Hospitality award winners

WHEN chefs Nathan and Natasha Smith were married at the Duart Homestead in Maffra in 1998, they made the owner an offer: when you are ready to sell the property we will buy it.

Six years later he gave them a call.

Since then Nathan and Natasha have evolved the business, diversifying what they offer.

“Fifty per cent of our business now is generated from outside catering,” Nathan said,

The Smiths have exclusive contracts with the Sale Turf Club, Laurels Function Centre and Kilmany Park Mansion, as well as catering for customers at venues of the customer’s choosing.

“We tailor make menus to suit customers’ personal tastes and needs,” Nathan said.

This year Nathan and Natasha won the Bendigo Bank Gippsland Business Awards, in the category of hospitality, for a second time, having won the award in 2008.

This year, Nathan said, the award felt more genuine.

“(We were) recognised on our own achievements and abilities,” he said.

And “Won on the merits of the actual business, and abilities to offer genuine hospitality and service customer needs.”

He said the process was more stringent this time around, including site visits and an hour long telephone interview.

For more read Friday’s Gippsland Times.