Posts tagged Events
Dynasty Seafood Wins Big at Vancouver Magazine Restaurant Awards
Dynasty Seafood accepting the  Restaurant of the Year  award from the  Vancouver  Magazine editorial team Dee Dhaliwal, Anicka Quin, and Neal McLennan. 

Dynasty Seafood accepting the Restaurant of the Year award from the Vancouver Magazine editorial team Dee Dhaliwal, Anicka Quin, and Neal McLennan. 

Awards show celebrates first-ever Chinese Restaurant of the Year; Joël Watanabe named Chef of the Year

At yesterday’s Vancouver Magazine Restaurant Awards, Dynasty Seafood became the first-ever Chinese restaurant to win the coveted Restaurant of the Year title. During the 28th annual addition of the awards show, 41 gold awards were handed out, as the industry’s top talent gathered to celebrate their own.

“Though Vancouver is renowned for having the best Chinese food outside of China, there has often been a disconnect between Chinese restaurants and non-Chinese diners. Dynasty Seafood has changed all that,” said Neal McLennan, Food Editor, Vancouver Magazine. “Chef Sam Leung has bridged the gap like no other, by reaching out to non-Chinese diners without compromising the integrity of his traditional dishes. We are thrilled to celebrate Dynasty Seafood, and all the talented teams who took home Restaurant Awards this year.”

 Chef of the Year honours went to Joël Watanabe. The award recognizes the triumph of Watanabe’s refined fusion style which Vancouverites have come know, first through his modernized Chinese-French menu at Bao Bei, and now through his Japanese-Italian menu at Kissa Tanto. “Humming with clarity,” “honesty,” and “elegance,” is how the judges described Watanabe’s food. Kissa Tanto also picked up gold in the Best Pan-Asian and Best Design categories.

Fraserhood favourite, Savio Volpe, celebrated top honours in the Best New Restaurant category. This year’s show saw the addition of several new categories, including Best Brunch (Café Medina), Best Sushi (Zest), Best Vegan/Vegetarian (The Acorn), Best Bakery (Thomas Haas), and Best Pacific Northwest (Royal Dinette).

There were surprise upsets in some categories, with CinCin taking Best Italian and My Shanti winning Best Indian. Meanwhile, Hawksworth once again defended its Best Upscale Restaurant title, and Le Crocodile and Maenam repeated for Best French and Best Thai respectively. Best Latin saw La Mezcaleria and newcomer, El Santo, tie for first place. Around the province, Araxi took Best Whistler, Agrius won Best Victoria, and Waterfront Wines was named Best Okanagan.

Uva’s Sabrine Dhaliwal took home Bartender of the Year; L’Abattoir’s Lisa Haley was named Sommelier of the Year;  Pemberton’s North Arm Farm won the Producer/Supplier Award; and Sid and Joan Cross were honoured with the Lifetime Achievement Award. For five decades, Sid, an oenophile, and Joan, a cookbook editor, have sought out and celebrated the local culinary pioneers who have changed the way we eat and drink. Together, they’ve promoted the region’s up-and-coming city talent to chefs, winemakers, and producers throughout the world. 


We have Lift off! Launching YVR’s newest restaurant
Bob Lindsay, Owner, Lift Bar and Grill, Soojin Park, Lift Executive Chef, and Damon Wong, General Manager, SSP Canada

Bob Lindsay, Owner, Lift Bar and Grill, Soojin Park, Lift Executive Chef, and Damon Wong, General Manager, SSP Canada

Vancouver International Airport (YVR) welcomed a new full-service restaurant, Lift Bar & Grill, in January.  Inspired by the original location in downtown Vancouver, passengers are now able to enjoy Lift’s well-known selection of seasonal cuisine with a focus on local seafood offerings. 

Centrally located in the international terminal, the restaurant is wrapped around the airport’s iconic aquarium (with more than 850 indigenous sea animals), and is designed to draw on a coastal waters theme.  This is evident in both the interior detailing with tones of warm oak, steel blue and charcoal greys as well as the menu, featuring Oceanwise certified seafood. 

Scott Norris, Vice President, Commercial Development, Vancouver Airport Authority said, “YVR provides the first and last impression of British Columbia, so we are delighted to welcome Lift Bar & Grill to bring our passengers a unique West Coast dining experience.”

In partnership with YVR, Elettra invited food media, bloggers and influencers to the launch event, where they were treated to Lift Executive Chef Soojin Park’s incredible tasting menu.  Before becoming a chef, Soojin studied Inorganic Chemistry, which now fuels her passion for molecular gastronomy and understanding of food composition.

Soojin’s beautifully plated bite-sized portions were well received by attending media, served with New Zealand wine from the Marlborough Sounds region.

Lift’s location post-security means that travelers can take advantage of YVR Food on the Fly – any YVR restaurant provides fresh food and snacks packaged especially for your flight in a travel-friendly bag.

Be sure to check out Lift next time you’re flying internationally through YVR.

For your consideration…
The Oscar Statuette

Oscar noms were announced this week and the film industry is in the midst of a frenetic period of campaigning for the February 28 awards.  But what’s the secret to campaigning for an Oscar win?

Huge amounts of money are invested in Oscar marketing campaigns with Hollywood spending an estimated $100m to $500m on the fight for Academy Awards each year. With a one page advert in trade mag the Hollywood Reporter during Oscar season costing in excess of $72,000 it is not surprising that non-studio films often find themselves priced out of the running.

Studios campaign using a wide range of tactics including advertising, direct marketing, screenings and screener DVDs.  Lobbying has also become a major component with talent attending numerous events in the lead up to the Oscars and courting press and critics.

Expensive marketing campaigns often result in wins over talent and substance.  However, closer examination reveals there are a variety of approaches adopted to getting nominations and wins.  There is no one size fits all rule to promoting an Oscar winning film.


When it comes to marketing, Harvey Weinstein is considered to be a genius. He has revolutionized the way the industry promotes films for awards with his aggressive and effective campaigning (he’s scored more than 300 Academy Award nominations to date).

Weinstein spent a record $5m campaigning for a Best Film win for Shakespeare In Love over favourite Saving Private Ryan in 1999. His relentless and unprecedented lobbying led to a ban by the Academy on private cocktail parties, exclusive post-screening Q&As and other flashy events during Oscar season.


Weinstein tried a different approach in 2013 when campaigning for nominations for Tarantino’s Django Unchained.  He deliberately chose not to issue screener DVDs to Academy members in order to encourage them to see it on the big screen.

The film ended up with 5 nominations and won awards for best supporting actor and best original screenplay.

Organic / grassroots

Low budget, independent films simply cannot fund multi-million dollar marketing campaigns. But original ideas, writing, and performances can shine thanks to the buzz and acclaim generated at prestigious film festivals. 

One example of such is Beast of The Southern Wild, which generated pre-Oscar word of mouth following success at the Sundance and Cannes Film Festivals.

No campaign

An anti-campaigning attitude is on the rise in Hollywood and Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln was notable as the producer and studio decided to let the film speak for itself and refused to campaign for it.

In the years since a number of actors including Michael Fassbender and Joaquin Phoenix have publicly announced their refusal to campaign for a win.  However, it should be noted that neither of them won the award in the end either.

Whatever the approach, Hollywood and beyond will be on the edge of their seats on Oscar night to see who exactly walks away with one of the coveted statuettes.  Our fingers are crossed for The Revenant!