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THE RESTAURANT AWARDS ISSUE

T H E R E S TA U R A N T A W A R D S I S S U E

30 years of great rooms, top chefs and best bartenders

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COVER ILLUSTRATION: JENNIFER TAPIAS DERCH; STEM JAPANESE EATERY: TANYA GOEHRING

Spring in Whistler brings longer days and off-peak pricing, which means it’s the best time to enjoy everything under the sun. Kick the season off with a round of golf and a float on the lake. Squeeze in a day of skiing, dine on a sunny patio, take in an event like GO Fest, and cap it all off on a quiet beach.

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VA N M AG . C O M

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FE ATURES

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Where did Stem Japanese Eatery rank in this year’s list of top restaurants? Turn to page 33 to find out.

The 30th Annual Restaurant Awards The judges have spoken: from sushi to steaks and every amazing meal in between, these are 2019’s very best restaurants.

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Born Identity We go behind the scenes before the launch of Open Outcry to find out just what goes into crafting a brand new brand.

COVER ILLUSTRATION: JENNIFER TAPIAS DERCH; STEM JAPANESE EATERY: TANYA GOEHRING

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City 19 At Issue Telus moonlights in health care; the Coast Guard struggles with live-aboards. 26 What It’s Like To What do you do when your restaurant burns down? 30 City Informer The hunt for the man behind Fairview’s most prolific statue collection.

Culture

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89 On the Rise Getting cozy in Kinda Sleepwear. 90 Lucy Loves The neon fashion trend shines bright.

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92 Modern Family The stars of Vancouver’s vibrant drag scene.

96 The Ticket Rowdy wrestlers, chocolate challenges and more culture picks. 98 Sometime in Vancouver Photographer Grant Harder captures a slice of city life.

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Publisher Samantha Legge Editorial Director Anicka Quin Creative Director Catherine Mullaly Executive Editor Stacey McLachlan Food Editor Neal McLennan Associate Art Director Jenny Reed Style Editor Lucy Lau Associate Editor Nathan Caddell Videographer Mark Philps Contributing Editors Frances Bula, Amanda Ross Editorial Intern Candice Lipski, Yuliia Mostova Editorial Email mail@vanmag.com Sales Manager Gabriella Sepúlveda Knuth Account Managers Trish Almeida, Judy Johnson, James Southam, Nicholas Stanley Online Coordinator Theresa Tran Production Manager Kristina Borys Advertising Designer Amanda Siegmann Marketing Manager Kaitlyn Lush Marketing Coordinator Christine Beyleveldt Sales Email gsepulveda@canadawide.com National Media Sales Gabriella Sepúlveda Knuth Email gsepulveda@canadawide.com U.S. Sales Representation, Hayes Media Sales Lesley Hayes, 602-432-4868 Email lesley@hayesmediasales.com

Suite 230, 4321 Still Creek Drive, Burnaby, B.C. V5C 6S7 Tel 604-299-7311 Fax 604-299-9188 Chairman & CEO Peter Legge, OBC, LLD (HON) President Samantha Legge, MBA Senior VP of Integration Brad Liski VP of Content Marketing Ryan McKenzie VP of Digital Kevin Hinton VP of HR/Admin Joy Ginete-Cockle VP of Finance Sonia Roxburgh, CPA, CGA Executive Creative Director Rick Thibert Director of Editorial Michael McCullough Director of Production Kim McLane Director of Circulation Tracy McRitchie Director of Sales Brianne Harper Marketing Lead Chris Hinton Systems Administrator Brian Fakhraie Accounting Terri Mason, Eileen Gajowski Circulation Katie Gajowski, Kelly Kalirai, Lori North, Rhiannon Jones Executive Assistant to Peter Legge Elaina Kohlhauser

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VANCOUVER MAGAZINE is published six times a year by Canada Wide Media Limited, Suite 230, 4321 Still Creek Drive, Burnaby, B.C. V5C 6S7. Phone 604-2997311; fax 604-299-9188. Copyright 2019. All rights reserved. No part of this magazine may be reproduced without the publisher’s written permission. Not responsible for unsolicited editorial material. Privacy Policy: On occasion, we make our subscriber list available to carefully screened organizations whose product or service might interest you. If you prefer that we not share your name and address (postal and/ or email), you can easily remove your name from our mailing lists by reaching us at any of the listed contact points. You can review our complete Privacy Policy at Vanmag.com. Indexed in the Canadian Magazine Index by Micromedia Ltd. and also in the Canadian Periodical Index. International standard serial no. ISSN 0380-9552. Canadian publications mail product sales agreement #40068973. Printed in Canada by Transcontinental Printing G.P. (LGM Graphics), 737 Moray St., Winnipeg, Man. R3J 3S9. All reproduction requests must be made to: COPIBEC (paper reproductions) 800-717-2022, or CEDROM-SNi (electronic reproductions) 800-563-5665. Distributed by Coast to Coast Ltd.

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ED NOTE

if you want to take a nostalgic stroll down the memory lane of Vancouver’s history, I recommend a look through the winners of our Restaurant Awards from the past 30 years. There are plenty of all-stars that seemed unstoppable yet aren’t around anymore (Lumière, Nu, the William Tell); a few that have transformed (Angus An’s Gastropod, now Maenam, which secured Best New back in 2007; Raku, now Guu, which took home Restaurant of the Year back in ’92); and you’ll find stalwarts like Bishop’s, Le Crocodile and Vij’s that have been taking home Golds since the ’90s. Back in 1990, there were just a handful of awards to reflect our popular dining landscape—ranging ever so widely from French and Italian to Best “European.” It took time for our food scene to find its feet—we can credit the Olympics for finally kick-starting diversity here, and our awards program has adapted in pace. Categories like Best Chinese, French and Italian were split into both formal and casual winners, and we briefly had a Best BBQ, Best Cheap and Cheerful and a Best Pub Grub. The result was a whopping 51 total categories at one point. That unwieldy number is now back down to a more manageable 38. Just how we get to the final results presented in this issue (and onstage at our awards ceremony on April 29) has become a fairly well-honed system over the years. Our 15 judges, a group comprising some of Vancouver’s top food critics, spend the year visiting and revisiting the restaurants in the categories they’re charged with, and come February, submit their votes to our chartered accountants, Crowe MacKay. The final tallies come back to our food editor, Neal McLennan, save for the top dogs: Restaurant of the Year, Best New Restaurant and Chef of the Year. To be eligible for Restaurant of the Year, a restaurant must win Gold in its respective category—Best West Coast, Best Indian, et cetera—and our judges hash it out one last time and cast a final secret ballot to crown the winners. Finally, Neal crafts the words to celebrate each and every winner that you’ll find on these pages. This city loves its food, and inevitably we hear from some of our readers that we’ve missed their personal favourites. Our most beloved restaurants—whether for an after-work drink or a date-night Saturday— become our second homes, and I know many Vancouverites who will passionately argue over this list, defending the excellence of restaurants that are on and off it, just as they have for the past 30 years. I look forward to hearing about it on Twitter—and at my own local favourites, too.

Coming Up Next Issue The 1st Annual Made in Vancouver Awards We’re thrilled to launch our inaugural Made in Vancouver Awards in our summer issue! This city’s booming maker scene deserves proper acknowledgement: expect to discover your new favourite drink, snack, beauty product and more.

The Life of a Smoke Jumper Fire season has become an inevitability in this part of the world: what’s it like to be truly in the midst of it? We speak with someone who literally jumps from helicopters to fight the remotest of flames.

On the Web Weed Coast THC, CBD, indica, hybrids... what? Our columnist Sujinder Juneja reviews the latest strains and explains the highs and, erm, milder highs of our brave new legal cannabis world.

FOLLOW US ON

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L I F E B OAT S / R I S I N G F R O M T H E A S H E S / G E T T I N G S TO N E D I N FA I R V I E W

  VA N M AG .C O M/C I T Y

City

The Doctor Is In

Telus is proving to be a lot more than your run-of-the-mill mobile service provider. It’s out to change the health-care industry. by

Paul Webster Suharu Ogawa

illustration by

when darren entwistle, president of Vancouver-based Telus Inc., took the microphone at a press conference in Thornton Park in the Downtown Eastside last fall, onlookers could easily have confused him for a politician. Entwistle, who speaks with the intensity of an embattled platoon commander, has long called for a revolution in Canadian health care. Under his leadership, Telus—which has 55,000 employees and is B.C.’s biggest company—has invested $2.5 billion in a widening array of health-related businesses. These investments have given the company a pivotal presence serving more than 20,000 doctor’s offices across Canada. Meanwhile, to further cement the company’s role within Canada’s $250-billion health-care industry, Telus has been tasked by the federal government with building a long-overdue national electronic network for drug prescriptions that Ottawa says

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City    AT I S S U E will dramatically improve control over prescription opioids and other hard-to-handle pills. In short, this is not your grandma’s phone company. (Although it may now be one of her health-care providers.) At Thornton Park, Entwistle was talking about Telus’s Health for Good initiative, a $5-million program that’s deploying mobile “clinics on wheels” for the homeless and other vulnerable people in downtown Calgary, Montreal, Vancouver and Victoria. “Working in collaboration with community partners and organizations,” Entwistle boomed to an audience that included Dr. Patricia Daly, chief medical health officer for Vancouver Coastal Health, “we’re bringing health care directly to the community and helping a traditionally underserved group.” Seen in isolation, Telus’s generosity in paying for all this might be viewed simply as a typical bit of philanthropy aimed at building public goodwill for a company with an already impressive charitable record. With 13.4 million customer connections, annual revenues above $14 billion, assets worth more than $20 billion, and profits of well over a billion dollars last year, it’s safe to say Telus can afford it. But extending a helping hand with local health care is not a community relations issue for Entwistle: this is a man who is, in his own words, “complexly obsessed” with the need for a bottom-to-top transformation of every aspect of Canadian health care. And Telus—which, until 20 years ago, was a stodgy government-owned phone company that also managed a lot of government health records—is Entwistle’s vehicle to achieve that transformation. As he said in Thornton Park, “The cornerstone of our passionate social purpose is our heartfelt commitment to enabling better health

outcomes for our fellow Canadians.” And you thought Telus was just a phone company? Juggy Sihota, who serves as vice president of Telus Health, was also on hand with Entwistle in Thornton Park last September. In an interview afterward, she echoed Entwistle’s passion: “We’re trying to revolutionize access to health care,” she averred. Unlike sports and mediaobsessed Bell and Rogers (Telus’s main competitors in the big leagues of the Canadian telecom industry), said Sihota, “Telus is not buying sports teams and we’re not spending

explained about her company’s expansive role selling data services to public health systems across the country, “and now we’re starting to offer health-care services.” A 2012 video produced by Telus noted that “the top five issues where health information and communications technology can make a huge difference” are chronic disease management, medication management, access to health care, illness prevention and health-care system performance improvements. Telus’s subsequent big-ticket investments have followed this road map. In 2013, Telus purchased Practice Solutions, a suite of electronic medical records technologies now used by many Canadian doctors. In 2017 it won the federal contract for a national prescription drug management system. In 2017, Telus launched a national system that allows doctors to communicate electronically with each other about their patients. Last year, Telus broke into the business of directly delivering clinical services to patients by purchasing Medisys, which operates 24 private clinics. Then, last September, Telus partnered with Babylon, a company that connects patients with clinicians using “virtual medical appointments.” In an environment where talk of private, profit-oriented delivery of health-care services remains a nationwide taboo, causing electoral shipwrecks for governments that even nod toward privatization, Sihota speaks with refreshing candour about the imperatives propelling Telus’s quest. “Health care is bursting at the seams,” she warns, “and the private sector has to get involved to ameliorate the problems.” Terry Lake, who served as B.C.’s health minister between 2013 and 2017 and now works as vice presi-

