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2014 Vancouver Restaurant Awards Winners Announced

2014 Vancouver Restaurant Awards Winners Announced

Vancouver Magazine handed out awards in categories from Best Upscale to Best Food Truck

The Farmer’s Apprentice swept the awards, snagging Best Restaurant, Best in Casual Dining, and Best New Restaurant.

For the 25th year in a row Vancouver Magazine has announced the best in the city’s restaurant scene. Winners determined by 18 respected judges were chosen in categories reflective of Vancouver’s diverse offerings. Ranging in cuisine (from best in Casual Chinese to Upscale Italian), geography (from Yaletown to the East Side), and budget (top Upscale Restaurant to top Food Cart), the findings are guaranteed to make you hungry.

Restaurant of the Year Award? The Farmer’s Apprentice—which also snagged best in Casual Dining and Best New Restaurant—took gold. The 28 seat South Granville establishment, headed by David Gunawan of West and Wildebeest, was applauded for its unpretentious use of quality local ingredients (think fresh from the farmer’s market) and cozy dining space.

2014’s Chef of the year went to Pino Posteraro of Cioppino’s Mediterranean Grill & Enoteca. Posteraro was recognized for his ‘encyclopedic’ kitchen knowledge, talent, and easy delivery of beautifully complex flavors.

Hawksworth—opened by Chef David Hawksworth in 2012—was named best in Upscale Dining. On the opposite end of the spectrum, Vij’s Railway Express and its offerings of beef coconut curry and cassava fries beat out Tacofino and Re-Up BBQ for top Food Truck.

You can find the full winners list here.

Click here for more on Vancouver.

® Best of Vancouver

Once again, our readers have let us know the best that Vancouver has to offer. Our 19th annual survey features over 270 categories and winners from all over the Lower Mainland.

Best of Vancouver 2014: Our contributors’ picks

This summer, we have a few more reasons to be thankful to be living in Vancouver.

Best of Vancouver 2014: Chileans find new life locally

From 1970s exiles to post-Pinochet immigrants, Chileans remember their roots.

Best of Vancouver 2014: Vancouver provides hope for Kurdish community

As immigrants build lives locally, they dream of an independent homeland.

Best of Vancouver 2014: Brentwood makeover planned decades ago

Sitting in the window seat at Starbucks near the corner of Lougheed Highway and Willingdon Avenue, it’s easy to see that change is coming to Brentwood Town Centre.

Best of Vancouver 2014: Unearthing our high-grade musical gold

The local folks behind the top releases of the past year unveil their favourite records and dirty-talking crushes.

Beyond Vij’s: Meet the folks behind Vancouver’s other Indian restaurants

Despite their relative media obscurity, there are many other individuals who cook excellent Indian cuisine and run much-loved South Asian restaurants.

David Hawksworth shares his recipe for family-friendly pizza

David Hawksworth is known for dishes such as foie gras torchon and pan-roasted sablefish, so it may come as a surprise that pizza is one of his favourite foods.

Joe Wiebe breaks down the best of Vancouver's craft beer scene

Tap houses have sprouted across the city, and any self-respecting restaurant now has to have at least a handful of craft beers on tap—if not 20—to satisfy customer demand.

Two wine pros give it their best

For this Best of Vancouver issue, we’re going to double down on the theme and chat with two of the city’s best wine pros about what tops their own “best of” lists.

Bright future for Vancouver video-game industry

At the risk of being overly optimistic, we’re predicting a resurgence in the local scene.

Dr. Rhonda Low reinvests passion in her profession

Dr. Rhonda Low may no longer be on a nightly TV newscast, but the Vancouver family doctor says her 15 years in front of the camera made her a better health-care provider.

Aislinn Hunter's The World Before Us is filled with ghosts of tragedies past

At UBC’s Beaty Biodiversity Museum, where she will be writer in residence this November, the author discusses her recently released second novel and details of her writing life.

Vancouver festivals bring out the literary stars

International authors, including David Mitchell, will be in Vancouver for one of several literary festivals happening this fall.

Culinary Travel Awards 2014: All Winners

Singapore Air

Across 21 categories, we’ve identified the very best—according to both an expert panel of world travelers and you, our readers—as well as additional outstanding and notable picks in each category. #SAVEURCTA

Best Culinary Destination, Large International

Population greater than 800,000

EXPERTS’ CHOICE: Hong Kong, China

READERS’ CHOICE: Paris, France

OUTSTANDING: Melbourne, Australia | São Paulo, Brazil | Barcelona, Spain

NOTABLES: Bangkok, Thailand | Rome, Italy | Cape Town, South Africa | Seoul, Korea | Lima, Peru | London, England | Osaka, Japan | Berlin, Germany | Sydney, Australia | Singapore, Singapore

Best Culinary Destination, Small International

Population fewer than 800,000

EXPERTS’ CHOICE: Copenhagen, Denmark

READERS’ CHOICE: San Sebastián, Spain

OUTSTANDING: Tel Aviv, Israel | Florence, Italy | Lyon, France

NOTABLES: Bilbao, Spain | Bologna, Italy | Porto, Portugal | Amsterdam, Netherlands | Lisbon, Portugal | Colmar, France | Mauritius | George Town, Malaysia | Edinburgh, Scotland | Dublin, Ireland

Best Culinary Destination, Large Domestic

Population greater than 800,000


READERS’ CHOICE: San Francisco, CA

OUTSTANDING: New York, NY | Los Angeles, CA | Mexico City, Mexico

NOTABLES: Montreal, QC, Canada | Austin, TX | Philadelphia, PA | Houston, TX | Toronto, ON, Canada | Dallas, TX | Phoenix, AZ

Best Culinary Destination, Small Domestic

Population fewer than 800,000



OUTSTANDING: Oaxaca, Mexico | Seattle, WA | Charleston, SC

NOTABLES: Boston, MA | Vancouver, BC, Canada |Providence, RI | Portland, ME | Atlanta, GA | Asheville, NC | Minneapolis, MN | Louisville, KY | Washington, DC | Honolulu, HI

Best Markets & Shops, International



OUTSTANDING: Paris, France | Barcelona, Spain | Tel Aviv, Israel

NOTABLES: Jerusalem, Israel | London, England | Florence, Italy | Modena, Italy | Istanbul, Turkey | Madrid, Spain | Aix-en-Provence, France | Castries, St. Lucia | Bangkok, Thailand | Melbourne, Australia

Best Markets & Shops, Domestic


READERS’ CHOICE: San Francisco, CA

OUTSTANDING: Mexico City, Mexico | New York, NY | Portland, OR

NOTABLES: Seattle, WA | New Orleans, LA | Chicago, IL | Montreal, QC, Canada | Santa Fe, NM | Austin, TX | Boston, MA | Philadelphia, PA | Toronto, ON, Canada

