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Van Mag Restaurant Awards

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Are any eGulleters going? I'll be wearing a mauve spandex bodysuit with a hood making moose calls on my whittled flute while carrying a goodie bag the size of Stanley Park.

Security is pretty weak. :laugh:

Anyway, I thought I'd pre-empt tonight's post-op thread by starting it before the show and allowing for predictions.

Best Restaurant of the Year?

Best new Restaurant?

Hope to see some of you there.

Andrew Morrison

Food Columnist | The Westender

Editor & Publisher | Scout Magazine

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With all due respect to everyone involved; WHO CARES. There's no drama, there's only two restuarants conceiveably able to take restaurant of the year, one one real contender for best new. In fact, print last years results and I'd bet there's basicly zero change.

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With doubly due respect, the people in the restaurant industry care a little bit. Accolades often translate to bread and butter. It isn't pretty, I grant you...but even getting the bronze or an honourable mention can mean a lot to a kitchen, a floorstaff, and management.

Tis a silly business from top to bottom - no argument there - but if a restaurant can get some extra credit for the efforts they make, then why not? I'm not decrying cycinism, either - it's a good gig. I just think the awards are fun (weird, I loathe the Oscars).

Andrew Morrison

Food Columnist | The Westender

Editor & Publisher | Scout Magazine

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Just wanted to thank you Jamie for the tix, it was a great afternoon, good food and lots of good company, very informative as well. And a wonderful host you were as well!!

Thanks again!


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

-Virginia Woolf

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Too tanked to write right now, but will say that today/tonight was a great time.  :wub:

What? No highly entertaining drunken post from Andrew?

No spelling errors. You can't be too drunk. :raz:

Joie Alvaro Kent

"I like rice. Rice is great if you're hungry and want 2,000 of something." ~ Mitch Hedberg

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Restaurant of the Year

G – West

S – Lumiere

B – C Restaurant

HM – Sooke Harbour House, Cioppino’s/Enoteca

Chef of the Year

G – David Hawksworth, West

S – Robert Clark, C

B – Thomas Haas, Senses/Diva

- Tojo Hidekazu, Tojo’s

HM – Edward Tuscan, Sooke Harbour House

Best New Restaurant – Fine Dining

G – Chambar

S – Coast

B – Arbutus at the Brentwood Bay Resort

HM – Fifty-Two 80 Bistro and Bar, Yuji Tapas

Best New Restaurant – Informal

G – Go Fish!

S – Shiru-Bay Chopstick Café

B – Rangoli

HM – Cassis Bistro, Tamarind

Best Regional

G – C Restaurant

S – Raincity Grill

B – Bishop’s

HM – Sooke Harbour House, West

Best Hotel Dining

G – Diva at the Met

S – Bacchus at the Wedgewood

B – Elixir at the Opus

HM – Chartwell at the Four Seasons

Best Small Plates

G – Bin 941/942

S – Lumiere Tasting Bar

B – West

HM – Cru, Hapa Izakaya, Umami

Best Italian Fine Dining

G – Cioppino’s/Enoteca

S – CinCin

B – Bis Moreno

HM – Villa del Lupo, Quattro on Fourth

Best Casual Italian

G – Zambri’s

S – Café Il Nido

B – Lombardo’s

HM – Cipriano’s, Gusto di Quattro

Best Other European

G – The William Tell

S – The Irish Heather

B – La Bodega

HM – Ouzerie, Takis Taverna

Best French Fine Dining

G – Lumiere

S – Le Crocodile

B – Le Gavroche

HM – Bacchus, La Belle Auberge

Best Bistro or Brasserie

G – Bistro Pastis

S – La Regalade

B – Chambar Belgian Restaurant

HM – Elixir at the Opus, Feenie’s

Best Seafood

G – C Restaurant

S – Blue Water Café

B – Tojo’s

HM – Coast, Go Fish!