“We’re already the largest health informatics provider,” Sihota explained about her company’s expansive role selling data services to public health systems across the country, “and now we’re starting to offer health-care services.” a lot of money on broadcast rights.” Instead, like Vodafone in Europe and AT&T in the U.S., Telus is going after data-rich health-care services as a highly lucrative “content area” that will help keep its internet infrastructure humming and growing, while expanding into delivering clinical services both as a contractor to governments and as a vendor to private patients. In an era when Canadian governments begrudge the resources to bring health care into the information age, Telus has pounced on the opportunity. “We’re already the largest health informatics provider,” Sihota

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dent of a Gatineau-based cannabis corporation, sees Telus’s health-care push as a “shrewd strategy” that has “huge national scope.” As health minister, Lake partnered with Telus to deliver virtualized home health-care monitoring services for B.C. seniors. “It was a sound strategy,” Lake explained on the phone from his home in Kamloops recently. “We’ve got a baby boomer generation that needs home health care, so home health monitoring makes perfect sense.” Telus’s strategy of opening up virtualized health-care services is also sound, Lake believes. “For many seniors, that’s super-convenient. We have difficulty getting to see physicians—so virtualized access, when appropriate, makes perfect sense.” But David Chan, a software engineer and professor emeritus of family medicine at McMaster University, in Hamilton, Ontario, is also watching Telus’s healthcare strategy with acute interest. “They’ve been extremely adept at carving out a huge market share by acquiring electronic medical records systems,” he observes. As the inventor of a highly successful non-proprietary publicly owned medical records system that competes with Telus’s products, Chan knows what he’s talking about. The federal contract to build a national electronic prescription system offers Telus the chance to earn “micropayments” from billions of transactions between doctors, patients, pharmacists and drug companies, he muses. But as Telus takes control over a growing swath of Canadian health care, Chan worries that our dependency on the company, and its highly proprietary technologies, deepens by the day. “The day may come,” he warns, “when we find ourselves wishing we’d stuck with a public ownership model for our health-care system.”

All Aboard? Is B.C.’s bevy of abandoned boats an environmental hazard—or the alternative to another tent city? by

Stacey McLachlan

as much as you might want to consider yourself a free spirit, we would wager that a leaky boat probably wouldn’t make it onto your list of dream homes. But with 4,000 people on BC Housing’s wait-list (despite a $3.1-million commitment to keeping temporary winter shelters open for a full year), abandoned vessels actually look like a pretty good option to enterprising members of Vancouver’s “unsheltered” population, who have had to take what they can get—even if it means looking off land.

Metro Vancouver first included live-aboards in its annual homelessness count in 2017. According to this winter’s count, less than one percent of unsheltered residents are living on boats with unpaid moorage, though it’s an imperfect figure, as many who live on boats do not self-identify as homeless. However you rank it, for the Coast Guard and Transport Canada, who deal with the downsides of this creative housing solution, it’s still too many. “The numbers are very high now,” says Captain Susan Pickrell, superintendent with the Coast Guard. She should know: her crew are the ones called when life at sea goes south, intervening when boats in disrepair are found illegally tied to mooring buoys or when vessels get stuck on the water without propulsion mechanisms or active bilge pumps. (This last mechanical

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City    AT I S S U E failure isn’t just an issue for the residents of the boat: a City of Vancouver investigation into the water quality in False Creek suggests that a primary contributor to the alarming E. coli levels in everyone’s favourite kayaking spot is sewage dumping from live-aboards and pleasure craft.) It’s not like these are the first people to eschew a landlocked lifestyle, but generally the live-aboard community has been made up of mariners— those who have boat experience and expertise, who know how to care for the vessels properly and anchor them in safe locations. But when you’ve turned an abandoned boat into a makeshift home without that marine know-how, you may find yourself (sometimes literally) up a creek without a paddle In Vancouver, for example, you’ll find groups of boats are anchoring outside False Creek and off Kits Beach, which may seem like an idyllic alternative to shelters or SROs, but for the inexperienced captain, “when an easterly wind comes, that’s the worst possible place you could be,” says Pickrell. “That’s how you end up with boats hitting the shore, and why abandoned and derelict boats are significant on this coast.” So significant that the Port Authority’s Fraser River Improvement Initiative spent $2 million over the past five years to help clean up derelict boats on the Fraser River alone. Pickrell is superintendent of the Coast Guard’s Vessels of Concern division, which formed in 2017 in preparation for Canada’s new Wrecked, Abandoned or Hazardous Vessels Act, which is set for legislation in June. It’s a bill intended to give the Coast Guard authority to clean up the estimated 1,000 derelict vessels polluting Canadian waters (up until now, it actually hasn’t been illegal to abandon your ship, apparently) but because many of these vessels have been turned into homes, the cleanup

may have the unfortunate side effect of displacing a vulnerable population. It’s not the goal to evict people from their makeshift shelters, but derelict boats can create hazards for both the environment and for humans. There are the pollutants on board, which can end up in the water without proper care, and when bad weather comes sweeping in, liveaboards wind up needing the Coast Guard’s help. Though it’s not a statistic the Coast Guard currently keeps, “when the winds are over 30 knots, you end up with the vessels with the poorest conditions ending up on the

When the winds are over 30 knots, you end up with the vessels with the poorest conditions ending up on the beach or running into trouble. beach or running into trouble,” says Pickrell. “Whether they’re on board or the vessel ends up on the beach, it’s putting our rescuers at risk.” The new act gives the Coast Guard the ability to apply “whatever measures necessary” to reduce harm—it will make all vessel owners accountable for ensuring their craft are not hazardous, not abandoned, not derelict or dilapidated. Though live-aboards may not be bothering anyone with their makeshift homes, when the Coast Guard is faced with an environmental response situation and can’t find the actual owner of the boat (“Oftentimes, live-aboards are there via a handshake agreement because the boat has no actual value,” says Pickrell) there’s nothing to do but tow, leaving, as Pickrell

says, “our most vulnerable in the most vulnerable position” with either fines to pay (for individuals, that fee can climb to $50,000) or a sudden lack of shelter. In principle, the policy is to work collaboratively with the occupant as well as the community, and doing everything possible to ensure a happy ending. “The Coast Guard is going to take whatever measures we can to try to ensure the safety of the people who are on board,” says Pickrell. “We’re going to have to work with the local community to help them find housing.” But the fact of the matter is that the Coast Guard is trained in enforcement, not social work. Are they really the right people for the job? During engagement sessions with the public, it’s clear some communities see this issue differently. For some coastal towns, reclaiming this dock space can be not just about the “eyesore” effect, as the Georgia Strait Alliance so delicately put it, but about economics—the re-establishment of fishing marinas. The City of Victoria recently chased a community of live-aboards out of the Gorge Waterway last year; farther down the shore of Vancouver Island, there’s the infamous “Dogpatch” in Ladysmith, a cluster of ramshackle boats that acts as a floating camp for those seeking shelter, which the community has eyed warily for years. That area remains a contenious source of public debate. The majority of people, says Pickrell, “are very respectful of the fact that these people are marginalized and many of our most vulnerable are living on these vessels. But at the Vancouver meetings, we encounter the people who want us to deal with this and get it off the water and let it be someone else’s problem.”

T

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We eventually went outside and stood in the café’s parking lot, holding hands. We watched the fire for a while. It was terrifying, very quiet…and awe-inspiring, in a way. where I was still lying in bed and said, “Fergie’s is on fire. Do you want to come say goodbye?” We eventually went outside and stood in the café’s parking lot, holding hands. We watched the fire for a while. It was terrifying, very quiet— How we discovered our all you could hear was this crackle— restaurant, Fergie’s, burned and awe-inspiring, in a way. Seeing down—and how we rebuilt the power of fire ripping through stuff it from the ground up. you care about is deeply shocking. And the flames were enormous, at the by Jessamy and Jacob Freese, same height as the treetops. We’re so, as told to Lucy Lau so fortunate that no one was hurt and that it happened in April—if it had when the fire happened it was the been July, when it’s usually drier, our middle of the night, so we were sound whole neighbourhood would’ve been burned. But we knew that the café was asleep. Well, kind of. Our youngest a goner. child was six months old at the time, The following day, there was this and Jake had gotten up to settle him during a cry. Jake had just gotten back amazing outpouring of grief but also support from the community. in bed when he noticed a light—this People we didn’t know stopped by, unnatural orange—coming through the window. And then he heard sirens and there was so much food left on our go past, which isn’t uncommon where doorstep—even the mayor dropped something off. We were completely we live on Squamish Valley Road, but frozen and in shock, but having that then they just stopped. Suddenly, it clicked with him: there’s a fire and it’s support and hearing people say, “You have to rebuild Fergie’s” was such really close. From our house, you can a surreal experience. We actually see the restaurant, and as soon as he thought we wouldn’t be able to rebuild opened the front door, he could see it because we’re in a no-build zone, the sky was red and there were lots of but the District of Squamish soon flashing lights. He must have known got in touch with us to tell us that it was bad, because he ran back to

Under Fire

we could rebuild it within some very extraordinary parameters. We had a family holiday booked for shortly after the fire and, at first, had decided not to go. But our general manager, Vanessa—she’s a really good friend and our right-hand woman—came by one night and said, “You guys need to go away and think about whether you really want to rebuild it.” So we did. We flew to Costa Rica for a couple of weeks and thought long and deep about it. And we decided that we’d do it and we’d basically go all in. We had to put all our chips on the table. From last May up until now, it’s just been the mother of all building projects. We knew it would be a big undertaking, but there’s so much to do. We were given some very stringent conditions: the new café had to be on the same site, it had to be the same square footage, and it had to be 10 feet up in the air on this reinforced, heavily engineered concrete foundation because of the flood hazard area we’re in. It’s really nerveracking bringing back something that people were and are so devoted to, especially because the building looks so different from before. But the original Fergie’s was literally a shack in the woods, and you just can’t

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Congratulations to the nominees and winners of this year’s awards Crowe MacKay LLP is proud to be the official accountants of the 2019 Vancouver Magazine Restaurant awards. Our Hospitality Team provides innovative strategies and sound business advice to help our clients make smart decisions, creating lasting value. Connect with us Craig Elliott, CPA, CGA, MBA, Certified Chef HALE Y RITCH

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build that. So we’re bringing in some familiar elements: there are going to be flashes of the Fergie’s blue, and we saved this old burned-out door, which we might use somewhere. The trailer where we had indoor seating was also salvaged, so that will be parked right beside the café again. The lawn, the food, the location by the river and having a place where kids can run around and play—all of that will be the same, too. We’re aiming for a June opening. It’s been a really highstakes, high-stress year, but we keep trying to remind ourselves of what an incredibly privileged position we’re in: we’re building a custom restaurant space for an existing clientele who are so excited for it to open. That’s a really rare situation for a restaurateur to find themselves in. And we can’t say this enough, but this has been a story of a community that has rallied around us and lifted us up. The number of people who have shown up during construction saying they want to help is amazing. In fact, we had so many offers that our project manager said, “I don’t have enough room for all these people. We need to find another way for them to get their hands dirty.” The cause of the fire was never determined, despite multiple investigations. We were gutted because we’d ideally like to know, so it can never happen again. But there’s no doubt in our minds that if we didn’t have that show of support—if we didn’t have people saying, “We’re so sad. Please come back”—we wouldn’t be doing this. That’s something nice about when something bad happens to you: it lets you feel how much kindness there is out in the world—certainly in Squamish, at least.

