23rd Annual Vancouver Magazine Restaurant Awards

Judges declare this the year of Hawksworth,While first ever Best Pizzeria award goes to Nicli Antica

Vancouver, B.C.; April 24th, 2012 –B.C.’s top chefs, restaurateurs, sommeliers, and food critics gathered yesterday at the Sheraton Vancouver Wall Centre to pay tribute to the winners of the 23rd Annual Vancouver magazine Restaurant Awards. Hawksworth won Gold in six categories, including Restaurant of the Year, while several perennial favourites topped their categories once again.

“Hawksworth’s domination of this year’s awards proves that upscale dining is back,” said Vancouver magazine Editor-in-Chief, Gary Stephen Ross. “But equally evident with this year’s group of winners is Vancouver’s continuing love affair with comforting, casual food.”

After a three-year wait, the highly anticipated return of Chef David Hawksworth earned judges’ nearly unanimous decision for Hawksworth as Restaurant of the Year. The room also took top prize in the Best New Restaurant, Best New Design, and Best Upscale Restaurant categories. The room’s Wine Director, Terry Threlfall, was named Sommelier of the Year, while David Hawksworth was voted Chef of the Year.

A Best Pizzeria category was added this year to reflect the recent craze for Neapolitan-style pies that has swept the city. Nicli Antica Pizzeria took Gold. A second new category, Best Noodle House, was also a nod to Vancouver’s demand for casual food. Chef Hung Taiwanese Beef Noodle was awarded Gold.

Vancouver magazine’s new Mentorship Award recognizes how vital the training of new chefs is to the city’s ever-growing culinary scene. The recipient was Julian Bond of the Pacific Institute of Culinary Arts, who has taught, mentored, and inspired many of the city’s top culinary talents.

This year’s Green Award went to Trafalgars Bistro, a busy Westside restaurant that produces virtually no garbage. As a result of their intensive recycling and composting program, the restaurant sends zero organic waste to the landfill, and 98 per cent of their remaining waste is recycled.

Kirin Restaurant, which is marking its 25th anniversary, was honoured with the Lifetime Achievement Award. The award recognizes the dedication of restaurateurs Kimble Chan and Nelson Yeung, whose impeccably high standards for food, service, and décor have set a benchmark for the industry. Kirin is renowned for world-class Cantonese cuisine, the calibre of which is rarely seen outside greater China.

Other notable awards include: Thierry Busset for Pastry Chef of the Year; Danielle Tatarin for Bartender of the Year; Jade Seafood for Best Upscale Chinese; Re-Up BBQ for Best Food Cart; Vij’s for Best Indian, and Le Crocodile for Best Upscale French.

Vancouver magazine’s May issue includes a 34-page round up of all the award categories. The issue is on newsstands now and digital subscriptions are available at vanmag.com.