The Grand Hotel Warrandyte has been awarded the People’s Choice Award at the 2018 Australia Hotels Association (AHA) Victorian Awards this year. The Grand has been recognised for launching Australia’s only low-protein specialised menu for families with a rare Inborn Errors of Metabolism (IEM) diseases, such as PKU (phenylketonuria), as well as providing a superior experience for their local community.

The Grand Hotel, together with the Metabolic Dietary Disorder Association (MDDA) designed the low-protein menu initially to mark PKU Awareness Month. Recognising that eating out for those with an IEM is often a challenge, due to the inability for those with an IEM to process protein. The Grand created a unique, family-focused dining experience that continues to be part of the menu today.

Grand Hotel General Manager, Peter Appleby said that he was honoured to receive the People’s Choice Award on behalf of the team and the broader community that they support.

“We are proud of the transformation that The Grand has undergone over the past six years. We take our responsibility as a meeting place and hub in the community very seriously and aim to provide an inviting environment at all times,” Mr Appleby said.

“Our partnership with the MDDA has also recognised the importance of providing an enjoyable dining experience for those with an IEM – something that is often difficult for those that have this rare disease. I want to thank those in the IEM community who supported The Grand and voted to be awarded the People’s Choice Award,” he said.

MDDA’s National President, Monique Cooper congratulated The Grand on their People’s Choice win.

“The Grand took a risk to understand the unique dining requirements for those with an IEM who are on a no or low protein diet. Their ambition and drive have been supported by those who have this rare disease and we are sure was one of the factors that helped The Grand achieve this wonderful award,” Mrs Cooper said.

“Just as gluten-free and allergy-aware menu options are now common place in restaurants across the country, we hope that others will take The Grand’s lead and also make low-protein options available to create a more inclusive environment for hundreds of families across the country,” she said.

“It’s a privilege to be able to support the broader community in this way,” Mr Appleby said. “I’d like to congratulate the owners, management and staff of The Grand, as well as recognise our strong community.”


For further information contact:
Jenny Briant, MDDA, 03 9723 0600 or 1800 288 460, The Grand Hotel Warrandyte 03 98443202
Note to the editor regarding IEM:

  • People who have an Inborn Error of Metabolism (IEM) cannot break down specific amino acids in protein causing a dangerous build-up of toxins in their blood, liver or brain tissue depending on the specific disorder. An IEM disorder is incurable.
  • IEMs are treated by a strict low protein diet using special medical foods, a prescribed amino acid supplement and, for some more rare IEMs, a medication.
  • This extremely low protein diet means most food groups can’t be eaten including meat, dairy, legumes and eggs. Fruits and vegetables also contain protein so can only be eaten in small, measured quantities.
  • Protein-rich foods, along with artificial sweeteners such as aspartame, are toxic for people with an IEM disorder.