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CIT Y INFORMER

What’s with the Stone Animals in Fairview? by

Stacey McLachlan Byron Eggenschwiler

illustration by

My morning routine isn’t so different from that of any other millennial(esque) Vancouverite: I smear a combination of serums on my face and whisper, “What’s my brand?” into the mirror over and over again until it’s time for lunch (avocado toast with serum). It’s 2019, after all, and your brand is everything, whether you’re an Instagramfluencer, a fresh-faced young(esque) magazine editor who coined the term “Instagramfluencer,” or a landlord for a variety of Fairview residences. Prime example: the bold branding of a quartet of historical walk-ups between Granville and Oak. Each is topped with a Union Jack flag and features three to 15 animal statues on the front lawn—one unified look for all the properties of a local real estate mogul. That’s branding, baby! It’s also a veritable safari. At Linden Hall (2845 Hemlock St., valued at $3.6 million), not one but four golden lions guard the doors, while a dopey bear squats on the perimeter. All are chained up, which I would argue adds an interesting urban grit to an otherwise pastoral scene, and provides peace of mind in the event that these animals come to life at any point, Night at the Museum–style. The Queen Elizabeth (1395 W 13th Ave., valued at $8.7 million), across the street, is slightly more restrained in

Landlording is the side hustle, presumably to support his extreme statue habit. its decor, with long-necked kittens, a surprisingly lifelike golden retriever and a bear with a mysterious plaque that reads like a veiled threat (“For all of us forever”). The Queen Mary (1465 W 14th, worth $6.7 million) on the next block is downright minimalist, featuring just a single lion chilling by the doorway, while at 1285 W 11th (valued at $4.9 million), a concrete elephant is accented by a sprinkling of stained-glass artworks, a daring balance of heavy and light. The only problem with the bold branding of this real estate empire? There’s no sign of the mastermind behind it all. But through some impressive investigative research (specifically, paying $24.99 to the Land Title Registry), I have deduced that the owner of these properties is real estate appraiser William V. Falcus. Falcus was raised in Seattle before heading to Canada during the Vietnam draft, but his father was a

British soldier. (Union Jack mystery solved!) After studying real estate and appraisal at UBC, he’s been running his own business for four decades. Landlording is the side hustle, presumably to support his extreme statue habit, but he’s so good at it that he was featured in THE Leasehold Estate magazine recently. I called to ask what the animal obsession is about, but he didn’t respond. So I faxed him. And sent him a letter. And called again. Daily (and I’m millennialesque, so you know it’s painful to pick up a phone). No luck as of press time, but while I may not have solved this particular mystery, I have found a new, burning question to investigate: is it stranger to cover your properties with stone animals or to commit phone harassment against a kindly local landlord? Got a question for City Informer? stacey.mclachlan@vanmag.com

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Date: April 2019

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C OV E R STORY

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RESTAURANT

AWARDS 2019 ★ READY, SET, EAT! The package you’re presently holding is a result of a lot of eating by a lot of judges. The process starts as soon as last year’s awards are done and doesn’t stop until this issue goes to press. In the interim there are hundreds of meals, a few glasses of wine and plenty of heated debates. These are the results—dig in.

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Neal McLennan Tanya Goehring

photographs by

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★ RESTAURANT AWARDS 2019

In a new city like Vancouver, Poirier is the chef and St. Lawrence the restaurant that provide some culinary ballast to our relentless ambition.

Restaurant of the Year St. Lawrence

TANYA GOEHRING

269 Powell St., stlawrencerestaurant.com IN THE 12 YEARS from 1997 to 2008, our coveted Restaurant of the Year award was won by one of two restaurants: Lumière (seven times) or West (five times). But in the 12 years since, an astonishing 10 different restaurants have won the big prize, and that figure speaks to how much our restaurant industry has grown and diversified since the Olympics came to town. Winners have run the gamut from upscale Thai to casual Italian and from bare-bones locavorism to formal Chinese—and if there’s one thread that typifies each restaurant’s greatness, it’s an ability to stand out in an increasingly elevated and competitive marketplace. All of which is to say that winning Restaurant of the Year back to back in 2018 and 2019 is truly exceptional. St. Lawrence is that restaurant, and JC Poirier, not coincidentally our Chef of the Year, is the man who steers this portal to the Québécois food of his youth. By now the chef’s journey has been well documented: arriving in town with only a soupçon of English, rising quickly through the ranks (at the abovelauded Lumière), a too-early reach for the top with Chow on South Granville, and the slow but steady path back to the peak. They’re all key elements to the success story that is St. Lawrence, and taken as a whole, they afford a certain understanding of how hard it is to achieve excellence as a chef in this town. But the true picture really emerges when you sit down with this modest man: his gaze is relentlessly focused without being angry; heavy with obligation to his team, to his family, yet seemingly devoid of bald ambition. He’s a

maestro in the kitchen, yet he approaches his job not as star but as workhorse. If a chef like Wolfgang Puck (let’s use someone far away for self-preservation) comes across as the master of the three-ring circus, Poirier comes across as the guy who would shovel the elephant shit without complaint if that’s what it took to achieve his goals. Where most lauded chefs favour the formal white coat, JC is at home on the line in his workman’s sturdy apron. And while St. Lawrence is undoubtedly the flagship, our judges were struck by the consistent quality at all his restaurants: Ask for Luigi, Pourhouse, Di Beppe and Pizzeria Farina were all singled out for excelling in their own particular niches. But it’s the open kitchen at St. Lawrence that fires the engine. “I can’t think of more honest food being served in town,” noted one judge, reminiscing about the chef’s ability to take the classics—vol-au-vent, Paris-Brest—and present them in a way that simultaneously honours their past while still making them seem as if he invented them last week. In the case of the last entry, it’s in part true— he transforms the classic dessert of choux pastry and praline cream by subbing in a creamy duck liver, then dripping maple syrup on top for a starter of unrepentant richness. His daily terrines are so thought out and intricately assembled that one half expects Ian Gillespie to commission him to design the next Oakridge tower. They’re the sort of dishes, as one judge noted, that have “every young culinary student angling for a position here,” and one can see why. They want to learn at the hands of a chef who has separated himself from the madding crowd with a recipe of discipline, focus, talent and kindness.

Chef of the Year JC Poirer St Lawrence

It’s a rarity in these awards that a chef wins Chef of the Year and his restaurant wins Restaurant of the Year, and that’s because the former award takes into account an entire career, whereas the latter focuses more on a 12-month window of excellence. But this year there’s little doubt that the chef and the restaurant are exceptional in every sense of the word.

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★ RESTAURANT AWARDS 2019

The reality is that, notwithstanding the underthe-radar location, chefs Katagiri and Maniwa are well known as two of the best in town.

Best New Restaurant 1 Stem Japanese Eatery 5205 Rumble St., stemjapanese.ca 2 Pepino’s 631 Commercial Dr., pepinos.ca 3 Ugly Dumpling 1590 Commercial Dr., uglydumpling.ca honourable mention

TANYA GOEHRING

Elisa, Como Taperia

IN THE 30 YEARS of these awards, there’s only ever been two non-Vancouver restaurants that have won the Best New category (Burnaby’s the Pear Tree in 1999 and West Vancouver’s La Regalade in 2003). But as the city’s cost of living rises, our foodie diaspora is spilling well beyond the municipal boundaries…all the way, it seems, to a perfectly bland strip mall a few blocks south of Burnaby’s Metrotown. It would be easy to cast the duo behind Stem Japanese Eatery as two scrappy upstarts with a dream, willing to set up across the street from a 7-Eleven because no one will back them. But the reality is that, notwithstanding the underthe-radar location, chefs Tatsuya Katagiri and Yoshiaki Maniwa are well known as two of the best in town. They had helped guide Zest, a multiple Gold winner, to a huge upset when they toppled Tojo’s decadeslong lock on the Gold in Best Japanese. Two years ago they left Zest (it became Yuwa,

itself a two-time Gold winner) and maintained a low profile until they opened Stem just days before the end of 2017 (and were therefore out of consideration for last year’s awards). As is their style, there was no hoopla around their return, no media blitz: they just showed up one day and started cooking. And what cooking—“homey, lush comfort and razor’s-edge innovation create surprising flavours that satiate the soul as well as the palate,” said one judge. The menu is an explosion of ideas and enthusiasm: regular menu, omakase, fresh menu and even a kids’ menu. Taking Silver is the reimagined red-sauce joint Pepino’s, where the team behind Savio Volpe took the legacy (and location) of Nick’s Spaghetti House and somehow managed to transform it into a spot that seems fresh and nostalgic in equal measure. Here, what could have been played for kitsch is instead reinterpreted and honoured—a fitting homage to the former occupant. And Bronze goes to Commercial Drive’s Ugly Dumpling, a largely no-frills spot with a famously tiny kitchen that nonetheless manages to turn out wildly inventive takes on modern Japanese-inspired dishes with heady ambition on the ever-changing menu.

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TANYA GOEHRING

Amber Bruce and Shane Taylor kicking back at the Keefer Bar.


★ RESTAURANT AWARDS 2019

For Taylor, it’s about the wine, the people ordering it and their experience in enjoying it, and he’s happy out of the spotlight.

Best Sommelier Shane Taylor CinCin 1154 Robson St., cincin.net When Shane Taylor’s name was first brought up for Sommelier of the Year, the response was swift: “He’s already won it,” said the judges. “I don’t think he has,” I replied, hesitant because I agreed it seemed odd that he hadn’t already been lauded. Notwithstanding his youthful face (I have no idea if he’s in his

20s or 30s), as wine director of CinCin he seems so much a part of the wine fabric of the city that surely his name must be on the trophy. But I triple-checked, and it isn’t—though the entire discussion says something about the kind of sommelier Taylor is. There’s little doubt about his talent: he has a take-him-toVegas-like-Rain Man memory for wine. It’s these unassailable technical chops that saw him crowned B.C.’s best sommelier in 2017 by the Canadian

Association of Professional Sommeliers. But his technical knowledge is only part of the story. His real talent is in making it not about him: never showing off his monolithic knowledge, never pushing high-priced bottles, never putting himself at centre stage. For Taylor, it’s about the wine, the people ordering it and their experience in enjoying it, and he’s happy out of the spotlight. But tough luck, Shane—the secret is out. You’re the Sommelier of the Year.