Best Japanese Fine Dining

G – Tojo’s

S – Blue Water Café

B – En

HM – Yoshi, Zen

Best Casual Japanese

G – Hapa Izakaya

S – Shiru-Bay Chopstick Café

B – Dan

HM – Guu (all 3), Japone

Best Chinese Fine Dining

G – Sun Sui Wah

S – Imperial Chinese

B – Pink Pearl, Szechuan Chongqing

HM – President Chinese

Best Casual Chinese

G – Hon’s Wun-Tun

S – Legendary Noodle

B – Green Village

HM – Ba Guo Bu Yi Szechuan, Hoi Tong

Best Indian

G – Vij’s

S – Rubina Tandoori

B – Maurya

HM – Rangoli, Tamarind

Best South East Asian

G – Montri’s Thai

S – Banana Leaf

B – Phnom Penh

HM – Simply Thai, Jang Mo Jib

Best of the Americas

G – Baru Latino Tapas Lounge

S – The Mouse & The Bean

B – The Reef

HM – Rinconcito Salvadoreno, Las Margaritas, Samba

Best Steakhouse/Chops

G – Gotham Steakhouse, Morton’s of Chicago

B – Hy’s Encore

HM – The Keg, Earl’s

Best Barbecue

G – Memphis Blues Barbecue House

S – Dix Barbecue & Brewery

B – Slim’z Barbecue Smokehouse & Grill

Best Bar/Lounge

G – Bacchus Lounge

S – Opus Bar

B – Gerard Lounge

HM – 900 West Lounge, Shebeen/The Irish Heather

Best Casual Chain

G – Earl’s

S – Cactus Club

B – Milestone’s

HM – Hon’s Wun-Tun, The Keg

Best North Shore

G – La Regalade

S – Gusto di Quattro

B – Beach House at Dundarave Pier

HM – Beach Side Café, La Cucina

Best Whistler

G – Araxi

S – Bearfoot Bistro

B – Fifty-Two 80 Bistro and Bar at Four Seasons Resort Whistler

HM – Quattro at Whistler, Rim Rock Café

Best of the ‘Burbs

G – The Pear Tree

S – La Belle Auberge

B – The Hart House

HM – Globe @ YVR, Giraffe

Best of Vancouver Island

G – Sooke Harbour House

S – Brasserie L’Ecole

B – The Pointe at the Wickaninnish Inn

HM – Café Brio, Zambri’s

Best of the Okanagan

G – Fresco

S – Mission Hill Family Estate Winery: The Terrace & Private Dining

B – Quail’s Gate Old Vines Patio

HM – The Sonora Room at Burrowing Owl Estate Winery, Bouchons

Best Last Course

G – Senses/Diva at the Met

S – West

B – Lumiere/Feenie’s

HM – CinCin, Blue Water Café

Best Producer/Supplier

Ponderosa Mushrooms

Sommelier of the Year

Tom Doughty, C Restaurant

Editors’ Choice Award

Tomato Fresh Food Café

Premier Crew

Abel Jacino – Bishop’s

Marcus Sawatzky – Cru

Yani Kong – Vij’s

Yoo Choi – Velvet Café

Leonard Nakonechny – C Restaurant

Best New Restaurant Design

G – Rangoli

S – Coast

B – Lift Bar Grill

HM – Chambar. Cactus Club Park Royal

Culinary Hall of Fame

Krishna Jamal – Rubina Tandoori

Food Book of the Year

G – The Cannery Seafood House Cookbook – Frederic Couton

S – Barbecue Secrets – Ron Shewchuk

B – Hot Sun, Cool Shadow: Savouring the Food, History and Mystery of the Languedoc – Angela Murrills

HM – Vancouver Cooks, Chefs’ Table Society of British Columbia – ed. Jamie Maw, Joan Cross [total fix]

Edited by jamiemaw (log)

from the thinly veneered desk of:

Jamie Maw

Food Editor

Vancouver magazine


Foodblog: In the Belly of the Feast - Eating BC

"Profumo profondo della mia carne"

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Wow - Hats off to Jamie for pulling off a fantastic "cut and paste" job to get that post up at 2:00 a.m.

I dared not touch the keyboard until I woke with a swollen head at about 5:30.

A few too many cleansing ales on my part at a rowdy post awards bash at Chambar! I do not think I will be running any marathons today !

Neil Wyles

Hamilton Street Grill


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Obviously congratulations are in order to David Hawsworth for doing the double, but what really caught my eye was the Bronze award for Best new Restaurant Design for Lift. I would have thought they were a shoo-in for the gold.

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Without getting into a rant let me just say that while I think the VanMag Restaurants Awards are a great event it strikes me as odd that the 2 highest grossing restaurants in the city year in and year out (Bridges and Joe Forte's) are never acknowledged. Both places have been "doing it right" for 20 some years boys - throw them a freakin' bone !

Somewhere in between the VanMag awards and The Golden Plate probably lies a middle ground.

