The Willow Tree Inn was recognised as having one of the best steaks in the state during the AHA Awards for Excellence last week.
Pitted against more than 600 nominations from the best hotels in NSW, the Willow Tree Inn received a highly commended in the Best Steak Award category in front of a crowd of more than 1200 industry leaders.
The Willow Tree Inn were represented at the awards dinner by six members of the Hanna family; Charles and Cheryl Hanna, Sam and Edwina Hanna and Jodie and John Stuart-Robinson, together with Sonia Marshman, Katrina Mantell and Jackie Hausfeld.
Their Graze restaurant in the small town of Willow Tree is best known for their locally grown, dry aged Angus beef, which is pasture fed and grain finished, then dry aged and prepared by their own in-house butcher.
Charles Hanna OAM and family purchased the 2428 hectare Colly Creek and Plainview aggregation near Willow Tree in August 2005 with a desire to breed top quality beef for the restaurant market.
Four years later he secured the Willow Tree Hotel and reinvigorated the tiny town with a high end dining experience using dry age beef production in a way no one had seen before.
Mr Hanna was delighted to receive ongoing recognition for their Colly Creek Pastoral Company Beef.
"It is particularly rewarding, considering the ongoing drought conditions which are affecting the whole rural community," he said.
"People in Tamworth are some of our best customers. They regularly come down on the train."
AHA NSW CEO John Whelan said the winners set the standard across the hotel industry.
"It is particularly pleasing to see so many regional hotels entering this year when many have been doing it tough in drought-stricken - and now bushfire ravaged - communities," he said.
"Regional hotels in particular are the hearts of their communities and it is great to see so many of them among the finalists and winners tonight."