Best Bartender

Amber Bruce The Keefer Bar

TANYA GOEHRING

135 Keefer St., thekeeferbar.com IT WAS A DECADE AGO that a group of local bartenders (many of them alumni of this category) got together and founded the Canadian Professional Bartenders Association, as a way of recognizing how their vocation had advanced past the realm of part-time gig into something that, at its highest level, approaches a calling and an art. One of the aspects of being a profession is the twinned concept of mentoring and apprenticeship, and there’s no better poster child for this than Amber Bruce. Like many, she started her career in modest environs: the Moxie’s at Broadway and Burrard, where Bruce worked while at UBC. But she is far from dissing the low-brow chain; in fact, to her it was the foundation of her studies in what it means to be a good bartender: refill drinks and check on your customers to make sure they’re happy. Repeat. Graduation brought a major step—to Sean Heather’s Shebeen—and the Long

Island iced teas gave way to Islay, Skye and Orkney at the whisky-heavy spot. But on-the-job learning took her only so far, so Bruce’s Sunday mornings were given over to the church of spirits that was Sunday School, presided over by 2013 BOTY winner “H.” She dove into his colourful lectures on techniques, service and all manner of cocktail ephemera. The homework paid off—she was soon running her own bar program at Gastown’s Cuchillo and killing it at cocktail competitions. And by any standard, she had arrived. But when one of her mentors—2012 BOTY Danielle Tatarin—announced she was leaving the legendary Keefer Bar for a new job in Cabo, it was Bruce who left her sweet gig and dropped into the controlled mayhem that is the Keefer. “Honestly, I thought I was fast before I started at the Keefer,” she recalls, thinking of those first few services, which had her head spinning at the speed and variety that needed to be mastered to satisfy the Keefer’s demanding clientele. But like a drink-slinging Jedi, she remembered her training: how’s your drink, can I get you something else. Repeat. And before

One of the aspects of being a profession is the twinned concept of mentoring and apprenticeship, and there’s no better poster child for this than Amber Bruce. long, the frenetic pace seemed natural, so much so that she now manages the melee. But for someone with competitionhardened mad skills, she still sees herself as the student: “There’s always going to be something I don’t know,” she says. But to everyone else, it’s clear that her apprenticeship has long since concluded. It’s now Bruce who will shepherd the next generation of talent through the trials and tribulations of life on the boards. And she’ll do it as Bartender of the Year.

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★ RESTAURANT AWARDS 2019

1 Pepino’s 631 Commercial Dr., pepinos.ca 2 Elisa 1109 Hamilton St., elisasteak.com 3 Coquille 181 Carrall St., coquillefineseafood.com honourable mentions

Origo Club, Tacofino Ocho

IT TAKES A DEFT HAND to make a space feel like it’s always been there without turning to Disneyish clichés— and so Gold for Best New Design goes to Ste. Marie for its work converting the 62-year-old institution that was Nick’s Spaghetti House into Pepino’s. The design of the warm red-sauce joint conjures the spirit of an era when the spaghetti was twirled high on plates and wood-panelled walls developed a gorgeous patina from time and many cigarettes. The high-tops and mosaictiled entry offer the perfect spot for a glass of Barolo while you wait with

the crush for an in-demand table in the back, while the space itself feels as authentic as it gets, down to the ode-toGoodfellas tabletop lights (rechargeable to eliminate unwieldy cords) and hand-drawn caricatures of former Nick’s regulars that now feature on the back wall. Silver goes to Elisa for turning the bold and brash steakhouse vibe on its head with a luxe space that features feminine details like a pretty marble bar and chevron tiling, while Coquille takes Bronze for a charming under-the-sea feeling replete with poppy fish-scale tiles and conch-shell-like booth seats.

IAN L ANTERMAN

Best New Design

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AMBLESIDE

IAN L ANTERMAN

FALSE CREEK

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★ RESTAURANT AWARDS 2019

2 4 3 5 1

Premier Crew Stephan Cachard

Each night he gives a master class on how to gracefully orchestrate the rhythms of a restaurant and curate memorable dining experiences for his guests. If you’re a repeat guest he’ll remember you, and if you’re new he’ll make it all seem special.

Boulevard’s

845 Burrard St., boulevard.ca

JP Potters He juggles the myriad demands of a large hotel restaurant with ease, seamlessly shuttling back and forth between large group events and couples enjoying intimate chef’s tasting menus à deux, making sure all is on point and helping navigate the voluminous wine list.

3

Savio Volpe’s

615 Kingsway Ave., saviovolpe.com

4

Orto’s

1600 MacKay Rd., North Vancouver, ortoartisanpasta.com

Bistro Wagon Rouge’s 5

1869 Powell St., bistrowagonrouge.com

Miguel Quezada

Brigitte Rayé

Jesse Walters

Savio’s vibe is the best in town, and he’s the maestro responsible for this energetic atmosphere who keeps the packed room running smoothly yet relaxed feeling at the same time. And does the same for Pepino’s when needed.

From her start at her husband’s Michelinstarred restaurant in Paris to now working with her son at Orto, she is always the quintessential host, extraordinarily welcoming with an impeccable memory for faces and dining preferences.

Enthusiastic barely covers it. His job is to make your day a bit better, and he definitely succeeds—with at-ease service and a wine list that makes you feel like you’re being let in on a secret every time you read it.

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TANYA GOEHRING

Uncle Tong and his wife, Oi Lin Leung (Auntie Tong to friends).


★ RESTAURANT AWARDS 2019

WORLD’S BEST CONTEMPORARY GIN WORLD GIN AWARDS 2019

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Chef Leung Yiu Tong

TANYA GOEHRING

Hoi Tong, 8191 Westminster Hwy. #155, Richmond (closed) WITH HIS WIFE BY HIS SIDE, chef/owner Leung Yiu Tong (or Uncle Tong, as he is known to his regulars) has been in the restaurant business for over 50 years, delivering incredibly focused dining experiences at Hoi Tong Seafood Restaurant with such consistency that it felt somehow instinctual. I once asked Uncle Tong why he continued to work so hard when he had already accomplished so much over a long and distinguished career. He said there would be a day when he would no longer be able to execute to the highest standards, so while he could, he simply wanted to practise his craft. So everyone knew the end was coming, but it was still a shock when Uncle Tong announced he was retiring and that the last meals would be served at Hoi Tong just a few weeks after the Lunar New Year. His Cantonese food was a reflection of the high ideals of Hong Kong-style restraint and refinement. Sweet-and-sour pork underpinned with hawthorn berry juice for jewel-bright freshness. Milk stir-fried with egg whites to trembling textural perfection, recalling a time from the chef’s youth when

milk was available only once a year from local farmers’ water buffalo, and to waste such a precious product would be disaster. Salt-baked chicken and roasted squab dripping with succulence—the skin rendered crisp and glossy. Bitter melon omelettes bitingly green and fresh, softly set and flecked with preserved meats to give gentle savour. As much as we have been blessed with Uncle Tong’s cooking, he would say he has been lucky to have an engaged and loyal clientele: diners with considered palates who don’t fall for easy flavours but who understand the truth of ingredients and have appreciation for a chef’s skills in crafting food with honesty and integrity. Customers who want only the best, and love Uncle Tong all the more for delivering it humbly and quietly, as if it were the easiest thing in the world to do. And so the last meal draws to an end; the dishes are cleared, aprons are hung and the kitchen burners are turned off for the last time. Customers savour their final bites slowly. Thank you, Uncle Tong. Everything was delicious.—Lee Man

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Via Tevere will get another shiny Gold this year, thanks to a continued flawless approach.

Best Pizzeria 1 Via Tevere 1190 Victoria Dr., viateverepizzeria.com 2 Pizza Farina 915 Main St., pizzeriafarina.com 3 Bufala 5395 West Blvd., bufala.ca honourable mentions

Corduroy Pie Company, Ignite

The explosion of pizza joints over the past few years has now settled down, and this has allowed the judges to take a solid survey of who’s cranking out the best pies in the city. And they’ve decided that repeat winner Via Tevere will get another shiny Gold this year, thanks to a continued flawless approach to churning out perfect pies. JC Poirier’s purposeful hole in the wall, Pizzeria Farina, gets Silver, and make no mistake: beneath the casual and über-relaxed vibe, this is a kitchen that’s deadly serious about producing pizzas that knock it out of the park every time. And Bronze goes to the beating heart of the Kerrisdale food scene, Bufala, where the well-heeled celebrate that they don’t have to leave home to score some of the best-loved pies anywhere in town.

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★ RESTAURANT AWARDS 2019

Best Pan-Asian 1 Kissa Tanto 263 E Pender St., kissatanto.com 2 Heritage Asian Eatery 1108 W Pender St., eatheritage.com 3 Longtail Kitchen 810 Quayside Dr. #116, New Westminster, longtailkitchen.com honourable mentions

Torafuku, Penang Delight

VIA TEVERE: TANYA GOEHRING; KISSA TANTO: IAN L ANTERMAN

This is a category that tries to capture the insanely high level of diverse cooking that takes its inspiration from that massive continent to the west, and there’s no more inspired cooking than what’s coming out of Joel Watanabe’s ItalianJapanese hybrid, Gold winner

Kissa Tanto. This year saw even more consistency, and high-wire-act dishes like the spaghettini, which somehow manages to incorporate thyme pork sausage, soy pickled garlic, almond parsley pesto and ginger crumb and still seems totally in harmony. Silver goes to Felix Zhou’s no-frills Heritage Asian Eatery, where the simple menu focusing on baos and bowls wows in precise preparation and wonderfully low prices. Third place is way out in New West, where Angus An’s Longtail Kitchen takes things even further down the casual meter but where the devoted flock to devour high-end dishes for food court prices.

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★ RESTAURANT AWARDS 2019

Best Seafood 1 Boulevard 845 Burrard St., boulevardvancouver.ca 2 Coquille 181 Carrall St., coquillefineseafood.com 3 Landmark Hotpot 4023 Cambie St., landmarkhotpot.com honourable mentions

Oddfish, Blue Water Cafe

Swad impressed the judges by offering a more intimate dining experience that “feels like a neighbourhood spot” and highlighting a variety of cuisines— Kashmiri, Bengali and Hyderabadi.

