Attending the 29th Annual VanMag restaurant awards yesterday was entertaining, as usual there were surprises and let downs from the nominees and winners, cheering and some award winner no shows. As one my favourite foodie events of the year, it is always a chance to taste some delicious food by some of Vancouver’s nominated restaurants at the pre-awards reception. Following the Awards there was a reception featuring flatbread pizzas from the host hotel Sheraton Wall Centre along with beer poured by Andina Brewing, Steel and Oak and others.  Following the reception I attended the After Party at Joey Wineroom and enjoyed a selection of Spanish bites and good chit chat with fellow peers and restaurant industry folk.

Back to the awards the Co-Hosts of the afternoon were Gloria Macarenko and Stephen Quinn, radio hosts at CBC, who entertained the guests with usual back and forth banter.

Here are some of the top awards handed out worth mention;

Chef JC Poirier and his team

Restaurant of the Year went to St. Lawrence, they also won Best New Restaurant.

The Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to Anthony von Mandl who owns (Mission Hills Valley Estate and other wineries) who was a no show on stage (he was travelling in Australia and he spoke via video).

Chef Alex Chen

Alex Chen was honoured as Chef of the Year for his work at Boulevard Kitchen and Oyster Bar.

Satoshi Yonemori

Best Bartender of the year was Satoshi Yonemori of Grapes and Soda

Jill Spoor

Jill Spoor, Sommelier of the year at Botanist Dining in the Fairmont Pacific Rim

Best Upscale went to Boulevard Kitchen and Oyster Bar

Craig Stanghetta

Best New Design awarded for Botanist Dining to Craig Stanghetta and his design group Ste. Marie

Chef Angus An (left) and Chef Justin Cheung (right)

Best Pan Asian went to Longtail Kitchen

Chef Pino

Best Italian to Cioppino’s

Chef Lucas Syme (right)

Best Downtown was  awarded to Cinara

Via Tevere Pizza

Best Pizzeria, awarded to Via Tevere Pizza

Masayoshi team

Best Japanese was awarded to Masayoshi

Chef Vikram Vij

Best Indian to My Shanti

Milan of Stoney Paradise

Kelowna’s Stoney Paradise won the Producer/Supplier Award.

For a list of all the Award Winners

The reception that preceeded the awards ceremony featured a showcase of dishes from many of the nominated restaurants.

Sticky Rice Curry Fries

Avocado Pana Cota

Burata Toast

Dessert tower and the Macarons

chocolates from Chez Christophe

Some of my favourite eats were the Sticky Rice Curry Fries from House Special, Avocado Pana Cota from The Apron at the Westin Wall Centre Vancouver Airport, Burata Toast from Hawksworth Restaurant, Dessert tower and the Macarons from Thomas Haas, chocolates from Chez Christophe.

By: Richard Wolak

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