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Vancouver Magazine’s 24th Annual Restaurant Awards Celebrate Excellence in the Culinary Community

 Top honours awarded to Hawksworth, Wildebeest, La Quercia 

John Bishop, Alain Rayé recognized for mentorship, lifetime achievement

Vancouver, B.C.; April 23rd, 2013 –More than 700 of B.C.’s top chefs, restaurateurs, sommeliers, and food critics gathered at the Sheraton Vancouver Wall Centre yesterday to recognize the city’s best at the 24th Annual Restaurant Awards. For a second consecutive year, Hawksworth was awarded both Restaurant of the Year and Best Upscale, with acclaimed Chef David Hawksworth taking Chef of the Year honours.   “This year’s results reflect a balance between innovation and consistency across Vancouver’s culinary landscape,” said Vancouver magazine Editor-in-Chief, John Burns.  “The city welcomed several exceptional new rooms, while restaurants with longstanding histories and previous award recipients proved they continue to thrive.” Wildebeest took home the honour of Best New, having impressed the panel of 19 distinguished judges with their nose-to-tail cuisine. The room’s interiors also earned them the award for Best New Design.  The judges selected La Quercia as their favourite in the category of Best Casual, citing Chef Adam Pegg’s pasta and the value of their $45 seven-course menu as contributing factors in their voting. Revolver claimed top prize in the new category of Best Coffee House, with their slow-brewed cups edging out other finalists including 49th Parallel and Thomas Haas.  Haas did receive the honour of Pastry Chef of the Year. Perennial favourites demonstrated their staying power, with gold awards going to Blue Water Cafe + Raw Bar for Best Seafood, Vij’s for Best Indian, and Phnom Penh for Best Vietnamese.  Meanwhile several rooms made their first appearances at the top of their category including Hoi Tong for Best Upscale Chinese, and Tableau Bar Bistro for Best Casual French. This year’s Mentorship Award went to John Bishop of Bishop’s, for his longstanding commitment to mentoring and developing chefs. Alain Rayé took home this year’s Lifetime Achievement honours for his impressive 40-plus years in the culinary industry. The owner and chef at the North Shore’s award winning La Régalade began his foray into cooking just outside of Paris at the age of 14, with his ambitious cuisine garnering critical acclaim throughout his lengthy career. The Green Award was given to Forage in recognition of the sustainable initiatives that extend through every aspect of their operations. Chef Chris Whittaker has led the drive to reduce their energy consumption and waste, implementing high efficiency equipment and extended composting and recycling programs.

Other notable awards include: Tacofino fr Best Food Cart; Cioppino’s Mediterranean Grill & Enoteca for Best Upscale Italian; Dynasty Seafood for Best Dim Sum; Maenam for Best Thai; Cactus Club Cafe for Best Casual Chain; Robert “H” Holl-Allen for Bartender of the Year. Vancouver magazine’s May issue includes a 32-page feature on all the award categories. The issue is on newsstands now and digital subscriptions are available at vanmag.com.

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