Best Indian 1 Swad 1734 Marine Dr., West Vancouver, swadindiankitchen.ca 2 My Shanti 15869 Croydon Dr., Surrey, vijs.ca/my-shanti 3 Dosa Corner 8248 Fraser St., dosacorner.ca honourable mentions

Vij’s, Sachdeva Sweets

For over 20 years this was Vikram Vij and Meeru Dhalwala’s category, either through their flagship spot, Vij’s, or their offshoots, Rangoli and My Shanti. In fact, since this category was founded, no one else has ever won it. But this year sees an end to that memorable reign in the unlikely form of West Van’s

Swad, the two-year-old space that impressed the judges by offering a more intimate dining experience that “feels like a neighbourhood spot” and highlighting a variety of cuisines—Kashmiri, Bengali and Hyderabadi. But, of course, Vikram and Meeru are never far, and the glittering My Shanti takes Silver, ruling south of the Fraser with wildly inventive dishes like chattra sagar (wild boar and lamb kebabs) that perhaps the city sometimes takes for granted. Taking Bronze is Dosa Corner, a no-frills joint on the industrial stretch of deep south Fraser Street that knocks it out of the park with their take on Punjabi crepes.

Gold medal winner Boulevard does so many things right that it’s sometimes easy to forget that it’s first and foremost a seafood restaurant. But our judges didn’t forget, and they rewarded chefs Alex Chen and Roger Ma (and perhaps the most talented team of souschefs in town) for their innovative take on all things fish, like the complex seared ling cod with mushroom relish, grilled shiitake mushrooms and bonito crème fraîche served in a ham hock dashi. A surprise Silver goes to newcomer Coquille, where staffing issues and a whole lotta hype didn’t detract from the magic that chef Lee Cooper and team can work when he crafts a deconstructed bouillabaisse. And rounding out the trio with Bronze is Landmark Hotpot, representing the school of thought that this city’s Chinese restaurants are where the truly great seafood resides, and this spot’s skill with geoduck might be Exhibit A.

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★ RESTAURANT AWARDS 2019

Chef Andrea Carlson transforms her jewel box of a room into a master course on taking the bounty of this area and moulding it into tiny, tasty treatises of what it means to create magic from sustainability.

1 Burdock and Co 2702 Main St., burdockandco.com 2 AnnaLena 1809 W 1st Ave., annalena.ca 3 Nightingale 1017 W Hastings St., hawknightingale.com honourable mentions

Farmer’s Apprentice, the Pear Tree

This year sees this at-timesunwieldy category finally settle down to recognize a trio of restaurants that truly encapsulates Vancouver locavorism. First up with Gold is criminally under­ appreciated Burdock and Co, where chef Andrea Carlson transforms her jewel box of a room into a master course on taking the bounty of this area and moulding it into

tiny, tasty treatises of what it means to create magic from sustainability. Taking Silver is Kits’s AnnaLena, a room that continues to be one of the hardest reservations in town since opening five years ago, in large part because chef Michael Robbins oversees a menu with gems like trout with roe and chive beurre blanc that have an unwavering sense of place. The Bronze goes to David Hawksworth’s Nightingale—another coveted reservation—where the famed chef and his executive chef, Phil Scarfone, are able to do the near-impossible feat of populating the big room by creating flawless dishes that have local provenance.

BURDOCK AND CO. ALISON KUHL

Best West Coast

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★ RESTAURANT AWARDS 2019

Best Italian 1 Savio Volpe 615 Kingsway, saviovolpe.com 2 Giardino 1328 Hornby St., umberto.com/giardino 3 CinCin 1154 Robson St., cincin.net

Its combination of atmosphere, affordability and a dialed-in but not doctrinaire take on regional Italian has redefined Italian food in Vancouver.

honourable mentions

La Quercia, Ask for Luigi

Restau

SAVIO VOLPE: IAN L ANTERMAN

In choosing Savio Volpe as the Gold winner, our judges have aligned themselves with the public, who have made Savio perhaps the town’s toughest table to get since it opened three years ago. Its combination of atmosphere, affordability and a dialed-in but not doctrinaire take on regional Italian—suckling pig and chicken agnolotti with sage—has redefined Italian food in Vancouver. It feels like a neighbourhood joint…for the entire city. A surprise Silver goes to Umberto Menghi’s Giardino, showing that the legendary restaurateur can still deliver precisely made classics like bistecca alla Fiorentina that suit the type of locals who aren’t interested in chasing the next big thing but who want their food on point and on time. And Bronze goes to Robson Street’s CinCin, which keeps its mid-career renaissance going strong even as executive chef Andrew Richardson attends to the new Elisa steakhouse, in part thanks to a stellar wine program (see page 39) and wood-fired gems like lamb sirloin with salsa verde.

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SAVIO VOLPE: IAN L ANTERMAN

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★ RESTAURANT AWARDS 2019

Best Ramen 1 Marutama Several locations, marutama.ca 2 Hokkaido Ramen Santouka 558 W Broadway; 1690 Robson St., santouka.co.jp 3 Danbo 1833 W 4th Ave., 1333 Robson St., ramendanbo.com honourable mentions

Motomachi Shokudo, Ramen Koika

This is always a tough category, as even middling spots see lineups worthy of a new Avengers movie. But even in this crowded market, there are spots where the wait is worth it. Like Gold winner Marutama, where the expertly balanced chickenbased broth packs the perfect umami punch without heaviness and the noodles are made in-house. Silver goes to Hokkaido Ramen Santouka, where rich stock made with a tonkotsu base is simmered

for 20 hours. The judges loved the toroniku ramen—thinly sliced pork cheek served on a separate platter along with traditional accompaniments. Tender, luscious, indulgent. And Bronze goes to Danbo, which specializes in Fukuoka-style tonkotsu ramen, and you can customize your own bowl with thickness and firmness of noodles, level of spiciness, thickness and richness of broth…build-abowl noodles, so to speak.

The expertly balanced chicken-based broth packs the perfect umami punch without heaviness.

Best Vegetarian

CARLO RICCI

1 The Acorn 3995 Main St., theacornrestaurant.ca 2 Aleph Eatery 1889 Powell St., alepheatery.com 3 Virtuous Pie Multiple locations, virtuouspie.com honourable mentions

We rested this category last year and boy, did we get an earful! And fair enough, as one of the hallmarks of dining in Vancouver is our mastery of plant-based cooking. In this realm no one touches Gold winner the Acorn, Shira Blustein’s perennially packed OG of high-end vegetarian cooking—always busy, in part because it attracts non-vegetarians with an I-wanna-order-everything menu that creates magic by making celeriac, halloumi and radish the stars of the show. Taking Silver is the Powell Street newcomer Aleph Eatery, where owner Tibo El Khatib offers a heartfelt take on Middle Eastern cuisine with dishes like enoki shawarma tacos and a menu that one notices is meat-free only well after ordering. Bronze goes to the trailblazing now mini-chain Virtuous Pie, which has silenced many a skeptic with its vegan pizzas and lineup-inducing weekend brunches.

THE ACORN (LEF T); T YSON FAST, SEAN DAVID

The Arbor, Heirloom

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Best Chain 1 Cactus Club Several locations, cactusclubcafe.com 2 Joey Several locations, joeyrestaurants.com 3 Nook Several locations, nookrestaurant.ca honourable mentions

THE ACORN (LEF T); T YSON FAST, SEAN DAVID

Tacofino, Earls

The cornerstone of a good chain restaurant is the ability to replicate cooking and service elements in a disparate set of locales. The sign of a great one is that it delights and surprises the diner while still observing the repetition, and that idea describes Gold medallist Cactus Club to a T. Much of the year saw the chain continuing to steamroll the competition back east, but here it saw chef Rob Feenie continuing his incremental experimentation coming out of the Broadway and Ash test kitchen. Silver medallist Joey sometimes feels like it’s playing the Stones to Cactus’s Beatles: a little edgier, expanding south as opposed to east and poaching chef Matthew Stowe to join Chris Mills in its new state-ofthe-art test kitchen just down from the hopping Bentall location. Bronze goes to the always-understated Nook, whose three locations (soon to be four) are always full with those looking for classic Napoli pizza and on-point pastas at a price point that always seems 20 percent lower than it should be.

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★ RESTAURANT AWARDS 2019

Best Dim Sum 1 Golden Paramount 8111 Anderson Rd., Richmond, goldenparamount.com 2 Chef Tony 4600 No. 3 Rd., Richmond, cheftonycanada.com 3 Dynasty 777 W Broadway, dynasty-restaurant.ca honourable mentions

Fisherman’s Terrace, Yue Delicacy

Once in the cozy blue-hued room, everything and everyone works in unison, and you’re transported to the Quebec food of chef Poirier’s youth.

Best French 1 St. Lawrence 269 Powell St., stlawrencerestaurant.com 2 Le Crocodile 909 Burrard St. #100, lecrocodilerestaurant.com 3 Au Comptoir 2278 W 4th Ave., aucomptoir.ca honourable mentions

Café Salade de Fruits, Tableau Bar Bistro

It had to happen. After 11 years of having Le Crocodile atop the French throne (and 17 Golds in total), JC Poirier’s St. Lawrence has earned the Gold with authentic but playful takes on the Paris-Brest, venison tourtière and choucroute garnie that have made secur-

ing a table at the east-side eatery about as easy as winning the lottery. But once in the cozy blue-hued room, everything and everyone works in unison, and you’re transported to the Quebec food of chef Poirier’s youth (with a few welcome elevations). Michel Jacob’s Le Crocodile hasn’t gone far: its Silver, a testament to a level of focus and consistency that has no equal in town and a chef/owner for whom the word “legendary” seems insufficient. Securing Bronze is the Kitsilano arrondissement’s ode to the honest, inviting world of Parisian café culture, Au Comptoir, and its playful riffs on standards like a bavette with dauphinoise potatoes.

Few cities in the world do dim sum as well as we do, and finding magic in the crowded landscape is not easy for the uninitiated. Here’s a tip: start with chef/owner May Chau’s Golden Paramount. Non­ descript doesn’t even begin to describe this Richmond stripmall spot, but once you’re inside, the careful preparation and elevated ingredients (crab shines here) are anything but standard. If you require a little more flash and dash (and a little more attentive service), Silver winner Chef Tony is happy to oblige. But there’s more to this room than crystal chandeliers—a dish of shrimp and matsutake dumplings or flaky almond meat loaf sticks will make clear that this spot takes its food very seriously. Rounding out the trio and repping the west side is Bronze winner Dynasty, where chef Garley Leung is a master of the classics—the pastry on his barbecue pork pies is heavenly.

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★ RESTAURANT AWARDS 2019

Best Korean 1 Hanwoori 5740 Imperial St., Burnaby 2 House of Tofu Soup 4563 North Rd. #1, Burnaby 3 Maru Korean Bistro 125 E 2nd St., North Vancouver, marukoreanbistro.com honourable mentions

Sura, Insadong

We rested this category last year, and this year it returns with a mix of old classics and up-and-comers. Gold winner Hanwoori is solidly in the old-classics realm—holding down on the same Burnaby stretch of Kingsway location for years—yet despite the drab exterior, this is a spot that routinely brings joy with its now-famous DIY Korean barbecue. Silver goes to another Burnaby spot, the out-of-the-way House of Tofu

Soup, which is even more basic than Hanwoori but nails it with an eponymous dish that you can customize by dropping in raw eggs or rice, depending on your mood (and it’s spectacularly inexpensive). On the new(er) end of the spectrum is Lower Lonsdale’s Maru Korean Bistro, which is a few notches spiffier (and pricier) than its fellow medallists and channels a more modern, Momofukuesque take on the classics.

