Vancouver, BC; April 15, 2009 – Stars of the B.C. restaurant industry gathered yesterday at the Sheraton Wall Centre for the 20th Annual Vancouver Magazine Restaurant Awards. The audience of more than 80o included the city’s top chefs, sommeliers and food critics. The event was capped by Cioppino’s/Enoteca winning the event’s top honor, Restaurant of the Year.
“There were some surprises this year,” said Vancouver magazine editor-in-chief Gary Stephen Ross, “which shows that the culinary scene is vital and ever-changing. Even in tough economic times, rooms that get it right quickly become popular with the dining public—and draw the attention of our 19 judges.”
To mark the 20th anniversary of this event, special recognition was given to those who have made a lasting impression on the industry. For his role in making Vancouver a leading culinary destination, the Lifetime Achievement Award was given to Hidekazu Tojo – owner of the legendary Tojo’s. In addition to being given this honour, Tojo’s also won Best Formal Japanese for the 18th consecutive year. Other honourees included Fuel’s Robert Belcham who was awarded Chef of the Year and Robert Clark of C who was given the Green Award.
Other highlights included La Quercia winning Best New Restaurant and Best Casual Italian after its first year in business. Industry legends, Vikram Vij of Vij’s and Michel Jacob of Le Crocodile also won in their respective categories. Vij’s has won Best Indian since the category was created 13 years ago and Le Crocodile has also been a consistent winner having won Best Formal French eight times.
Several categories saw some surprises. For best dining in Whistler, Bearfoot Bistro won the top honour beating nine time winner Araxi. Cru was given the Gold Award in the Best Small Plates category, while five time winner Bin 941/942 took Silver.
Since 1967, Vancouver has been informing, guiding, and entertaining people who engage with the city. Mixing quality journalism and service-driven pieces, the magazine chronicles and reflects Vancouver’s emergence as a dynamic, cosmopolitan urban centre. Vancouver is available as a monthly magazine, through a weekly e-newsletter, The Fix and online at Vanmag.com.
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