Best Cocktails & Drinks, International

EXPERTS’ CHOICE: London, England

READERS’ CHOICE: Melbourne, Australia

OUTSTANDING: Dublin, Ireland | Sydney, Australia | Brussels, Belgium

NOTABLES: Amsterdam, Netherlands | Frankfurt, Germany | Paris, France | Wellington, New Zealand | Barcelona, Spain | Milan, Italy | Madrid, Spain | Tokyo, Japan | Buenos Aires, Argentina | Johannesburg, South Africa

Best Cocktails & Drinks, Domestic



OUTSTANDING: Chicago, IL | San Francisco, CA | New York, NY

NOTABLES: Austin, TX | New Orleans, LA | Los Angeles, CA | Houston, TX | Denver, CO | Minneapolis, MN | Montreal, QC, Canada | Nashville, TN | Burlington, VT | Providence, RI

Best Hotel Restaurant, More than 100 Rooms

EXPERTS’ CHOICE: Epicure at Le Bristol, Paris, France

READERS’ CHOICE: Le Louis XV-Alain Ducasse at Hôtel de Paris, Monte Carlo

OUTSTANDING: Elena at Four Seasons Hotel | Buenos Aires Baraabaru at Four Seasons | Maldives at Kuda Huraa, Maldives | Alain Ducasse au Plaza Athénée at Plaza Athénée Hotel, Paris, France

NOTABLES: Anne-Sophie Pic at Beau-Rivage Palace, Lausanne, Switzerland | Dinner by Heston Blumenthal at Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park, London, England | Felix at The Peninsula Hong Kong | Noso at W Santiago, Chile | Newport Gastropub, The Fairmont Southhampton, Bermuda | FARM at The Carneros Inn, Napa, CA | Restaurant Le Meurice at Hotel Le Meurice, Paris, France | Blue by Eric Ripert at Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman | Mathias Dahlgren at Grand Hôtel Stockholm, Sweden | Blue Duck Tavern at Park Hyatt, Washington, DC

Best Hotel Restaurant, Fewer than 100 Rooms

EXPERTS’ CHOICE: The Restaurant at Meadowood, St. Helena CA

**READERS’ CHOICE: ** Restaurant Le Gaïac, Hotel Le Toiny, St. Barth

OUTSTANDING: The Inn at Little Washington, Washington, VA | In de Wulf, Heuvelland, Belgium | Le Bistro at Santorini at CuisinArt Golf Resort & Spa, Anguilla

NOTABLES: The Willows Inn Main Dining Room, Lummi Island, WA | La Loggia at Villa San Michele, Fiesole, Tuscany | Inn at Langley restaurant, Whidbey Island, WA | Restaurant Vinkeles, The Dylan Hotel, Amsterdam, Netherlands | The Tasting Room at Le Quartier Francais, Franschhoeck, South Africa | ABaC at ABaC Hotel, Barcelona, Spain | Lodge at Kauri Cliffs dining room, Matauri Bay, New Zealand | Auberge du Soleil dining room, Napa, CA | Topper’s at The Wauwinet, Nantucket, MA | Restaurant at Ballymaloe House, Shanagarry, Ireland

Best Hotel Bar

EXPERTS’ CHOICE: The Chandelier at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, NV

**READERS’ CHOICE: ** Beaufort Bar at The Savoy, London, England

OUTSTANDING: 789 Nanjing Lu Bar + Lounge, Shanghai, China | M Bar at Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong | Bar Hemingway, Ritz Paris, Paris, France

NOTABLES: The Bar and Lobby Lounge, Four Seasons Hotel, Gresham Palace, Budapest, Hungary | Coburg Bar at The Connaught, London, England | Dry San Sebastián Bar, Hotel Maria Cristina, San Sebastián, Spain | The Bar at The Merchant Hotel, Belfast, Northern Ireland | Bascule Bar at Cape Grace Hotel, Cape Town, South Africa | Thoroughbred Club at the Charleston Place Hotel, Charleston, SC | Proof On Main, Louisville, KY | The Bazaar by José Andrés, SLS Hotel, Las Vegas | Lobby Bar at Alvear Palace Hotel, Buenos Aires, Argentina | Wink at Vivanta by Taj President Mumbai, Mumbai, India

Best Hotel In-Room Dining

EXPERTS’ CHOICE: The Dorchester, London, England

READERS’ CHOICE: Kempinski Hotel Barbaros Bay, Bodrum, Turkey

OUTSTANDING: Taj Exotica Resort & Spa, Maldives | Bellagio, Las Vegas, NV |Hotel Paracas, Paracas, Peru

NOTABLES: Hotel Le Toiny, St. Barth | Le Taha’a Resort & Spa, French Polynesia | Hotel Casa Del Mar, Santa Monica, CA | Waldorf Astoria Chicago, Chicago, IL | Viceroy Ziahuatanejo, Guerrero, Mexico | The Oberoi, New Delhi, India | Healdsburg Hotel, Sonoma, CA | Four Seasons George V, Paris, France | Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong

Best All-Inclusive Resort

EXPERTS’ CHOICE: Blackberry Farm, TN

READERS’ CHOICE: Mii amo Spa, Sedona, AZ

OUTSTANDING: Rosewood Jumby Bay, Antigua | Hermitage Bay, Antigua | Chiva Som, Hua Hin, Thailand

NOTABLES: Nizuc Resort and Spa, Cancun, Mexico | Le Blanc Spa Resort, Cancun, Mexico | Lodge on Little St. Simon’s Island, GA | The Caves, Negril, Jamaica | Sandals Royal Plantation, Jamaica | Vista Verde Guest Ranch, Steamboat Springs, CO | The Tyler Place Family Resort, Highgate Springs, VT | Sabi Sabi Private Game Reserve, South Africa | Iberostar Grand Hotel Paraiso, Riviera Maya, Mexico | Hayman Island, Australia

Best Brewery/Distillery Experience

EXPERTS’ CHOICE: Guinness, Dublin, Ireland

READERS’ CHOICE: Casa Herradura, Jalisco, Mexico

OUTSTANDING: Gosling’s, Bermuda | Fuller’s, London, England | Absolut Vodka Distillery, Åhus, Sweden

NOTABLES: New York Distilling Company, Brooklyn, NY | Buffalo Trace, Frankfurt, KY | Watershed Distillery, Columbus, OH | Macallan, Craigallachie, Scotland | Kings County Distillery, Brooklyn, NY | Maker’s Mark, Loretto, KY | Sam Adams, Boston, MA | RoughStock Distillery, Bozeman, MT | Dry Fly Distilling, Spokane, WA | St. George Spirits, Alameda, CA

Best Winery Experience

EXPERTS’ CHOICE: Maison Trimbach, Alsace, France

READERS’ CHOICE: Antinori nel Chianti Classico, Tuscany, Italy

OUTSTANDING: Bodegas Portia Winery, Burgos, Spain | La Rocca Di Frassinello, Tuscany, Italy | Jade Valley Wine & Resort, Xian, China