We rested this category last year, and this year it returns with a mix of old classics and up-andcomers.

Best Casual 1 Downlow Chicken Shack 905 Commercial Dr., dlchickenshack.ca 2 Chancho Tortilleria 1206 Seymour St., chancho.ca 3 Fat Mao Noodles 217 E Georgia St., fatmaonoodles.com honourable mentions

Hey, Dumplings!, the Tuck Shoppe

We’ve resurrected this category thanks to the explosion of relaxed spots turning out some of the most buzzworthy chow in town. Take Gold winner Downlow Chicken Shack. Owners Doug Stephen and Lindsey Mann closed their beloved but poorly laid out Merchant’s Workshop last summer and moved north up Commercial Drive with an idea of serving up Nashville hot chicken, and the crowds clamouring for their wholesome fare have been non-stop. And for fun, they morph into a burger bar on Mondays, producing the city’s best in that genre as well (and the concept will get its own spot shortly). More under the radar is the tiny—and, to be honest, sort of dingy—slice of authentic Mexican that is Silver winner Chancho Tortilleria. The minuscule menu is an exercise in minimalism: three types of pork and fresh (as in made two minutes before you eat them) tortillas all served on beat-up aluminum trays. It’s perfect. Rounding out the winners with Bronze is Angus An’s Fat Mao Noodles, a sliver of a room in Chinatown that keeps it authentic and casual with pan-Asian bowls like southern Thai beef laksa.

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Best Chinese

Its refineapproach to Cantonese food continues to make it one of the busiest restaurants.

1 Chef Tony 4600 No. 3 Rd. #101, Richmond, cheftonycanada.com 2 Hoi Tong 8191 Westminster Hwy. #155, Richmond (closed) 3 Dynasty 108-777 W Broadway, dynasty-restaurant.ca honourable mentions

Jade Seafood, Sanbo

It’s been five years since Gold winner Chef Tony opened, and its refined, bustling approach to Cantonese food continues to make it one of the busiest restaurants around, thanks to its elegant room serving standout dishes like sea cucumber soaked in vinegar and a liberal use of truffles. The Silver goes to Hoi Tong, a fitting tribute to the beloved 82-year-old chef Leung Yiu Tong (see page 44), who recently retired and whose trailblazing touch with interpreting the Cantonese classics—his sweet-and-sour pork knew no equal—helped inform several generations of diners on what fine Chinese cooking can be. Rounding out the podium is former Gold winner Dynasty, where chef Sam Leung likes to push the envelope, especially with seafood, and where dishes like his deep-fried crab claws stuffed with shrimp paste cater to those not wanting to make the trip to Richmond for dynamite Chinese food.

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★ RESTAURANT AWARDS 2019

Best Bar 1 Grapes and Soda 1541 W 6th Ave., grapesandsoda.ca 2 Upstairs at Campagnolo 1020 Main St., campagnolorestaurant.ca 3 Juniper 185 Keefer St., junipervancouver.com honourable mentions

Trans Am, Shameful Tiki

TANYA GOEHRING (LEF T); CHRISTIN GILBERT (RIGHT)

What the hell is a bar, anyway? Does it have to be able to accommodate a party of eight, for example? No, say our judges—all it has to do is make the most exquisite, thoughtful cocktails in town, and that describes Gold winner Grapes and Soda perfectly. Head bartender (and last year’s Bartender of the Year) Satoshi Yonemori curates a nearperfect cocktail and spirits list

that invites thirsty travellers in for a journey that they never expected. Silver medallist Upstairs at Campagnolo has its own star attraction in bon vivant Peter Van de Reep, who’ll crank out a perfect negroni while giving a treatise on cru Beaujolais to another patron and still greeting the faithful by name as they enter this cozy local’s spot. The Bronze goes to Juniper, where the restaurant portion has never really found its footing, but where the bar program, created by Shaun Layton and continued by the recently departed Max Borrowman, hits all the notes: just the right amount of cool, a lovely lack of attitude, and magic with gin that knows few equals.

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★ RESTAURANT AWARDS 2019

Best Latin 1 Molli Café 1225 Burrard St., mollicafe.com 2 Chancho Tortilleria 1206 Seymour St., chancho.ca 3 La Taqueria Multiple locations, lataqueria.com honourable mentions

Rinconcito Salvadoreno

It’s Boulevard, continuing a banner year with pastry chef Kenta Takahashi getting the Gold.

Best Dessert 1 Boulevard 845 Burrard St., boulevardvancouver.ca 2 Au Comptoir 2278 W 4th Ave., aucomptoir.ca 3 Blue Water Cafe 1095 Hamilton St., bluewatercafe.net honourable mentions

Hawksworth, L’Abattoir

This year sees us resurrecting this category, which celebrates the restaurants which really nail the last course—and again it’s Boulevard, continuing a banner year with pastry chef Kenta Takahashi getting the Gold for

creations like the genre-bending fromage blanc, a cheese mousse and soufflé mash-up topped with a shortbread crumble and served with fresh raspberry sorbet. A surprise Silver goes to Kitsilano’s Au Comptoir, where pastry chef Julien Salomoni oversees a compact menu but one with dishes like a perfectly executed passionfruit mont blanc. (Who needs more?) And Bronze goes to perennial standout Blue Water Cafe, where pastry chef Jean-Pierre Sanchez mirrors chef Frank Pabst’s ethos of controlled experimentation.

The reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated—so said Mark Twain, but the sentiment could just have easily come from this year’s Gold winner, Molli Café, which, even when it won last year was under threat from a real estate-driven closing. But its survival is a boon for those who like their Mexican food authentic (their Saturdaysonly lamb consommé and tacos are like a bat signal for foodies) but unpretentious. Channelling the authentic vibe even harder is Silver winner Chancho Tortilleria, the Seymour Street hole in the wall (we mean that in the best way) where owner Ernesto Gomez presents diners with essentially three versions of carnitas and one vegetarian choice—all coming with freshly made tortillas that will forever change the way you approach the corn discs. Bronze goes to the don’t-call-us-achain chain, La Taqueria, which, despite continued expansion, still seems to effortlessly nail the joy of an order of beef tongue tacos.

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★ RESTAURANT AWARDS 2019

Best Japanese 1 Stem Japanese Eatery 5205 Rumble St., stemjapanese.ca 2 Yuwa 2775 W 16th Ave., yuwa.ca 3 Masayoshi 4376 Fraser St., masayoshi.ca honourable mentions

Tetsu Sushi Bar, Dosanko

We can’t talk about this year’s winners without talking about Zest, the departed restaurant that, in 2014, ended Tojo’s unprecedented 22-year reign as the winner of this category. Zest enjoyed a four-year mini-reign before

chefs Tatsuya Katagiri and Yoshi Maniwa left last year, whereupon it was rebranded as Yuwa and promptly won Gold on its own accord. But this year the chefs opened their own room, Stem, in a modest spot in the shadow of Metrotown, and they’ve earned Gold with dishes like Hotaru firefly squid and Hokkaido scallop with yuzu miso. But Yuwa is right behind with the Silver, thanks in part to its refined elegance and a wine list that is the best in the category by a wide margin. Here, preci-

sion in every dish—think chicken-thigh meatballs simmered in a shoyu dashi mirin stock and served with shimeji and oyster mushrooms—is the defining principle. Rounding out the group is the Fraser Street sliver of a room that is Masayoshi, chef Masa­yoshi’s tiny omakase-only spot, where you turn yourself over to the passion of the chef and are rewarded with a master class on nigiri.

Chefs Katagiri and Maniwa opened their own room, Stem, in a modest spot in the shadow of Metrotown, and they’ve earned Gold.

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Best Upscale

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1 Boulevard 845 Burrard St., boulevardvancouver.ca 2 Hawksworth 801 W Georgia St., hawksworthrestaurant.com 3 The Pear Tree 4120 Hastings St., peartreerestaurant.net

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honourable mentions

This past year, Gold medal winner Boulevard promoted Alex Chen, 2018’s Chef of the Year, to executive chef for all of the Sutton Place Hotel’s brands and Roger Ma took more day-to-day control of the kitchen, but the quality, inventiveness and precision that saw them win this category last year have not waned in the least. When the two are working in tandem, there’s no one who’s cooking with more finesse or ambition. Taking Silver and reaffirming itself as one of the city’s elite rooms is Hawksworth, where David Hawksworth and executive chef Quinton Bennett are likewise turning out ingredientdriven treatises on locavorism in the most elegant room in town, usually packed with the city’s who’s who. Winning Bronze is the perennially solid and under-the-radar the Pear Tree, where Scott Jaeger continues to achieve nightly greatness in the shadow of the praise heaped on lesser rooms that don’t happen to be in Burnaby.

CHRISTIN GILBERT

Botanist, Bauhaus

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O R R D

★ RESTAURANT AWARDS 2019

Chefs embrace their produce as a key building block of elevated cooking.

Producer of the Year

Best Steakhouse 1 Hy’s 637 Hornby St., hyssteakhouse.com 2 Elisa 1109 Hamilton St., elisasteak.com 3 Victor 39 Smithe St., parqvancouver .com/restaurants/the-victor honourable mentions

Gotham, Black and Blue

This year saw this traditionally static category get a major shot in the arm with a splashy new opening. Yet ultimately the judges decided that the newcomer was just too new and again rewarded Hy’s, perhaps Vancouver’s most classic

room, with Gold, in part because there may be no more comfortable place to be than sandwiched between an order of cheese toast and a bone-in rib-eye with only a gin martini to save you. The newcomer in question is Silver winner Elisa, which had been open only for a few weeks at the awards cut-off date but still wowed the judges with its voluminous steak list (the Holstein deserves special praise) and wood-fired oven overseen by chef Andrew Richardson. A surprise Bronze goes to the Parq’s Victor, the sole bright light in an otherwise underwhelming slate of restaurants at our new hotel and casino complex.

Glorious Organics

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Are there two words that go together better than “glorious” and “organics”? It’s a phrase that in 2019 seems entirely logical, but when the precursor to this co-op—the Glorious Garnish and Seasonal Salad Company—was formed in 1986, embracing organic growing was a good way to be branded a kook by the mainstream. Twenty years later, five of the original members founded Glorious Organics, and since then they’ve become a benchmark for Vancouver farmers’ markets and an indispensable partner to restaurants like Bishop’s, Forage and Boulevard, where the chefs embrace their produce as a key building block of elevated cooking. Burdock and Co’s Andrea Carlson sums it up perfectly: “They advocate for sustainability in local food systems, and, among other things, they have been a part of creating BC Eco Seed—a completely local, GE-free, ecologically grown seed company. For chefs and market shoppers, they have always offered the highest quality of pristine and hearty produce.”

