And cooking with charcoal or wood gives a much better flavour than cooking with gas.” Ben and Ani’s business Salsa Brava started small in 2017 with the idea of making and selling chimichurri – found originally in the cuisines of Argentina and Uruguay – as a way of sharing their culture through healthy food for Kiwi tables. The uncooked sauce using parsley, olive oil, oregano, garlic, onions and chilli began as something of a labour of love – the pair growing and chopping the parsley themselves from their home. Early on they travelled the country with up to 800 jars of the sauce stacked on top of their campervan in search of retail outlets. The rest is history, a range of their sauces now sold in in many outlets in the <strong>Waikato</strong>. While Ani in particular these days is busy with the couple’s two young children, Ben’s been getting all fired up about the barbeques Salsa Brava has imported to promote the sauces. He and fellow native Argentinian Diego Nicholson are currently showing off the woodfire barbecue at <strong>Waikato</strong> Home & Garden Show, but will be back at Raglan doing demos in a fortnight. *Catch them Labour Weekend at The Hut in Rangitahi, Saturday October 21 at 10am.
WAIKATO WAIKATO BUSINESS BUSINESS NEWS, NEWS, AUGUST/SEPTEMBER AUGUST/SEPTEMBER <strong>2023</strong> <strong>2023</strong> CONFERENCE & EVENTS 29 H3 hosts successful AuSAE Linc <strong>2023</strong> The H3 team recently welcomed over 150 association executives and industry leaders to Claudelands for The Australasian Society of Association Executives (AuSAE) Leadership, Insights, Networking and Connections (Linc) Conference <strong>2023</strong> – the largest gathering of association executives in New Zealand. During the two-anda-half-day conference, association executives engaged with regional exhibitors and business events experts from across the country. The conference featured keynote speakers, workshop sessions, thought-provoking panel discussions, and networking opportunities, all designed to inspire, educate, and connect attendees. Melissa Williams and Brett Jeffery Brett Jeffery, AuSAE’s General Manager expressed his gratitude for the team behind the venue. “The event was undoubtedly a triumph, and much of that success can be attributed to the dedication and professionalism of the venue staff.” “H3’s commitment to excellence manifests in seemingly small yet crucial details—arriving punctually, continuously checking on the well-being of attendees and staff.” “Moreover, the management style is one of respect and courtesy; the team possesses an extraordinary ability to coordinate with their team in a way that is both effective and respectful.” “The event logistics were flawless. The capability to manage behind-the-scenes activities without causing any disruptions was commendable, adding another layer of excellence to our event. It’s exceedingly rare for me to find no room for constructive feedback.” “From the high-calibre catering to the meticulous attention to detail, every aspect of our event was handled with utmost care. I eagerly look forward to the possibility of future collaborations.” Melissa Williams, H3 <strong>Business</strong> Development and Sales Manager - <strong>Business</strong> Events, remarked, “After many years of close collaboration with Brett Jef- fery – AuSAE’s General Manager, and Aimee Tyson, Events Manager at <strong>Business</strong> Events <strong>Waikato</strong>, it was great to see the event finally come to fruition.” “AuSAE Linc provided us and our regional partners with the opportunity to showcase our unique <strong>Waikato</strong> offering. Guests were invited to experience Hobbiton Movie Set Tours, The Red Barn, Hamilton Gardens, Novotel Hamilton Tainui, Ibis Hamilton Tainui, River Ride Cycle Way, the exceptional catering from our exclusive partner, Montana Food and Events, and our conference centre, Claudelands.” Melissa shares, “AuSAE Linc is renowned for encouraging innovation and fostering growth, and we couldn’t be prouder to have been a part of this event and provide a space for association leaders to focus on their development and that of their teams. “Congratulations to Brett Jeffery and the AuSAE team Heaphy Rooms, Claudelands Conference and Exhibition Centre for a successful conference and thank you to our regional partners for delivering an exceptional experience.” H3 understands that no two events are the same. Whether you’re planning a corporate conference, wedding, trade show or just looking for a business meeting room, Claudelands has the ideal space and facilities to accommodate your needs. It’s flexible and multifaceted event spaces can be tailored to suit events of all sizes and types, ensuring a seamless and successful event. H3 is home to Hamilton’s premier event venues – FMG Stadium <strong>Waikato</strong>, Seddon Park and Claudelands, which includes GLOBOX Arena, Claudelands Conference & Exhibition Centre and The Barn. Discover Claudelands at H3group.co.nz and contact the team today. Heaphy Prefunction HLive Lounge Brooklyn Room MEET YOUR SPACE When you need a location for a meeting, a workshop, a hui or a huddle, we have a variety of spaces across our three premier venues to perfectly suit all types of events. Visit H3group.co.nz and explore our spaces today. CLAUDELANDS FMG STADIUM WAIKATO SEDDON PARK