NOTABLES: López de Heredia, Haro, Spain | Moorilla Winery, Tasmania, Australia | Sandeman Porto Cellars, Portugal | Behrens Family Winery, Napa, CA | Domaine de la Noblaie, Chinon, France | Domaine Chandon, Yountville, CA | Bodegas Baigorri, Samaniego, Spain | Preisinger Vineyard, Austria | Charles Smith Wines, Walla Walla, WA

Best Culinary Tours

EXPERTS’ CHOICE: Micato Safaris, Africa

READERS’ CHOICE: Backpacker Concierge (Egypt)

OUTSTANDING: Cox & Kings (Worldwide) | Swain Destinations (South Pacific, Africa, Asia) | Uniworld (Europe)

NOTABLES: Artisans of Leisure | Whole Journeys (Worldwide) | Tauck (Worldwide) | Butterfield & Robinson (Worldwide) |Austin Lehman Adventures | Classic Journeys (Europe) | Trafalgar (Africa) | Caribbean Culinary Tours (Caribbean) | Gourmet on Tour (Europe, Asia, Australia) | Kensington Tours (Worldwide)

Best Culinary Cruise Line

EXPERTS’ CHOICE: Seabourn Cruise Line

**READERS’ CHOICE: ** Uniworld Boutique River Cruises

OUTSTANDING: Crystal Cruises | Windstar Cruises | Compagnie du Ponant

NOTABLES: Regent Seven Seas | Silversea Cruises | Cunard Lines | Disney Cruise Line | SeaDream Yacht Club | Paul Gaugin Cruises | Celebrity Cruises (Top Chef at Sea) | Royal Caribbean | Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic | Oceania Cruises

Best In-Flight Dining, First & Business Class


OUTSTANDING: Etihad Airways | Delta Air Lines | Singapore Airlines

NOTABLES: Qatar Airlines | Korean Air | Air New Zealand | Qantas | Virgin Atlantic | South African Airways | Turkish Airlines | Virgin America | Lufthansa | Thai Airways Royal Silk Class

Best In-Flight Dining, Economy Class

EXPERTS’ CHOICE: Singapore Airlines

READERS’ CHOICE: Singapore Airlines

OUTSTANDING: Turkish Airlines | Korean Air | Virgin Atlantic

NOTABLES: Emirates Airline |Air France | Virgin America | British Airways | Cathay Pacific | Etihad Airways | LAN Airlines | JetBlue | Delta Air Lines | United Airlines

Best In-Flight Wine Program



OUTSTANDING: Brussels Airlines | South African Airways | Alitalia | EL AL Israel Airlines

NOTABLES: Swiss International Air Lines | Qatar Airways | Japan Airlines | Singapore Airlines | Virgin Atlantic | TAM Airlines | Turkish Airlines | Cathay Pacific Airways | British Airways

EXPERTS’ CHOICE: Singapore Airlines’ SilverKris Lounge, Singapore Changi Airport (SIN)

READERS’ CHOICE: Qatar Airways, London Heathrow Airport (LHR)

OUTSTANDING: Emirates First Class Lounge, Dubai International Airport (Dubai) | Etihad’s Diamond First Class Lounge, Abu Dhabi International Airport (AUH) | Thai Airways First Class Lounge, Bangkok International Airport (BKK)

NOTABLES: Qantas First Lounge, Sydney Airport (SYD) | Cathay Pacific: The Wing, Hong Kong International Airport (HKG) | Finnair Lounge, Helsinki-Vantaa Airport (HEL) | Lufthansa First Class, Frankfurt Airport (FRA) | Qatar Airways Premium Terminal, Doha International Airport (DOH) | Lounge Istanbul, Turkish Airlines, Atatürk International Airport (IST) | British Airways Concorde Room, London Heathrow Airport (LHR) | Cathay Pacific: The Pier, Hong Kong International Airport (HKG) | Air New Zealand, Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) | Air France La Premiere, Charles de Gaulle Airport (CDG)


Kung wishes there could be more Shanghainese and Jiangsu restaurants but ingredients are hard to get locally, she says.

This year, there’s a profundity to the awards because restaurants have suffered such a blow from the COVID-19 pandemic. The awards ceremony won’t be taking place physically but Kung says when it’s safe, winners will be honoured. They had originally planned for two Michelin-starred chefs from China to participate in dining festivities this year.

Kung recently organized a tour for members of the media to try some of the 2020 winning dishes in Richmond. The focus was on signature dishes “because the Chinese always go to a place because of a dish. It’s just about the dish and the skill,” Kung says.

Vitasoy Cream Puffs at Little Fox Bakehouse. Photo: Mia Stainsby. Photo by Mia Stainsby / PNG

At Little Fox Bakery, the winning dish, Vitasoy Cream Puff, is an elegant tribute to Hong Kong’s love of Vitasoy beverage.

“We’re seeing a slew of Asian bakers really use Asian flavours with Western or French technique,” said Man.

The young owner/baker Eric Hoy, a former electrical engineer, is but one of the chefs and bakers shaking things up.

“I’ve always loved baking,” Hoy says. “I asked for an immersion blender as a kid for a birthday present.”

My bottom line in a French style bakery are the croissants and his rock! His French pastry, in the Asian way, are less sweet and lighter than western counterparts.

Sweet and Sour Pork Tenderloin at Emperor’s Kitchen. Photo: Mia Stainsby. Photo by Mia Stainsby / PNG

At Emperor’s Kitchen, chef Zhang Wei Hua, trained in Northern Chinese cuisine, won for a dish served to emperor’s in the past, a dish requiring Ninja knife skills. The sweet and sour pork tenderloin dish was deftly cut, battered and deep-fried and looked like an octopus with triple the amount of legs and arms

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Vancouver has plenty of options for the best in Chinese cuisine – but have you tried these 11 signature dishes?

The 11th annual Chinese Restaurant Award winners were announced this week, along with a Lifetime Achievement Award and the new Critics’ Choice Signature Dish Awards.

Here are 11 signature Chinese dishes you must try in Metro Vancouver this year Back to video

Chinese master chef Leung Yiu Tong retired last month, shuttering his Hoi Tong Chinese Seafood Restaurant. The long-time chef was honoured with a Lifetime Achievement Award at a ceremony Tuesday at River Rock Show Theatre, where the other restaurant award winners were also announced.

For the Critics’ Choice Signature Dish Awards, judges began their task in September 2018, scouring restaurants across Metro Vancouver to find the 11 eateries that served up the 11 best signature dishes of various Chinese and Taiwanese cuisines.

Fancy yourself a foodie? Scroll down to see the winners.

Crispy roast pork belly

Fortune Terrace Chinese Cuisine
#130-6200 River Road, Richmond
(604) 285-8980

Mott 32 Vancouver

Mott 32 is named after 32 Mott Street in New York. 32 Mott Street was the site of NYC’s first Chinese convenience store, which opened in 1851, and was the nucleus for what is now a vibrant Chinatown in one of the most dynamic cities in the world. Our contemporary Chinese restaurant located in the heart of Vancouver is a celebration of Hong Kong culture and cuisine.

