IT may be a simple dish, but there is much debate on how the perfect parmigiana should be made.
However, people will have to take note of the Ophir Hotel's version after it won the Best Parmi award at the Australian Hotel Association NSW Awards for Excellence.
The original Italian dish was Mellenzana alla Parmigiana, or eggplant parmigiana, where the eggplant was lightly breaded, fried, topped with fresh tomato sauce and parmesan cheese and baked, before the chicken version was popularised in the United States.
Since then, it has diversified on everything from the type of meat and cheese used to whether ham is added to the mix.
The secret to the Ophir's crumbed chicken breast, according to head chef Mark Tracey, is panko breadcrumbs.
"They're crunchier and taste so much better than normal breadcrumbs," he said.
The Ophir version does add leg ham, roast tomato sauce and mozzarella cheese, resting on a bed of chips and a garden salad.
Mr Tracey credited his nine-staff kitchen with the win, announced on Tuesday at The Star in Sydney.
"It's a great feeling to get something like that," he said.
"It's a full meal really, it's got all the different flavours to it."
Publican Tim Ireson said the venue was a finalist in eight categories at the awards, the first year it has nominated since the change of ownership a year ago.
"Just to get nominated, we were really happy," he said.
"To get the simple things like pub grub right is great."
Mr Ireson said the win had spurred the business on to strive for the Best Family Friendly title next year.
Three other venues across the region were recognised at the AHA NSW Awards.
Bathurst's Jack Duggans Irish Pub was highly commended in the Best Regional Casual Dining category for the western region.
Gulgong's Prince of Wales Hotel won the Best Traditional Accommodation under $130 and the Best Cheap Eat Meal under $15, while the Post Office Hotel was highly commended in the Best Retail Liquor Outlet category.
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