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Bao Bei

L’Ufficio

Terroir Kitchen

Burdock and Co.

Best Neighbourhoods

St. Lawrence

All hail the neighbourhood restaurant. GASTOWN

Think of this category like this: you have to go to a board meeting/ summons/marriage counselling session in a certain neighbourhood and you spontaneously decide to grab a bite. Where do you go? In certain locales, it may be a temple of gastronomy; in others it may be a tasty hole in the wall. But where’s the spot that best encapsulates the neighbourhood with its food and its vibe? These winners are the answer to that question. NORTH SHORE

1 Terroir Kitchen 2232 Marine Dr., West Vancouver, terroirkitchen.com 2 Orto 1600 MacKay Rd., North Vancouver, ortoartisanpasta.com 3 Olive and Anchor  6418 Bay St., West Vancouver, oliveandanchor.com 4 Lift Breakfast Bakery 101 Lonsdale Ave., North Vancouver, liftonlonsdale.ca 5 Zen Japanese 101-2232 Marine Dr., West Vancouver, zenjapanese.ca

DOWNTOWN

1 Nook  781 Denman St., nookrestaurant.com 2 Tetsu Sushi Bar  775 Denman St. 3 Mumbai Local  1148 Davie St., mumbailocal.ca 4 Heritage Asian Eatery  1108 W Pender St., eatheritage.ca 5 Amici Miei 1114 Denman St., amicimieidenman.com CHINATOWN

1 Bao Bei  163 Keefer St., bao-bei.ca 2 Kissa Tanto  263 E Pender St., kissatanto.com 3 Upstairs at Campagnolo  1020 Main St., campagnolorestaurant.ca /upstairs-campagnolo 4 Chinatown BBQ  130 E Pender St., chinatownbbq.com 5 Torafuku  958 Main St., torafuku.ca

1 St. Lawrence  269 Powell St., stlawrencerestaurant.com 2 Ask for Luigi  305 Alexander St., askforluigi.com 3 Dosanko  566 Powell St., dosankorestaurant.com 4 Pidgin  350 Carrall St., pidginvancouver.com 5 Moltaqa  51 W Hastings St., moltaqarestaurant.com E AST SIDE

1 Burdock and Co  2702 Main St., burdockandco.com 2 Kishimoto  2054 Commercial Dr., kishimotorestaurant.com 3 Joojak  3337 Kingsway 4 Savio Volpe  615 Kingsway, saviovolpe.com 5 Masayoshi 4376 Fraser St., masayoshi.ca WEST SIDE

1 L’Ufficio  3687 W 4th Ave., laquercia.ca 2 Au Comptoir  2278 W 4th Ave., aucomptoir.ca 3 AnnaLena  1809 W 1st Ave., annalena.ca 4 Grapes and Soda  1541 W 6th Ave., grapesandsoda.ca 5 Landmark Hotpot 4203 Cambie St., landmarkhotpot.com

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M M


From ITALY to your doorstep. Domenica Fiore’s entire family of award-winning Italian products is now available online. DomenicaFiore.com

MAKE THE MOST OF SPRING 845 Hornby St, Downtown Vancouver | 604.689.7777 | wedgewoodhotel.com

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★ RESTAURANT AWARDS 2019

Best Victoria 1 Wild Mountain 1831 Maple Ave. South, Sooke, wildmountaindinners.com 2 Part and Parcel 2656 Quadra St., Victoria, partandparcel.ca 3 Olo 509 Fisgard St., Victoria, olorestaurant.com honourable mentions

Agrius, House of Boateng

Our province’s capital continues to siphon both chefs and diners in search of more affordable housing and a slower pace, and the

dining scene is exploding as a result. But Gold winner Wild Mountain isn’t interested in trends or chasing the next big thing. Instead proprietors Oliver Kienast and Brooke Fader use their Sooke outpost to celebrate food prepared in measured and handcrafted reverie (their house-made root beer prosciuttini is a charcuterie revelation). Silver goes to the relentlessly offbeat Part and Parcel, which operates out of the tourist flow from its Quadra Street perch but nonetheless effortlessly

churns out show-stopping dishes like beet falafel with ricotta and grilled radicchio at prices that never get near the $20 mark. And Bronze is long-time fave Olo, where there’s been unwavering consistency coming from the kitchen of chef Brad Holmes since the space transformed from Ulla four years ago.

Proprietors Oliver Kienast and Brooke Fader use their Sooke outpost to celebrate food prepared in measured and handcrafted reverie.

Best Whistler 1 Alta Bistro 4319 Main St., altabistro.com Grill Room 4599 Chateau Blvd., fairmont.com/whistler/dining/grillroom Araxi 4222 Village Sq., araxi.com honourable mentions

Well, sooner or later the local secret had to get out, and this is the year our judges decided to spill it: Gold winner Alta Bistro is the best restaurant in Whistler. Chef Nick Cassettari has been a model of overperforming for almost a decade now, somm Eric Griffith curates the most interesting list in town, and the young and carefree vibe has none of the formality that can affect resort dining. Silver goes to last year’s surprise winner, the Grill Room, where chef Eric Bendig shows that being attached to a hotel—the Fairmont Chateau Whistler—doesn’t mean that the food has to be expected and safe. And Bronze goes to the rock-steady Araxi, where even a trying year with chef changes couldn’t keep the perennial Gold winner off the podium.

ALTA BISTRO, CHRIS BROIWN; WILD MOUNTAIN, ERIK A ARBOUR-NEVINS

Bar Oso, the Red Door

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ALTA BISTRO, CHRIS BROIWN; WILD MOUNTAIN, ERIK A ARBOUR-NEVINS

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★ RESTAURANT AWARDS 2019

1 Waterfront Wines 1180 Sunset Dr., Kelowna, waterfrontrestaurant.ca 2 Raudz 1560 Water St., Kelowna, raudz.com 3 Liquidity Bistro 4720 Allendale Rd., Okanagan Falls, liquiditywines.com/Bistro honourable mentions

Miradoro at Tinhorn Creek, Old Vines at Quails’ Gate

This is getting silly. This category has seen a pantheon of different judges over the years and no matter what the mix, the result is the same: Mark Filatow’s Waterfront Wines

wins gold…for the 3,000thtime. (It’s actually only 11.) And this in a year where Filatow could have easily taken his eye off the ball with the opening of his casual lunch spot, Waterfront Café. But no—the food coming out of Waterfront’s kitchen—try ling cod and trout rye tempura for a sample—continues to wow our judges, as does one of the best-curated wine lists in the Interior. Silver goes to the only restaurant more iconic than Waterfront: Rod Butters and Audrey Surrao’s institution Raudz, where a

reinvigorated menu shows that Butters can still throw down with anyone in the province. Bronze drops on Liquidity Bistro, where owner Ian MacDonald continues to shake up the

old order of how wineries (and winery restaurants) are run, with chef Matt Martin offering an innovative take on a tastingroom menu with dishes like squab with cherry and shiso.

WATERFRONT WINESPINSTRIPE PRODUCTION

Best Okanagan

1

We are Gordon Food Service

OrtoMAY19QT_as.indd 1

Delivering high quality food service products and customer service in BC since 1965. Congratulations to all of the Vancouver Restaurant Award nominees and winners. Cheers to you!

Connect with us at gfs.ca

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See you in Victoria!

WATERFRONT WINESPINSTRIPE PRODUCTION

Orto artisan pasta is a true gem of a restaurant. Hand-made pasta, fresh herbs and locally-sourced vegetables make this a unique place on the North Shore. Warm and attentive service will make you feel like you are visiting a friend. In the summer, patrons can dine on the patio in a lush garden. On colder days, the rustic dining room is welcoming and cozy. Reservations recommended. 1600 Mackay Road, North Vancouver | 604-929-0203 | ortoartisanpasta.com

OrtoMAY19QT_as.indd 1

509 Fisgard St, Victoria, BC | 250.590.8795 @olorestaurant | olorestaurant.com

2019-04-11 10:54 AM

The vodka for those who choose the path less traveled

#toastTheUnfollower PLEASE DRINK RESPONSIBLY. RUSSIAN STANDARD® VODKA. ©2019 MANUFACTURED AND DISTRIBUTED BY ROUST CANADA

PM

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★ RESTAURANT AWARDS 2019

The Judges

★ Joie Alvaro Kent is a freelance

★ Robert McCullough is a vice

★ Jim Tobler has been a maga-

writer, full-contact eater and

president of Penguin Random

zine editor and a food and wine

★ Christina Burridge is the

cocktail lover who contributes

House Canada and publisher

writer for over 23 years. He has

executive director of the

regularly to Nuvo and Montecris-

of Appetite, its Vancouver-

co-authored four cookbooks,

BC Seafood Alliance.

to magazines. Her work has also

based imprint with a carefully

with the chefs of West, Blue

★ Sid Cross continues his

appeared in Vancouver maga-

curated list of best-selling and

Water Cafe, Araxi and CinCin.

lifelong passion for and

zine and Best Places Vancouver.

award-winning food, drink,

★ Lindsay William-Ross is the

pursuit of high-quality food

★ Anya Levykh is a food,

health and lifestyle titles.

managing editor of Vancouver

and wine and volunteering

drink and travel writer who

★ Fernando Medrano is

Is Awesome. A fifth-generation

his time to help others.

covers all things ingestible for

an avid eater who has a

Vancouverite, she was previously

★ Sven Freybe is the sixth

print, radio and digital. She

penchant for hole-in-the-

the food editor of Daily Hive, se-

generation and CEO in his

also edits—and voraciously

wall restaurants. When not

nior editor of Vancity Buzz and

family’s sausage and deli meats

collects—cookbooks.

eating, he dabbles in tech.

editor-in-chief of LAist.com.

business, Freybe Gourmet

★ Lee Man is a regular contribu-

★ Mijune Pak is the founder of

★ Iris Yim is an experienced edi-

Foods, which celebrates its

tor to Vancouver magazine and

FollowMeFoodie.com, a Food

tor who has worked in both Hong

175th anniversary this year.

is a founding judge for the

Network Canada personality

Kong and Vancouver. She writes

★ Gail Johnson is an award-win-

Chinese Restaurant Awards.

and resident judge on Top Chef

travel and gourmet articles for

ning print, web and broadcast

★ Brendon Mathews is a

Canada and Iron Chef Canada.

different Chinese magazines

journalist and a regular contrib-

freelance food writer with

★ Tim Pawsey writes and

and blogs in Vancouver, includ-

utor to CBC Radio, the Georgia

expertise in Chinese cuisine,

shoots at Hiredbelly.com, and

ing EliteGen, AutoNerve, West

Straight, the Globe and Mail,

and a judge of the Chinese

for Where, Quench, Taste, Vitis,

Canada Weekly and bcbay

Yahoo Canada and other outlets.

Restaurant Awards.

the Alchemist and others.

.com on a regular basis.

Look for our wines at your favourite wine shop or restaurant.