The provenance of ingredients is paramount to us and we embrace unique flavours discovered globally. We practise ethical sourcing using organic and sustainable ingredients where possible. We work closely with farms, never compromising the quality of the ingredients that our culinary team present.

Our chefs use the latest in modern and innovative cooking techniques from around the world. Our restaurant’s cooking is principally Cantonese with some signature Beijing dishes and some of the best Sichuan food in central Hong Kong, bringing the most out of traditional recipes passed down from generation to generation. This particular level of modernity combined with the respect for tradition is what makes Mott 32 so spectacularly unique.

Mott 32 has become one of the most awarded restaurants in Hong Kong. Awards include Best New Restaurant, Best Interior Design and Best Restaurant Reader Choice Award by Tatler, No.1 Hot 10 Restaurants in Asia and SCMP 100 Top Tables 2014, 2015 and 2016.

Mott 32 is named after 32 Mott Street in New York. 32 Mott Street was the site of NYC’s first Chinese convenience store, which opened in 1851, and was the nucleus for what is now a vibrant Chinatown in one of the most dynamic cities in the world. Our contemporary Chinese restaurant located in the heart of Vancouver is a celebration of Hong Kong culture and cuisine.

The provenance of ingredients is paramount to us and we embrace unique flavours discovered globally. We practise ethical sourcing using organic and sustainable ingredients where possible. We work closely with farms, never compromising the quality of the ingredients that our culinary team present.

Our chefs use the latest in modern and innovative cooking techniques from around the world. Our restaurant’s cooking is principally Cantonese with some signature Beijing dishes and some of the best Sichuan food in central Hong Kong, bringing the most out of traditional recipes passed down from generation to generation. This particular level of modernity combined with the respect for tradition is what makes Mott 32 so spectacularly unique.

Mott 32 has become one of the most awarded restaurants in Hong Kong. Awards include Best New Restaurant, Best Interior Design and Best Restaurant Reader Choice Award by Tatler, No.1 Hot 10 Restaurants in Asia and SCMP 100 Top Tables 2014, 2015 and 2016.

2015 Elby Winners Announced

The 2015 Elby award was a white platform shoe with the annual event's signature chef logo. Richmond magazine hired Big Secret to create the laser-engraved, custom award.

A record crowd of more than 500 guests turned out in polyester and platforms for the fourth annual Elbys, the Richmond region’s restaurant awards, presented by Richmond magazine.

Named after master chef Chef Paul Elbling who now oversees the French Food Festival, the Elbys are the only local event that recognizes and honors the work of local chefs and restaurateurs. This year’s awards ceremony and reception were themed “Studio 804,” a tip of the hat to New York’s former Studio 54.

Judges named Joe Sparatta Chef of the Year and named Heritage, which Sparatta co-owns with his wife and brother-in-law, Restaurant of the Year. Sparatta, who was recently named a D.C. Rising Star Chef by, came to Richmond in 2011. Prior, he worked at The Ryland Inn, which at the time was the only restaurant in New Jersey to be awarded four stars by The New York Times. He also received training with chefs David Bouley, Eric Ripert, and Michael Laiskonis before joining Chef Scott Anderson to open elements in Princeton, New Jersey, where he had the roles of sous and pastry chef.

Travis Milton, chef de cuisine at Comfort, was given the Innovator Award for his work with preserving and passing on Southern and Appalachian foodway traditions. He is member of the board of the directors for the Virginia Food Heritage Project, the Central Appalachian Food Heritage Project, The Clinch River Valley Initiative and the Appalachian Community Table.

Best New Restaurant: L’Opossum

Opened between Nov. 1, 2013, and Oct. 31, 2014

Richmond Stalwart: Acacia mid-town

This area restaurant must have been open a minimum of five years as of Nov. 1, 2014

Rising Culinary Star: Brittanny Anderson of Metzger Bar & Butchery

Cocktail Program: The Rogue Gentlemen

Wine Program: Acacia mid-town

Beer Program: Saison

Employee of the Year: Kirby Baltzegar of Dutch & Co.

Purveyor of the Year: Autumn Olive Farms

Culinary Students of the Year: Jeremy Evans, who trained at Culinard, The Culinary Institute of Virginia College, and Holly Mitchell of J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College

More than 30 local industry professionals, food writers and culinary instructors selected nominees. Awardees were chosen by 11 separate panels of judges, one panel for each category, all from outside Richmond. No full-time staffers of Richmond magazine were involved in the nominating or judging process.

Judges included online food editors from places like Eater and The Daily Meal, a four-time, James Beard-nominated chef, representatives from the Association of Food Journalists, magazine editors from publications such as Beer Advocate and Southern Living, food editors and reviewers from major daily publications in D.C., Tidewater and North Carolina, teaching chefs and staffers from Johnson & Wales, and D.C.-based hospitality and wine professionals. The panelists visited the restaurants independently of one another between mid-December and mid-January.

Stephanie Breijo, Richmond magazine’s food editor, and Jason Tesauro, author, sommelier and "Richmond's most gregarious modern gentleman," hosted the sold-out event held in the Cheek Theater at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts.

Event sponsors included Performance Food Service, Cavalier Produce, Kitchen on Cary, Mercedes Benz of Richmond, Double Take Video, Sam Rust Seafood, Short Pump Town Center, Richmond Region Tourism, Steady Sounds, Milton’s Local, Virginia Hospitality and Travel Association, Virginia Linen Service, Virginia Wine Board, Maureen Denlea, Adams Burch and Virginia Grown.

Other community partners with the pre-reception and reception included 103.7 Play, Virginia Artesian Water, Taste the Local, Tap 26, Belle Isle Craft Spirits, Steady Sounds, VMFA, Culinard and J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College.

Net ticket proceeds from the event will benefit the nonprofit Shalom Farms, Slow Food RVA, Tricycle Gardens and the VMFA Foundation.

These are some of the most noteworthy Vancouver restaurant closures of 2020

Time to pour one out for our fallen friends - the coffee shops, ramen joints, and special occasion spots and more - that we said farewell to in Vancouver and surrounding communities in 2020.

As in any year, restaurant closures are plentiful. It's a challenging business with slim margins a quick glance on Google Maps or around your own neighbourhood will affirm that addresses turn over, old buildings are razed for redevelopment, and concepts never take off all the time.

Small businesses in Vancouver also face sky-high rents, staffing shortages, and other bottom-line challenges that can easily derail the dream of running a restaurant in the city. Sometimes, when the lease is up or the whole block is getting knocked down for redevelopment, it's simply time to say goodbye.

2020, of course, did come with something extra for our pubs, pizzerias, and neighbourhood diners to contend with: A pandemic, and all its related restrictions, consumer habit changes, and financial repercussions. This was a damn tough year.

