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Van Mag Awards 2007

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OK, I've waited patiently for someone to tell us what happened at the Wall Center last night, it must have been quite the event as we normally would have heard something by now (or a real snoozer?).

Any surprises?

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So what is the scoop on yesterday's Vancouver Mag Awards? Who won what? Any surprises? What was the theme for this year and when do we see the issue on the shelves?

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Restaurant of the Year= West. Runner up Lumiere

Best New Fine Dining= Gastropod. Runner up Rare.

Chef of the Year= Scott Jaeger.

Design went to Gastropod and Salt Tasting Bar.

Best New Informal= Salt.

Best Bar/Lounge= Bacchus. Runner up George.

Bartneder of the Year= Nick Devine of George.

Those are some of the top categories that I recall. I cant find my issue from my gift bag. Was a great afternoon. Gloria Macarenko and Michael Eckford were great MC's and had the crowd laughing for most of the well paced 2 hour event. Looking forward to next year already.


Edited by TimK (log)

Tim Keller

Rare Restaurant

tim@rarevancouver.com

Metro Restaurant

timkeller@metrodining.ca

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Chef of the Year= Scott Jaeger.

Design went to Gastropod and Salt Tasting Bar.

Finally! All he had to do was get to Lyon to get some recognition here. So Canadian :hmmm:

A.

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The results are posted on the Vancouver Magazine website: 18th Annual Restaurant Awards . On my way home yesterday after work I saw a number of award attendees staggering home, loot bags in hand. I'm sure there were more than a few parties afterward so that may explain the slow posting.

I was delighted to see Tony Peneff of Parkside on the Premier Crew list. I also noticed the impact of new judges on some of the category winners - best Chinese in particular I'd say. Congratulations to the winners!


Cheers,

Anne

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I also noticed the impact of new judges on some of the category winners - best Chinese in particular I'd say.

Not to put you on the spot (as some of the new judges are members on eG) but what exactly did you notice? Did you feel the impact was a positive thing?

I thought not awarding a Gold in the "Best New Design" category was a bit of a cop-out, but that's a minor quibble. Some of the winners were predictable ... e.g. Salt, "C" for Best Seafood (is that really all we have??), Vij's for Indian and Tojo's for Japanese (can't we just have an Asian category and let them all duke it out?) ... and some were just, um odd (Lumiere is Formal French? :blink: ). I know this is all subjective, but that's what caught my eye.

There's a small typo on the VanMag web site that lists The Pointe at the Wick as Best of the Okanagan. As much as Jaimie may wish the Wick was in Kelowna, it just ain't. :laugh:

A.

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I also noticed the impact of new judges on some of the category winners - best Chinese in particular I'd say.

Not to put you on the spot (as some of the new judges are members on eG) but what exactly did you notice? Did you feel the impact was a positive thing?

I thought not awarding a Gold in the "Best New Design" category was a bit of a cop-out, but that's a minor quibble. Some of the winners were predictable ... e.g. Salt, "C" for Best Seafood (is that really all we have??), Vij's for Indian and Tojo's for Japanese (can't we just have an Asian category and let them all duke it out?) ... and some were just, um odd (Lumiere is Formal French? :blink: ). I know this is all subjective, but that's what caught my eye.

There's a small typo on the VanMag web site that lists The Pointe at the Wick as Best of the Okanagan. As much as Jaimie may wish the Wick was in Kelowna, it just ain't. :laugh:

A.

Well the fact that Hon's wasn't on the Best Casual Chinese was a good sign. I don't know a lot about Chinese cuisine, but I know there's no way Hon's represents the best in a city that has a reputation for good Chinese food like Vancouver does. What I noticed is lots of names that are unfamiliar to me. My perception is that there was more depth and variety of restaurants explored by the judges this year. So, yes, I thought it was a positive thing and the results are helpful to someone like me who is not especially familiar with the cuisine.

I agree that many of the winners are predictable but I think that is a sign that these restaurants are working to stay at the top of their game and that they have some depth. If we had a new "best" each year, I'd wonder what the problem with last year's winner was.

I thought the best Formal French designation for Lumiere seemed a bit odd too.

Did you notice that they eliminated the Best Barbeque category? I seem to recall some rather pointed comments here last year about that category when ABC Country Restaurants made it to the winners circle - or were they a runner up?

I also noticed they no longer are counting points for each winner - or at least not publishing them - I'm not sure whether that makes any difference overall as it seems that the whole judging system was overhauled this year.

They are subjective but, as I've said before, humans love to categorize and rank things and, even more, to argue about the right categorization and rankings, so I think awards are here to stay.


Cheers,

Anne

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In the Japanese Fine Dining category, Octapus' Garden is included in this category! Fine dining? I'm not sure I agree...


ahh where's the button for the fries?