''Wine is a beverage to enjoy with your meal, with good conversation, if it's too expensive all you talk about is the wine.'' Bill Bowers - The Captain's Tavern, Miami

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I have removed a number of posts from this thread as they were in response to and quoted from a post that contravened our user agreement. I'd like to take this opportunity to remind members of the user agreement which states:

"Constructive criticism is always the best way to handle a disagreement and we suggest the best way to deal with rude or frivolous messages is to ignore them. If you feel you've been attacked, please don't respond by escalating. This makes it nearly impossible for us to do anything about the original attack, and we consider all parties to any blowup to be equally culpable regardless of who started it. The only appropriate response to a perceived insult or attack is to report the post to a moderator and to wait for official action. Regardless of what the official decision is, you absolutely may not engage in personal attacks. Instead, respond by refutation. Keep your personal issues off the boards. If you are a bystander, you should remain a bystander and report the post."

Please do not respond to this post on this thread. If you wish to discuss the matter, please PM me. Any posts on this forum which make reference to this announcement will be removed.

And now, lets get back to the awards...

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Hey Jamie - I beleive this has been mentioned before but bears repeating. I'd really like to see an Asian version of the Golden Plates (Golden Rice Bowls?) undertaken in conjunction with one of the local chinese languge daily papers. I'd be quite interested what the Chinese community thought from an insider perspective. Yeah you've got the surrname, and I live in the right area of town, but we're still not privvy to the real inside deal, I don't think.

Anyone know if the Chinese language papers already do something similar?

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Somewhere in between the VanMag awards and The Golden Plate probably lies a middle ground.

That's funny ... I was thinking something along the same lines this morning.

With all due respect to Mr. Maw and the hard working folks at Van Mag, if the Restaurant Awards didn't help sell magazines, somehow I doubt they would exist. I'm not at all implying that Van Mag's selection process is somehow flawed or suspect, merely that the reason these awards exist is different than the reason for the awards themselves. :blink:

And can't the same thing be said for the other awards shows? Surely, the Grammies wouldn't be the spectacle they are without the ad revenues they generate.

My only complaint with the Van Mag Restaurant Awards is that Greater Vancouver doesn't have enough restaurants (of a given calibre) to make the outcomes even interesting. This doesn't diminish the accomplishments of the winners, meremly makes their accomplishments more commonplace. I'm sure I'll be corrected, but it seems that West (Ouest) and Lumiere have swapped this award for the last few years. This may be the true state of the union, but you can't blame people for finding it dull.

Okay, 2 complaints ... how does the North Shore get its own category, while Burnaby (although well represented this year in the 'Burbs category) is lumped in with everyone else? Could it be that Chef Metcalf's comment on a North Shore reluctance to cross a bridge comes into play here? :raz:

With reference to the Golden Plates ... a bit of Googling revealed that the Van Mag awards once had a Reader's Choice category as well. Low and behold 2roost, Joe Fortes won the Bronze that year. Why was this category dropped? (Sorry if this has been answered elsewhere Jamie).

Sounds like the best reason for the awards is the party held afterwards!


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Sounds like the best reason for the awards is the party held afterwards!

Now where did you hear that ?

I do not recall any "party", only a friendly gathering around the teapot to congratulate the winners.

I didn't know that they served cleansing ales out of a teapot. And that teapot must've been pretty damn big. :raz:

Joie Alvaro Kent

"I like rice. Rice is great if you're hungry and want 2,000 of something." ~ Mitch Hedberg

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Please excuse the still-sodden English. This excerpt from my morning post:

The Awards themselves started well with hosts Jamie Maw and Vicki Gabereau riffing on prepared texts at their podiums. Things went somewhat awry in the section where I was sitting after Chambar won for Best New Restaurant. I’m a big fan of whoever came up with the idea of presenting big bottles of Absolut vodka to the winners, because when the nice Chambar folks returned from their acceptance speech the bottle was promptly emptied. What’s more, we seemed to have quite a few winners in our little section of the theatre, for the vodka seemed to keep coming. From thereon in, the afternoon began to take on tinges, textures, tastes, and elements with which I am most familiar with. As the awards rolled on, Sean – from out of absolutely nowhere – pulled out a pitcher of beer and we had a few entertaining moments thereafter, alternately spilling liqour on ourselves and clapping in celebration for the winners.

The Oscars must suck in comparison.

Best afternoon out in a while... :laugh:

Andrew Morrison

Food Columnist | The Westender

Editor & Publisher | Scout Magazine

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Damn!!! was I ever sitting in the wrong section :laugh: Honestly Andrew, I was quite surprised to see you actually make it back up those stairs at the end of the afternoon.

Oh and there was quite alot of drinking prior to the awards as well :raz:

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