Though 2020 in the Vancouver restaurant scene will also go on record as "the one with the remarkable pivots" with shifts to take-out and delivery, innovative menu tweaks, all-weather temporary patios, grocery and packaged food offerings, and plenty more worth celebrating, it's still a year that saw a staggering number of closures.

This is not, by any means, a "complete" list, but a curated selection of nearly 50 significant closures representing a patchwork of back stories and reasons for hanging up the official "closed" sign. The list is a meld of decades-old veteran spots and places that didn't make it to the one-year mark. There are places that served not only food but the community in its truest definition, alongside ventures perhaps too ambitious in their scope. For many, the final meals were served without anyone knowing of their finality, as temporary closures due to COVID measures turned into permanent ones without the chance for the restaurant to let its customers come in to say goodbye.

Campagnolo & Campagnolo Upstairs

Photo: Campagnolo/Facebook

For many Vancouver diners, this double whammy announced in early August really hit a nerve. Campagnolo launched in 2008. Focused on rustic northern Italian food, the Main Street spot was for a time a flagship location, as Campagnolo expanded to include the Campagnolo Roma outpost in East Vancouver, which shuttered in late 2018 after seven years. Sadly, the closure of Campagnolo on Main also meant the end of its bar-restaurant sibling, Campagnolo Upstairs. The Upstairs venue, situated - literally - upstairs from Campagnolo, is beloved for its trim menu of simple but well-executed bar-style dishes, including their famous "Dirty Burger," all offered alongside well-made cocktails in an unpretentious space.

Gold Stone Bakery & Restaurant

After 33 years on Keefer Street in Chinatown, Gold Stone Bakery & Restaurant is no more. The beloved bakeshop and cafe business was first listed for sale in mid-June for $500,000, but after not managing to snag a buyer, the price was dropped a whopping $350,000 to $150,000 on Oct. 1. Gold Stone was a treasured spot for locals who took great comfort in its menu of Hong Kong diner-style fare. The closure of Gold Stone began back in the spring, as the COVID-19 pandemic forced restaurants and businesses to close their doors but its temporary shut down morphed into a permanent one.

Milestone's - Cambie

Parent company Recipe Unlimited shuttered the Milestones location at 2425 Cambie St this year, ushering in the end of an era for the Vancouver-born chain. Though Milestones got its start in 1989 in Vancouver, the brand now has no more locations within the city itself, with a new strategy focused on their suburban locations in the region.

The Pear Tree

The Pear Tree Restaurant/Facebook

This award-winning fine dining restaurant in Burnaby brought its nearly 23-year run to an end in mid-August. The Pear Tree was owned and operated by husband and wife duo Chef Scott and Stephanie Jaeger, who said they had been in the midst of lease negotiations for their Burnaby Heights restaurant prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, then found themselves facing an over 40% rent increase, their landlord's addition of a 'demo clause' for year one, and what the couple say are "a number of other unworkable clauses." The Jaegers say they intend to continue to offer in-home catering, until they are able to set out on a new dining establishment venture.


Director Uwe Boll's fine dining experiment came onto the scene guns blazing, so to speak, and did its best to ruffle feathers among the status quo - all while hoping to get diners to embrace elegant German fare - for the duration of its tenure at 1 West Cordova in Gastown. Ironically, Boll had long railed against "best of" lists and awards (having been not honoured) for years, and just this month Bauhaus was named Vancouver Magazine's gold winner in the European category of the annual (and delayed) Restaurant Awards. But back in March, a dispute with their landlord led to the restaurant's immediate closure the contentious and litigious nature of the closure made it a stick one to report on, and the timing was brutal, as it was just as the city was hit with the COVID-19 pandemic. Luckily, the restaurant's Facebook page is still active, so we can keep up with Boll.

Sardine Can

The last glasses of fino and cava were drank, and the final plates of patatas bravas and diablos Españoles were eaten, and we didn't even know it. Gastown's The Sardine Can announced in mid-May it would not be re-opening after an eight-year run.

Dubh Linn Gate - Vancouver

Dubh Linn Gate Irish Pub at 1601 Main St in Vancouver. Photo by Glacier Media

The Irish pub - a sibling of the original location in Whistler - filed for bankruptcy on Oct. 20. Dubh Linn Gate announced their temporary closure in mid-March, as the coronavirus pandemic forced bars, restaurants, and other businesses to immediately cease operating. It was a day shy of St. Patrick's Day, which is typically a major occasion for the venue. The pub did not re-open.

Harbour 550/Verre

It was a brief run for Harbour550, the upscale Mediterranean-Asian restaurant that launched at the end of October and was closed for good before the end of November. Harbour550 was the concept that took the place of Verre, which itself was shuttered without notice in September. Though the opening team from Verre had long since fractured, some of its original owners carried on to create Harbour550. The restaurant took its name from the location in Coal Harbour at 550 Denman Street.

Blossom Dim Sum & Grill

This summer, the ambitious and high-concept modern Chinese-meets-Pacific northwest restaurant Blossom Dim Sum & Grill would have marked one year in business in Vancouver's West End. However, following what was to be a temporary closure in March due to COVID-19 restrictions, the restaurant never re-opened. The sprawling 6,000 square-foot space seated at least 180, not counting the sweet corner patio that seats 40 people. In past lives it has been a massive Moxie's, an Allstar Wings & Ribs, and the short-lived Second Floor Eatery & Bar.


Bestie at 105 E Pender, 2013-2020. Photo: @bestiewurst/Instagram

After a seven-year run, Chinatown's Bestie closed up shop on Oct. 4. Bestie opened in June 2013, and was the venture of buds Clinton Mcdougall and Dane Brown, who brought their "friendly little sausage parlour" to Chinatown and drew raves for their hand-cut fries, brats, pretzel boards, and currywurst - a staple German street food.

Royal Dinette

The curious experiment launched in 2015 announced in mid-March it was shuttering for good. Royal Dinette was the initial project of Vancouver farm-to-table chef Dave Gunawan and the Donnelly Group, whose Blackbird Pub operates upstairs at the Dunsmuir Street location. Donnelly's role was said to be minimal, allowing Gunawan to develop a seasonally-driven menu showcasing sophisticated techniques, hand-made pasta, preserves, and an exciting bar and wine program. However, Gunawan and Donnelly parted ways and the restaurant saw its concept remain generally upheld, with several chef shuffles.

Mamie Taylor's

The end came in February of this year for Mamie Taylor's. The southern-fuelled "Modern American"-style restaurant in Chinatown, known for their hearty comfort eats, cocktail program, and taxidermy decor launched in 2013. Mamie Taylor's was known for its refined plates of eats like fried chicken and waffles, grilled pork chops, shrimp and grits, and their signature "Ham Grenades," as well as a stellar bar program and weekend brunch, and events like holiday pig roasts, and participation at high-profile Vancouver gatherings like Brewery and the Beast.

