Local restaurants up for awards

Owners of Cocina Mexican Grill & Cantina, Con Poulos and Donna Jowett-Poulos.

Owners of Cocina Mexican Grill & Cantina, Con Poulos and Donna Jowett-Poulos.

Jindabyne's Cocina Mexican Grill and Cantina has been announced as a finalist in the 2014 Savour Australia Restaurant & Catering HOSTPLUS awards.

Jindabyne's Cocina Mexican Grill and Cantina has been announced as a finalist in the 2014 Savour Australia Restaurant & Catering HOSTPLUS awards.

Donna Jowett-Poulos and Con Poulos.

Donna Jowett-Poulos and Con Poulos.

JINDABYNE restaurant Cocina Mexican Grill and Cantina has been announced as a finalist in the 2014 Savour Australia Restaurant & Catering HOSTPLUS awards for Excellence in Southern NSW in the specialty dining category.

Over the past three years, owners Con Poulos and Donna Jowett-Poulos have been putting out delicious authentic Mexican meals and fabulous cocktails.

"We are so excited and pleased to be finalists and it's always great to see our peers acknowledge our hard work," Ms Jowett-Poulos said.

Originally from Jindabyne, both Con and Donna spent 20 years working as ski instructors in Colorado, USA, when they decided to bring home their love for Mexican cuisine.

With his parents in the hospitality business for 40 years, Mr Poulos decided to transform the family owned cafe into a warm, cosy place to kick back and enjoy great Mexican food and delicious cocktails, beers and wine.

"We really enjoyed the freshness and lightness of Mexican cuisine and the fact that it becomes a real family activity," Ms Jowett-Poulos explained.

"We believe that it fits in with the mountain environment, skiing lifestyle and the community of Jindabyne."

In July last year the popular Mexican cantina launched the Agave Bar, creating a fantastic venue for romantics, friends and event functions.

Cocina Mexican Grill and Cantina is open all year round and open seven days a week in winter with lunch on the weekends and school holidays.

Along with Cocina Mexican in Jindabyne, Jean-Michel at the Knickerbocker Bar and Restaurant in Thredbo was also announced as a finalist for the awards in the new dining category.

After several years of travelling to and from France, husband and wife Jean-Michel and Georgie Gerst decided to open their own little piece of France in Thredbo.

With amazing views of the mountains and Thredbo river, the Knickerbocker is a great spot to relax and enjoy fabulous French food.

The HOSTPLUS awards will be announced on August 25 in Wollongong.

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