Amara recognised with a hat in the 2023 NSW Good Food Guide

November 22, 2022

The 2023 NSW Good Food Guide has been announced, and we’re thrilled that Will, Ivy and the entire team at Amara at Spicers Sangoma Retreat has been recognised with a hat. Widely regarded by the industry as the foodie bible, ‘hats’ are a prestigious and sought after recognition of the hard work put in by kitchen and restaurant teams around New South Wales and Victoria.

Led by Head Chef, Will Houia, Amara creates with only the freshest of local organic and sustainable produce sourced from within a one-hour drive radius. The best of the region is always at hand, thanks to strong personal relationships with local producers. Indigenous ingredients make a welcome appearance, and traditional cooking techniques of charcoal and fire are preferred.

Kiwi-born, Will was classically trained in Auckland before arriving in Australia and joining executive chef Ash Martin and the team at Queensland’s hatted Homage restaurant at Spicers Hidden Vale.

After three years there Will joined Christian Puglisi’s acclaimed Relæ in Copenhagen, a Michelin-starred restaurant that has featured on multiple top 100 in the world lists.

From Denmark, he ventured back to New Zealand and worked at the progressive and plant-centric three-hatted Roots Restaurant, Lyttleton, under Giulio Sturla and also with Ed Verner at Auckland’s tiny and inventive Pasture, another of New Zealand’s three-hat set.

Since returning to Australia and taking the reins at Amara, Will has reinvented the dining experience at Spicers Sangoma Retreat, earning the praise of top reviewers and guests alike.

Will’s kitchen is filled with character and courage. By his playful design, ingredients compete, but not conquer. On one hand, restraint is applied – rarely more than 3 to 4 ingredients appear on any plate – yet modern creativity lights up the plate with techniques such as dehydration, foams and smoking. Days are spent carefully crafting many of his creations, and Houia challenges the diner with a touch of artistic mystery, leaving you to wonder how exactly your dish was created.

Congratulations team!