Au Petit Cafe

Do Minh Trinh at Au Petit Cafe in 2014. File photo by Dan Toulgoet/Vancouver Courier

A longstanding staple in Vancouver's Vietnamese dining scene brought things to an end after 25 years this spring. The restaurant was a next-generation iteration of a similar one run by the Trinh family in Chinatown in the 1980s. Do Minh Trinh, son of the founders, ran Au Petit Cafe for the last several years. Known for dishes like beef stew noodle soup, curry beef stew, and banh mi, the pink hole-in-the-wall Au Petit Cafe was a go-to for many in the neighbourhood and the city.


Balila, a Middle Eastern hummus-focused restaurant, opened up at 47 West Hastings in early 2018. The business closed its doors at the end of September, not only because of the ongoing pandemic but also because "the conditions of the area are getting wors[e] by the day." Balila's operators said they "fear for our customers' health and safety as well as [that] of our team members and partners," at the Hastings location, and added the problems are "evident to the naked eye."


A massive fire decimated several businesses on Main Street near Broadway this October, among them Frenchies, the diner specializing in Montreal smoked meat and other Quebecois comfort eats, like poutine.

The Reef

After 21 years, The Reef wrapped up their run serving Caribbean eats recently. Located at 4172 Main Street, owner Simon Cotton said: &ldquoWe have been proud to serve Vancouver a modern taste of the islands over these many years.&rdquo

The Metropole Pub

The Metropole Community Pub (Gastown, Vancouver)/Facebook

The Metropole, located on Abbott St in Gastown, posted their closing notice on Instagram just a couple of days after B.C. provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry announced the immediate closure of nightclubs and banquet halls, as well as capping hours for liquor sales at bars, pubs, and restaurants.


Back in March of 2018, things got a little strange at 1812 Commercial Drive, the longtime home of Falconetti's, a popular bar-restaurant in the neighbourhood. Passers-by, V.I.A. readers, and even Google said the place had suddenly shut down for good. Then things got a little murky, and while some close to the project claimed the closure was temporary, even when the did open their doors again (well over a year and a half later), it still wasn't super clear what had happened or what was going on. In early 2020, Falconetti's seemed to be rallying, however, until the pandemic forced them to close up. By June, there were drinks being slung once again at the storied bar (with patrons maybe a bit too close to each other for everyone's COVID-era comfort, by several reports), and then. it was done. Folks, Falconetti's is officially closed for good now. In its place is a new concept called Social, with new owners.

The Blue Martini

Martinis, southern Italian food, and a New Orleans vibe - with live music - was the calling card of the Blue Martini in Kitsilano. Now the venue at 1516 Yew Street has quietly packed it in, with a new tenant (and a very different concept) moving in the space is set to become Juanita, an all-day casual restaurant from the same people behind North Vancouver's Lift Bakery.

Federico's Supper Club

Sadly, the last drinks, dinners, and dancing were enjoyed without guests even knowing at this Italian restaurant and nightclub on Commercial Drive. The Supper Club announced in April that after 22 years they were permanently closed - though they'd shut the doors in mid-March, following directives from officials regarding restaurant operations and the spread of COVID-19. Owner Federico Fuoco said the closure was a result of a number of profound financial challenges compounded by the COVID-19 crisis, along with an uncooperative landlord, and the high cost of doing business in Vancouver.

Tuc Craft Kitchen

Photo: Instagram / @tuccraftkitchen

At the end of August, Gastown eatery Tuc Craft Kitchen shut down after seven years in business. Owners Colin Ross, James MacFarlane and Roy Flemming opened up the 60 W Cordova Street eatery in 2013, which quickly became well-loved for its warm, inviting atmosphere and rustic, locally sourced farm-to-table fare, featuring menu items like pork belly crackling, burgers, elk carpaccio, chicken & waffles, Shepard's Pie and mac n' cheese.


After 40 years, East Vancouver's Felicia's said goodbye this year, amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. Known for their kitschy decor and hearty Italian fare, Felicia's at 2492 East Hastings was a beloved local staple for many.

The Holy Crab

Storm Crow Tavern

Count among the coronavirus-caused losses in Vancouver Commercial Drive's misfit haven and "nerd bar," Storm Crow Tavern, which announced in April they were packing it in for good. Known for being a fun spot to geek out on board games, themed drinks and eats, and take part in special events tailored to Sci-Fi lovers and cosplay crowds, Storm Crow's Tavern had been welcoming "oddballs and bohemians" for over seven years at that location. The lease was up, and they opted to not keep going.

La Pentola

The interior of La Pentola at the Opus Hotel as seen in July 2018. Photo via La Pentola (now Capo & the Spritz)/Facebook

La Pentola, the critically-acclaimed Northern Italian restaurant on the ground floor of Yaletown's boutique Opus hotel, shuttered in July after an eight-year run. The restaurant, and adjoining Opus Bar, were operated by Safe and Sound Entertainment (Bar None, Hello Goodbye). La Pentola's social media accounts have now been flipped over to those for Capo & the Spritz - that's the new pizza and cocktail concept moving in, and it's the work of Vancouver's Autostrada team.

Chocolate Arts

The Kitsilano chocolate-maker announced in the fall of 2019 they would be closing up shop after 27 years in 2020, though, as owner Greg Hook noted this spring, the COVID-19 crisis was not in the picture at the time. They wound down operations in April, in a different manner than initially imagined. Chocolate Arts was known firstly for their chocolates that made use of regional ingredients and drew inspiration from global flavours.

The Tuck Shoppe

The Portly Chef

Jeff Batt outside the then-brand new Portly Chef in North Vancouver in May 2012. Photo: The Portly Chef/Facebook

A staple of the past near-decade in North Vancouver served up its last meals early this year, as The Portly Chef closed its doors on Jan. 26. The Portly Chef was the project of longtime local chef Jeff Batt and his wife and business partner, restaurant general manager Emily Caulfield. Batt passed away in 2019, Caulfield carried on running the restaurant, honouring the legacy of its founder through seasonal, well-crafted menus and an inviting energy. The Portly Chef served dinner as well as a Sunday brunch. Over its nearly eight-year tenure on Lonsdale at 12th, The Portly Chef was a local favourite and had many regulars.

Situated on a slice of prime False Creek waterfront real estate at 1010 Beach Avenue, M8 opened in the spring of 2019. Considered by fans of its elegant, contemporary fare as a true hidden gem, M8 was known for its upscale interior, great views, innovative tasting menu, and weekend brunch. The restaurant was the venture of chef Xin (Frank) Mao, who appeared on Top Chef Canada 8. During the spring and summer, M8 was open partially, including on its revamped patio, which debuted in July. However, by early September, the restaurant was closed permanently, with Mao moving abroad to take on a gig at a culinary school.

What's Up? Hot Dog!

Known for their hot dog-centric menu, punk rock music, beer, and vegan "wing" nights, What's Up? Hot Dog! in Hastings-Sunrise has officially closed. Already up and running in its place at 2481 E Hastings - with much of the same WUHD staff - is an all-vegan concept called Bad Apple. They've made some interior and menu tweaks, but you'll still find a similar vibe as well as all those vegan "wings" (made with cauliflower), waffle fries, and even hot dogs.


