Vancouver Magazine Restaurant Awards 2013

I can’t think of a better way to spend a Monday afternoon than drinking delicious wine and beer, eating scrumptious food, and mingling with food-obsessed industry professionals. No, not obsessed with calorie intake (with the exception of a few), but rather the quality, creativity and presentation of the food. And to clarify, the edible creations were not the subject matter for the duration of the event, as the Vancouver Magazine Restaurant Awards are a time for Chefs, restauranteurs and media to step away from the kitchen table and reconnect.

In late April guests convened for the annual affair at the Sheraton Wall Centre to eat, drink and be entertained by award speeches and the eccentric emcees, Michael Eckford and Fiona Forbes of Urban Rush.

One highlight (there were many) was Michael showing us his new look as a beer drinking slob before transforming into a beer drinking man in a suit.

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Restaurant awards wouldn’t be complete without something to nosh on, right?

Food before the awards was aplenty and varied from Chef Starri Chow’bison loin, to a roasted beet and Okanagan goat cheese roulade on rye toast.

Ample “nutrition” was the reason for some of the guests attending, evident by a few jetting at the beginning or in the middle of the awards, after they had their share of libations and small bites. I guess they know that through Twitter (#vanmagawards), blogs and newspapers, the winners are promptly shared with the world; even if not in attendance no one will be left out of the loop.

Dessert was as diverse as the savoury options, ranging from sour cream filled mini donuts and PB & J macarons, to La Régalade’s chocolate sandwich with olive oil and sea salt.

While I could chat about the food and wine served for hours I’ll cut to the chase and tell you who won.

Best Coffee House – Revolver

Best Seafood – Blue Water Cafe + Raw Bar

Best Pizzeria – Nicli Antica Pizzeria

Best of the Americas – La Taqueria

Best Steakhouse – Hy’s Encore

Best Casual Chain – Cactus Club Cafe

Best North Shore – La Regalade

Best Casual Italian – La Quercia

La Quercia

La Quercia

Best Upscale Italian – Cioppino’s Mediterranean Grill and Enoteca

Best Casual French – Tableau Bar Bistro

Best Upscale French – Le Crocodile

——————-

ASIAN

Best Thai – Maenam

Best IndianVij’s

Best Vietnamese – Phnom Penh

Best Korean – Sura

Best Dim Sum – Dynasty Seafood

Best Noodle House – Hokkaido Ramen Santouka

Best Casual Japanese – Kingyo Izakaya

Kingyo Izakaya

Kingyo Izakaya

Best Upscale Japanese – Tojo’s

Best Casual Chinese – Alvin Garden

Best Upscale Chinese – Hoi Tong

Best Other Asian – Spice Islands

——————-

OUTSIDE OF LOWER MAINLAND

Best Other Vancouver Island – The Pointe at the Wickaninnish Inn

Best Okanagan – Waterfront Restaurant & Wine Bar

Best Victoria – Ulla

Best Winery / Vineyard Dining – Miradoro at Tinhorn Creek

Best Whistler – Araxi

——————-

PEOPLE AWARDS

Mentorship Award – John Bishop

John Bishop - Bishop's Restaurant

John Bishop + Vikram Vij

Lifetime AchievementAlain Raye

Premier Crew – Romano Costillo from L’Abattoir, Miki Ellis from Minami, Jamie Lauder from CinCin,and Ike Seaman from The Pointe at the Wickaninnish Inn [photos]

Producer / Supplier of the Year – Jonathan Chovancek and Lauren Mote from Kale & Nori Culinary Arts

Bartender of the YearRobert “H” Holl-Allen

Sommelier of the YearSamantha Rahn, Araxi

Chef of the Year – David Hawksworth

Pastry Chef of the Year – Thomas Haas

Michael Eckford + Thomas Haas

Michael Eckford + Thomas Haas

——————-

RANDOM, BUT IMPORTANT

Best Design – Wildebeest

Green Award – Forage

——————-

THE ONES YOU WERE WAITING FOR

Best New Restaurant – Wildebeest

Wildebeest

Wildebeest

Best Food Cart – Tacofino

Best Casual – La Quercia

Best Upscale – Hawksworth

Restaurant of the Year – Hawksworth

David Hawksworth

David Hawksworth

——————-

The winners of the awards were selected by a special group of judges who endured weeks (maybe months) of tasting and critiquing Vancouver’s finest restaurants (sounds terrible, I know).

For more photos, check out the complete Van Mag Restaurant Awards gallery.

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