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Some of the results were a little peculiar. I don't understand how "C" can win best seafood but Blue Water places ahead of them in restaurant of the year. The amount of volume Blue Water does combined with the consistent quality, not to mention the Unsung Heroes menu, should have put Blue Water above "C" in the Seafood category.


"Dio non ha creato che l'aqua... l'uomo ha fatto il vino

-God created the water...man made the wine.

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Congrats to the real Sparky [who posts here from time to time] and the rest of the kitchen and front of house staff at Victoria's Brasserie L'Ecole who took top billing for that city over other excellent spots like Zambri's, The Rosemeade, Cafe Brio and Daidoco.

Daidoco is the only one we have not tried on visits...my better half's aversion to fish does not make Japanese food a favourite...maybe it was just the restaurant's proximity to the Bug Museum in Nootka Court ...[smile]

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Some of the winners were predictable ... e.g. Salt, "C" for Best Seafood (is that really all we have??), Vij's for Indian and Tojo's for Japanese (can't we just have an Asian category and let them all duke it out?)

Hey, let's just have one best for each continent and be done with it.

:blink:


Agenda-free since 1966.

Foodblog: Power, Convection and Lies

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I also noticed the impact of new judges on some of the category winners - best Chinese in particular I'd say.

Not to put you on the spot (as some of the new judges are members on eG) but what exactly did you notice? Did you feel the impact was a positive thing?

I thought not awarding a Gold in the "Best New Design" category was a bit of a cop-out, but that's a minor quibble. Some of the winners were predictable ... e.g. Salt, "C" for Best Seafood (is that really all we have??), Vij's for Indian and Tojo's for Japanese (can't we just have an Asian category and let them all duke it out?) ... and some were just, um odd (Lumiere is Formal French? :blink: ). I know this is all subjective, but that's what caught my eye.

A.

It's not that there are shitty categories. It's the lack of want on the judges part of exploring different avenues besides the old standbys of Tojo's and Vij's et al.

Changes happened in the Chinese category because new judges came in and expanded the general knowledge base. That lends that category more credibility. Before, it was just pathetic. Let's hope that that trend extends to other categories next year. Change takes time.

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In the Japanese Fine Dining category, Octapus' Garden is included in this category!  Fine dining?  I'm not sure I agree...

Maybe not Tojo's "fine" but it's changed much since the early years.

I'm curious, what are the usual suspects for "Best Japanese" in the city nowadays? Anyone have a list? I've been out of the loop for a long while.

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Some of the results were a little peculiar. I don't understand how "C" can win best seafood but Blue Water places ahead of them in restaurant of the year. The amount of volume Blue Water does combined with the consistent quality, not to mention the Unsung Heroes menu, should have put Blue Water above "C" in the Seafood category.

Do you feel this way just because you work there?

If so, I totally understand how you feel about the results.

I have always questioned how they come to their conclusions as well.

The place I work constantly comes in 2nd in Whistler but we have not seen any of their judges in the place for over 3 years!

The menu they show in their writeup on the place is over 3 years old.

How does that work? I have never received an answer on this question.

What's my opinion on why C won again?

Blue Water is another of Jack's high volume-fine dining places, certainly he does not show the dedication to sustainability as Robert Clark.

High volume-fine dining is an oxymoron. You can't do both well.

Something always ends up suffering.

I certainly mean no disrespect to you or any of your fellow staff or your abilities.

Especially from judging from your name, you are in the same line of work as me.

I just think that being close to the place in both heart and soul tends to warp our perception somewhat.

I know it does with mine.

Keep on shucking, bro.


Edited by Oyster Guy (log)

"Why then, the world is mine oyster, which I with sword, shall open."

William Shakespeare-The Merry Wives of Windsor

"An oyster is a French Kiss that goes all the way." Rodney Clark

"Oyster shuckers are the rock stars of the shellfish industry." Jason Woodside

"Obviously, if you don't love life, you can't enjoy an oyster."

Eleanor Clark

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Some of the results were a little peculiar. I don't understand how "C" can win best seafood but Blue Water places ahead of them in restaurant of the year. The amount of volume Blue Water does combined with the consistent quality, not to mention the Unsung Heroes menu, should have put Blue Water above "C" in the Seafood category.

Do you feel this way just because you work there?

If so, I totally understand how you feel about the results.

I have always questioned how they come to their conclusions as well.

The place I work constantly comes in 2nd in Whistler but we have not seen any of their judges in the place for over 3 years!

The menu they show in their writeup on the place is over 3 years old.

How does that work? I have never received an answer on this question.

What's my opinion on why C won again?