After a fun-filled five-year run, Timber, the Canadiana-themed gastropub at Robson and Jervis, turned off the lights in March - with the timing aligned near-perfectly to the COVID-19 restrictions on restaurants in the province. The restaurant and bar, a sibling to fellow Listel Hotel operation Forage, did manage to go through with its plans to gently renovate and revamp, opening in the spring as "BeSide Forage."

The White Spot - Georgia & Cardero

The White Spot and adjacent lot at 1616 W Georgia in Vancouver. Photo: Google Maps

It's almost time for this longstanding White Spot in Coal Harbour to meet the wrecking ball, and closing day was at the end of November. The property at 1616 West Georgia, which includes the adjacent vacant lot, sold for a whopping $245 million in 2017. Plans for redevelopment are for a pair of 38-storey highrise buildings featuring a four-storey podium linking the towers. In 1982, Shato Holdings, run by the Toigo family, purchased the White Spot. When they sold the W Georgia and Cardero location three years ago it was the region's largest land transaction of 2017.

The Ramenman

Located at 572 Davie Street, The Ramenman shuttered this spring, making way for an exciting new pop-up to permanent venture called Noah's Cafe. The ramen joint had actually relocated from its original spot on Bidwell to replace Juno, a long-standing sushi concept from the ramen shop's owner.

Ramen Taka

In early 2018 Ramen Taka opened up at 841 Bidwell (in the old Ramenman spot), and a year later their Richmond location at Aberdeen Centre followed. Unfortunately, on Aug. 24, Ramen Taka revealed their original Bidwell restaurant would be closing up due to the economic impact of COVID-19 on the business.


It was an abrupt ending for Finfolk, the Nordic-inspired beer and bites spot in East Van which closed on short notice in March. Finfolk launched in April 2019, offering platters of meats smoked in-house, about a half-dozen rotating pizzas with veggie, meat, or seafood toppings, and fresh oysters. Having stuck it out just under a year, the small spot was among the earliest casualties of the COVID-19 crisis in the local restaurant scene.

Musette Caffe

Musette Caffe Bar/Facebook

Vancouver's Musette Caffe was a beacon for cyclists and coffee lovers, and those who count themselves in both categories, too. The Burrard Street cafe announced in mid-January they would close down for good on February 29, 2020. Musette's owner Thomas Eleizegui first opened Musette on Burrard at Drake, then closed that location down at the end of 2015 to move to a fresh new spot, also on Burrard, which opened at the start of 2017. Previously, Eleizegui had a part in the Chinatown cyclists cafe on Pender, which was last known as The Message Cafe before shutting down ."What&rsquos next? Not sure, but there will be a next chapter I promise," added Eleizegui in the closure announcement for Musette.

Cabrito Tapas

Commercial Drive's Cabrito Tapas brought its five-year run to a close at the start of April. The Spanish spot had briefly pivoted, offering sales of several grocery and deli items and take-out dishes like paella meals, however, the restaurant opted to pack it in altogether.


Open since 2012, the award-winning Thai restaurant Jitlada at Broadway and Hemlock closed up this summer as a result of impending redevelopment. "The area is in the process of redevelopment and the building that our restaurant resides in will eventually be knocked down," explained the owners, adding: "Regarding our future plans, we are likely to take a break from the business. Should new opportunities arise, we will be sure to let you know. Stay tuned!"

Cantina Pana

What a roller coaster year for this small but mighty taco-centric casual spot in Kits. "Our business is nearly bankrupt and it is with great sadness that we have to close until the City of Vancouver grants us a liquor license," reps for the restaurant announced at the end of January. The squeaky wheel got the grease, however, and within a couple of weeks they were back up and running. Sadly, as the COVID-19 pandemic arrived in March, it spelled the final curtain for Cantina Pana.

Gigi's Pizza & Spaghetti House

Gigi's Pizza & Spaghetti House. Photo: @deetemones/Instagram

This red-sauce Italian joint was among the few spots you could go to in Vancouver for a meal after midnight. Located at 189 West Broadway, Gigi's was open for 30 years and was a neighbourhood landmark, thanks to its arched windows, signage, and plenty of neon. Once part of a local mini-chain, as of the spring this year, Gigi's was no more.

Frites: Fries With Benefits

The poutinerie at 1011 Granville Street is no more. Frites was known for their Belgian fries and double-layered poutine in decadent ingredient combos. Taking its place: La Loteria, which will feature Mexican street food from Monterrey like tortas, tostadas, and tamales.

Shaolin Noodle House

Located at 656 West Broadway, Shaolin specialized in hand-pulled noodles and were known in particular for their noodles with lamb. Diners were able to watch the noodles being made if they opted to dine-in, but the Chinese restaurant was also a big draw for the office dwellers nearby for take-out, especially at lunch. Shaolin shuttered this spring, without any announcement on social media or their website. They've now been replaced by A. Bento, a Taiwanese-Chinese casual restaurant.

The Charles Bar

The Charles Bar/Facebook

The sports-centric bar-restaurant and nightclub in the iconic Woodwards development in Gastown called it quits in early 2020 after a decade. In addition to being a well-known spot for drinks and watching the game, The Charles Bar offered brunch service, a full menu, and a nightclub setting later in the evening for the partiers.

Ramen Koika

Ramen Koika added this second outpost of their noodle shop in spring 2018, four years after launching their original location on Davie. Located at 1479 Robson Street in what's referred to as "Ramen Row," Koika faced some stiff competition in the area. But as sometimes happens with ramen spots, when one exits, another one slides in, and that's exactly the case here: Menya Itto - the "King of Tsukemen" - is moving in.

House Special

After four years of serving up their modern take on family recipes of Vietnamese fare, Yaletown's House Special shook things up this summer by rebranding as a second outpost of their popular sibling concept Do Chay. As an ode to one of House Special&rsquos most popular items, Uncle Hing&rsquos Chicken Wings, Do Chay Yaletown has an exclusive dish on its menu made with oyster mushrooms and Do Chay&rsquos Ish Sauce (vegan fish sauce).

L'Opera Patisserie

As 2020 got underway, the 10th anniversary of Richmond's L'Opera Patisserie was shaping up to be a banner year. The family-run bakery and tea spot was preparing to launch a revamped menu that would feature fondue dishes, perfect for sharing, in the springtime. However, as we all know now, 2020 had a few surprises in store for us - including L'Opera Patisserie closing down for good in mid-August. However, we've been assured L'Opera will carry on, just not in the same physical retail space.

Year's best cookbooks announced at Taste Canada Awards

Just in time for the holiday shopping season, Taste Canada revealed the winners of its 20th annual Taste Canada Awards, officially announced Monday night at a gala at the Ritz-Carlton in downtown Toronto. The annual awards recognize the best in culinary writing (and of course, recipes) in Canadian cookbooks and blogs in the last year.