Blue Water is another of Jack's high volume-fine dining places, certainly he does not show the dedication to sustainability as Robert Clark.

High volume-fine dining is an oxymoron. You can't do both well.

Something always ends up suffering.

I certainly mean no disrespect to you or any of your fellow staff or your abilities.

Especially from judging from your name, you are in the same line of work as me.

I just think that being close to the place in both heart and soul tends to warp our perception somewhat.

I know it does with mine.

Keep on shucking, bro.

Obviously I do work there, and while I am biased, I also know the quality of food we produce is very high.

I also agree with the sustainability comment but at the same time our Unsung Hero menu put light onto some lesser known product.

As far as my heart and soul being the cause of my "warped perception", I do love the people I work with and respect there culinary view, I certainly don't agree with everything they do and wouldn't necessarily do everything they do.

Now for my original comment I still don't understand how "C" can win best seafood but Blue Water finishes ahead of them in best restaurant.

( which by the way everyone at Blue Water is extremely happy about ) :biggrin:


Edited by The Muther Shucker (log)

"Dio non ha creato che l'aqua... l'uomo ha fatto il vino

-God created the water...man made the wine.

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The unsung hero is a tasting in one month out of twelve, is it not? C is about sustainability 12 months a year 7 days a week.. I think that's the real swing factor in the seafood category.


One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well.

Virginia Woolf

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The unsung hero is a tasting in one month out of twelve, is it not? C is about sustainability 12 months a year 7 days a week.. I think that's the real swing factor in the seafood category.

Like I said I agree with the sustainability comment. That's one of the things I don't agree with at Blue Water but like Oyster Guy said you have to make sacrifices with the amount of volume we do.


"Dio non ha creato che l'aqua... l'uomo ha fatto il vino

-God created the water...man made the wine.

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The unsung hero is a tasting in one month out of twelve, is it not? C is about sustainability 12 months a year 7 days a week.. I think that's the real swing factor in the seafood category.

Like I said I agree with the sustainability comment. That's one of the things I don't agree with at Blue Water but like Oyster Guy said you have to make sacrifices with the amount of volume we do.

D'oh!

Forgot to say, "Congratulations" on winning restaurant of the year!

You might not have been recognized the way you want for the Seafood category but you and your team still did extremely well.

Who knows? Maybe next year.

Keep on shucking

Oyster Guy


"Why then, the world is mine oyster, which I with sword, shall open."

William Shakespeare-The Merry Wives of Windsor

"An oyster is a French Kiss that goes all the way." Rodney Clark

"Oyster shuckers are the rock stars of the shellfish industry." Jason Woodside

"Obviously, if you don't love life, you can't enjoy an oyster."

Eleanor Clark

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i think fine dining and high volume is possible.

look at restaurant daniel. they do 250-300 a night in

the busy season and have 2 michelin stars!

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We just ate at Dona Cata, and saw a few of their press clippings on the wall. They won VanMag's "Best of the Americas" category, which was a pleasant surprise. They deserve it. They have lamb tacos now too. Yum.

Other than Mouse and the Bean, I've never heard of the other restaurants in that category...anybody been?


album of the moment: Kelley Polar - I Need You To Hold On While The Sky Is Falling - 2008

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We just ate at Dona Cata, and saw a few of their press clippings on the wall. They won VanMag's "Best of the Americas" category, which was a pleasant surprise. They deserve it. They have lamb tacos now too. Yum.

Other than Mouse and the Bean, I've never heard of the other restaurants in that category...anybody been?

I've tried Lolita's thrice now and liked the food muchly, particularly the chicken tacos. The resto itself is a bit of a mixed bag, small and narrow (cozy to some, "stop whacking the back of my chair" to others) with a bit of a pseudo-Polynesian kitschy feel to it. Servers are young'n'breezy, clientele the same. Go early (by 6:30 or be prepared to wait/sit at the bar. Noise level goes up by the half hour. I understand the owner was formerly connected to one of the Bins and seems to have taken some of her cues from them.

Baru Latino is also worth a visit if my one experience there is an indication. Interesting and diverse South America-centric list, with meaty things commanding my attention particularly. Also a well-yummy house cocktail that was sort of a mojito Slurpee, as I recall. It has been a while so things may have changed... must get back for a second look... so many restos...

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Some of the winners were predictable ... e.g. Salt, "C" for Best Seafood (is that really all we have??), Vij's for Indian and Tojo's for Japanese (can't we just have an Asian category and let them all duke it out?)

Hey, let's just have one best for each continent and be done with it.

:blink:

That's it! I'm gonna open an Antarctic restaurant....maybe call it Bipolar.

- Salt crusted penguin

- Rack of sea lion

- the amuse will be a krill foam

We'll sweep the category

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