Toronto author Naomi Duguid’s Taste of Persia: A Cook’s Travels Through Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Iran, and Kurdistan ($50, Artisan by Thomas Allen & Son), won gold in the “regional/cultural cookbooks” category. Duguid, who came to The Star’s test kitchen last year to make lamb koftas, has already garnered widespread acclaim for the book, including a James Beard Award for best international cookbook of the year and was named one of the best cookbooks of the year by publications such as the New York Times, the Boston Globe, the Los Angeles Times and Food & Wine.

In the same category, Vancouver-based Pailin Chongchitnant won silver for her debut cookbook, Hot Thai Kitchen: Demystifying Thai Cuisine with Authentic Recipes to Make at Home ($30, Appetite by Random House), which has a delicious Northeastern Pork Rib Soup with Toasted Rice recipe that my coworkers loved.

Daphna Rabinovitch’s The Baker in Me ($45, Whitecap Books) scored gold in the “single-subject cookbooks” category (the newsroom is a big fan of her Gruyere, Parmesan and Chive Scones). Walking away with silver was Food Network Canada star Anna Olson for her Bake with Anna Olson book ($35, Appetite by Random House), which has a Tasty Flourless Jelly Roll she made in the Star’s test kitchen last winter.

Restaurant cookbooks took the “general cookbooks” category with Vancouver chef James Walt’s Araxi: Roots to Shoots, Farm-Fresh Recipes ($38, Figure 1) winning gold and Jim Sutherland’s Earls The Cookbook: Eat a Little. Eat a Lot. 110 of Your Favourite Recipes ($35, Appetite by Random House) taking silver.

For the health and special diet cookbooks category, vegan blogging juggernaut Angela Liddon from Oakville took gold for her second cookbook, Oh She Glows Every Day: Quick and Simply Satisfying Plant-Based Recipes ($32, Penguin Canada). Her Oh She Glows site also won gold for best health and special diet food blog.

Other winners this year include Jennifer Cockrall-King for Food Artisans of the Okanagan and Frankie Flowers and Shannon J. Ross for Food to Grow: A Simple, No-Fail Guide to Growing Your Own Vegetables, Fruits and Herbs in the “culinary narrative” category Sean Bromilow and Janice Lawandi for their respective blogs Diversivore and Kitchen Heals Soul.

For the French-language books, winners include Racha Bassoul for Mon Liban, ma cuisine Ethné de Vienne and Philippe de Vienne for La cuisine d’Ethné et Philippe: Recettes, épices et techniques and Stéphanie Côté for La santé par l'intestin: 21 jours de menus.



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Prestigious James Beard Awards announce 13 Minnesota chefs and two restaurants as 2017 semifinalists

Fifteen Twin Cities chefs, bakers and restaurants have been named semifinalists in the 2017 James Beard Foundation awards.

The annual awards, the so-called "Oscars of the food world," recognize and celebrate excellence across 21 chef- and restaurant-related categories.

The category that garnered the most local names? It’s Best Chef: Midwest. This year’s semifinalists include:

Bob Gerken, Mike Brown and James Winberg of Travail Kitchen & Amusements, Robbinsdale. The Travailians were 2012, 2013, 2015 and 2016 semifinalists.

Steven Brown of Tilia, Minneapolis. Brown was a 2012, 2013 and 2014 semifinalist.

Jim Christiansen of Heyday, Minneapolis. Christiansen was a 2015 and 2016 semifinalist.

Jorge Guzman of Surly Brewing Co., Minneapolis. Guzman was a 2016 semifinalist.

Thomas Boemer of Corner Table, Minneapolis. Boemer was a 2016 semifinalist.

Erick Harcey of Upton 43, Minneapolis. Harcey is a first-time semifinalist.

Ann Kim of Young Joni, Minneapolis. Kim is a first-time semifinalist.

Lisa Carlson of Chef Shack Bay City, Bay City, Wis. Carlson is a first-time semifinalist.

The Beard’s Midwest region includes Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, Missouri, North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska and Kansas. The award -- it's one of the Beard's 10 regional chef honors -- goes to chefs in any kind of dining establishment “who have set new or consistent standards of excellence in their respective regions.”

Four Minneapolis chefs are previous Best Chef: Midwest winners: Tim McKee of the former La Belle Vie in 2009, Alex Roberts of Restaurant Alma in 2010, Isaac Becker of 112 Eatery in 2011 and Paul Berglund of the Bachelor Farmer in 2016.

In the Beard’s highly competitive national categories, Twin Cities chefs and restaurants made the cut in the following categories:

Best New Restaurant: Esker Grove, Minneapolis. The award honors a restaurant opened in the calendar year prior to the award “that already displays excellence in food, beverage, and service, and that is likely to make a significant impact in years to come.”

Outstanding Chef: Alex Roberts of Restaurant Alma, Minneapolis. The award honors “a working chef in America whose career has set national industry standards and who has served as an inspiration to other food professionals.” Roberts is a first-time semifinalist in this category.

Outstanding Pastry Chef: Diane Yang of Spoon and Stable, Minneapolis. The award honors “a chef or baker who prepares desserts, pastries or breads in a restaurant, and who serves as a national standard-bearer of excellence.” Yang was a 2016 semifinalist.

Outstanding Baker: Michelle Gayer of the Salty Tart, Minneapolis. The award honors “a chef or baker who prepares breads, pastries or desserts in a retail bakery, and who serves as a national standard-bearer of excellence.” Gayer is a five-time nominee, and this is her second semifinalist appearance in this category.

Outstanding Bar Program: Marvel Bar, Minneapolis. The award honors “a restaurant or bar that demonstrates excellence in cocktail, spirits and/or beer service.” Marvel Bar is a 2013 and 2014 semifinalist.

For the complete list of semifinalists, go here.

Wednesday’s semifinalist announcement is the initial installment of a multi-step process.

The semifinalist ballot goes out to a pool of 500-plus voters, including critics, writers, editors, culinary educators and past chef and restaurant award winners. (Releasing the semifinalist roster to the public is a relatively recent phenomenon until 2008, the list was a not-so-closely-guarded secret.)

The top five vote-getters in each category ascend to the nominee level (that’s Beard-speak for "finalist").

This year's nominees will be announced on March 15 at an event in Los Angeles (follow along that morning on the foundation’s Twitter feed or on Facebook Live). Once the nominees' names are made public, a second ballot goes out to the same voting pool.

The top vote-getter in that second round of voting is awarded the coveted Beard medallion at the foundation’s annual gala awards ceremony. (All winners receive a certificate and a medallion engraved with the James Beard Foundation insignia. There are no cash prizes).

This year's event is being held on May 1 at Chicago’s Civic Opera House.

Nominees (there are no semifinalists) in the foundation’s cookbook, media and design awards will also be announced on March 15, and winners in those categories will be announced at a dinner in New York City on April 25.

Watch the video: 2014 SSHRC Impact Awards ceremony (September 2021).