Buy from our online store: closdusoleil.ca Visit our Tasting Room: 2568 Upper Bench Rd, Keremeos, BC 250-499-2831 Open 7 days a week, 10am-5pm

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-02 2:21 PM

2018 R&D Rosé Blend NOW AVAILABLE IN BC LIQUOR STORES

4790 Wild Rose Street, Oliver BC

250.498.0789

info@culmina.ca

culmina.ca

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Open for lunch and dinner. Happy hours Monday-Friday 2pm-5pm

bufala.ca eat@bufala.ca 604-267-7499 5395 West Bvld.

Honoured to be nominated for Best Pizzeria!

RESTAURANT AWARDS

FINALIST

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Contemporary cuisine with the heart and soul of your grandmother’s kitchen. CHEF DAVID MUELLER MENU FAMILY STYLE SHARING | GERMAN-INSPIRED CONTEMPORARY CUISINE ATMOSPHERE CASUAL LUXURY 1 W CORDOVA ST, VANCOUVER, BC LOCATED IN GASTOWN 604 974 1147 INFO@BAUHAUS-RESTAURANT.COM

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BORN IDENTITY

What happens when a veteran restaurateur and cutting-edge branding guru join forces for the first time? Magic, hopefully. by

Neal McLennan

portrait by

Kyoko Fierro

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Colouring the Entire Operation

Pantone 722

Pantone 414

Cream Paper

Pantone 7624

If I have a reputation, it’s as the guy who can open restaurants without hood vents,”

says Seán Heather, recalling the defining characteristic that brought him to be standing on the main floor of the former Vancouver Stock Exchange at the corner of Pender and Howe late last year. Heather, owner of Salt Tasting Room, as well as the Irish Heather and Shebeen Whisk(e)y House (all ventless, btw), was only a few blocks from his Gastown base, but he may as well have been in a different city. Those three establishments— all lacking the venting that would allow a full kitchen to operate—had been opened by Heather on his own. He did the menus, the design and, to the extent that he ever thought about “branding” (and one gets the sense he did not), he was in charge of that, too. “I was an Irish guy opening an Irish pub,” he recalls. “All I had to do was hang a shingle.” But the stock exchange would be a whole different beast. For starters, he had partner: the Swiss bankers Credit Suisse, who had purchased the building and were looking for a tenant who could bring some excitement to the main floor—and they were willing to help fund something special. That meant Heather could indulge in a little assistance this time, in the form of Phoebe Glasfurd and her team at Glasfurd and Walker, the

When Glasfurd is choosing a colour palette, she’s cognizant of the material palette and colours the interior design will use, but she also pulls directly from the reference material collected for the project: “The muted tones and colours were from the old members’ club tickets for speakeasies, the creams from a stock exchange ticker tape; the burgundy was rich, like the leathers of old bars, and the terracotta is something unique and distant that worked with these palettes, and we felt it was a good distinct look for the brand.”

Brown Leather

branding juggernauts who have put their stamp on a large swath of the new rooms that have opened in Vancouver over the past decade. But as excited as Heather was to be able to call in the big guns, he was still a restaurateur who has enjoyed an unparalleled run with his rooms by trusting his instincts as to what works and what doesn’t with the fickle crowd of patrons. And so, standing in the unfinished space of the historic building, he felt the tingle of unlimited potential: “I love history, and sitting in the room that was once a vaudeville theatre and then the (infamous) Vancouver Stock Exchange, I could immediately feel the decades of stories roll by as I walked the room, the fortunes that had been made and lost here. I was hooked,” he says. He immediately dove into finding out everything he could about the building: anecdotes, background and the local characters that populated it. It was during this research that he came across a diagram showing the unique hand signals that traders would use to execute orders; he was taken not only by the similarity to those of a patron ordering a drink at a crowded bar but also by the colourful name. So when he and Glasfurd first sat down to discuss the project, he began with:

“It’s going to be called Open Outcry.”

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“I Want to Resurrect a Forgotten Language.” While doing research on the history of the building, Heather came across these hand signals, which were the hidden language of the trading floor back in the day. He was immediately fascinated by them and fell in love with the language’s name: Open Outcry. The team integrated the idea of the hand signal into much of the collateral, creating images of a hand holding a drink, bridging the two worlds. They even went as far as creating a blackand-white short film that highlights the connection.

0

1

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3

4

5

6

7

8

9

The Open Outcry hand signals were initially used for trading. They hearkened back to the building’s past, but they also are similar to a patron ordering a drink at a bar—they were perfect.” –Seán Heather

January

February

March

April

May

June

July

August

September

October

November

December

Buy

Sell

Put Option

Call Option

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All the World’s a Stage

The Scam Capital of the World Everyone involved loved the idea that back when the stock exchange was rolling, Vancouver, far from being No-Fun City, was instead a bastion of Wild West excess. Fortunes were won and lost in the space, so it was important that the identity capture this. Glasfurd plans to incorporate snippets of this rogueish past in all aspects of the branding from the words on the coasters (currently “You’ve earnt it”) to the to-be-determined images on the matchbook covers and menus that will channel the aura of a gaggle of rakes.

COURTESY OF THE VANCOUVER ARCHIVES

The building’s stock exchange history was well known, but in his research Heather discovered that before that, it had been a well-known vaudeville theatre, and he wanted to celebrate both of the building’s former iterations. And this decision wasn’t just for branding—Heather’s goal is to have a room that not only caters to the business types who work in the financial district but also to the artistic types who will appreciate the building’s history. The most obvious application is the theatricality of the bull and the bear in the logo (see page 82), but even the font choice (see page 86) was done with an eye to how an old playbill might have looked all those years ago.

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BC’S FIRST

VPN CERTIFIED NEAPOLITAN PIZZERIA

COURTESY OF THE VANCOUVER ARCHIVES

Now with 2 locations!

GASTOWN

NORTH VANCOUVER

604 669 6985

604-770-1240

62 East Cordova Street Vancouver, BC

Happy Hour 3:00pm - 6:00pm Sunday - Thursday

3142 Highland Blvd, North Vancouver, BC

Happy Hour 3:00pm - 6:00pm 7 days a week

Open 7 days a week • 11:30am until late • info@niclipizzeria.com • niclipizzeria.com • @niclipizzeria

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From Scraps to Inspiration After the initial meeting with Heather, the team gets to work. And while Glasfurd may run lead, there’s a whole crew involved: her partner, Aren Fieldwalker, of course, but also Katheryn Benedict-Perri (project manager), Spencer Pidgeon (designer), David Jackson (illustrator), Shanming Guo and Avi Bernet (animators) and Whitney Miller (production coordinator) all carving off an area to work on. Part of the magic of creating an identity is this collection of all sorts of influences and ephemera that ultimately come together to express what Open Outcry will be. For example, the cards above come from the New York speakeasies of yesteryear. They not only visually inform the design, they also inform the idea of how the bar will operate, where, hopefully, the vibe will channel some of that bygone atmosphere. In fact everything on this page, from vintage ads to a 90-year-old patent application to a turn-of-the-century dude juggling heads, is a small ingredient of the feel and look of the finished project.

The Delicate Dance of Logo Development When lay people think of branding, the main image that pops into their minds is the logo. And while that’s like judging the iceberg by looking only at the tip, there’s no doubt that the logo is hugely important. Here’s the process Heather and the team went through to reach Open Outcry’s most arresting image.

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It was Heather who brought the broad idea of the bull and the bear to the table. It seemed a natural for the building, but he wanted it to appeal to non-financial types as well. Oddly, Glasurd had received an inquiry a week before from a South African illustrator who specialized in ink drawings of animals.

The initial sketches were simply to get a feeling and broad concept flowing. There’s the bull and the bear; they’re drinking and having a grand old time. Someone says they need hats, and someone else says their drinks need to be more obvious. Both ideas are incorporated in this version.

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By this juncture, things are coming together. A more detailed drawing is completed and all looks generally good. There are a few minor changes, like the idea that a few splashes near the glass would add to the festivity and also bring an element of movement into the equation.

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We’re now good to go, save for one small thing. Looking at the final version, Heather has a nagging thought about the bow tie on the bull: “It looks like he’s a Chippendales dancer.” So back it goes to South Africa for one last change.

Finito. Everyone is happy with the final product. It will now move to inform almost all parts of the branding: the menu, the bill, the signage. For all intents and purposes, these two will represent Open Outcry to the world at large.

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In this case we had one proposal, which is the design you see here. Seán loved it, and he got the approval of building owners, so we’re moving forward.” –Phoebe Glasfurd

24" round

4"

The Sign’s the Thing 3/4"

24" round

4"

3/4" brass plates

Signs are one of those things that the average person takes for granted, but actually they’re a pretty key part of the brand identity. You also have to get on it relatively brass platesearly in the process because the city has to approve all the signage, and it takes a few weeks for them to give the thumbs-up. And the placement is likewise subject to numerous bylaws, like ensuring it’s hung at least nine feet high so passersby can’t jump up and swing on it. In this case, Heather loved the initial design (pictured here) that features the logo in etched brass, and so did the building’s owner—so it’s a go. In addition to the permanent sign, the team set up temporary branded cladding (below) to drum up excitement while construction was ongoing.

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VANCOUVER’S AWARD WINNING LIVE MUSIC RESTAURANT Voted Vancouver’s Best Restaurant with Live Entertainment 24" round

2015 | 2016 | 2018 | 2019

4"

Voted Best Live Jazz and Blues Venue 3/4" brass plates

RESERVE YOUR TABLE TODAY! 604.428.2691

BLUEMARTINIJAZZCAFE.COM 1516 YEW STREET, VANCOUVER, BC | 604 428 2691

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OPEN OUTCRY

INSTAGRAM

Instagram Grid

The Final Result Branding can be a thankless job, because when it works, the average person attributes it to someone else: the owner, an artist or an interior designer, but rarely the person who brought all those disparate disciplines into a coherent package. Everything on this page is the result of a series of investigations, presentations and decisions by the parties involved. That full-leather menu, handmade in Vancouver, costs $68, for example—is that a reasonable expenditure to commit to? How are the servers going to be dressed? What font best expresses the type of establishment Open Outcry will be? Ultimately, there’s no way to know which decisions are the right or the wrong ones. Why do some restaurants fail and some succeed? How does one spot draw you in where another leaves you cold? For Sean Heather, the answer to these questions will come when, after years of preparation, he finally opens the doors to Open Outcry this summer and sees just how many people are clamouring to come in.

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08 JANUARY 2019

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C O C KTA I L S • L U N C H • D I N N E R COMING SOON

O P E N O U TC RY AT THE EXCHANGE

PHOEBE GL ASFURD (CREATIVE DIRECTOR), AREN FIELDWALKER (MANAGING DIRECTOR), K ATHERYN BENEDICT-PERRI (PROJECT MANAGER), SPENCER PIDGEON (DESIGNER), DAVID JACKSON (ILLUSTRATOR), SHANMING GUO AND AVI BERNET (ANIMATORS), WHITNE Y MILLER (PRODUCTION COORDINATOR)

OPEN OUTCRY

Glasfurd & Walker

Glasfurd & Walker

2019-04-11 1:48 PM

BR


PHOEBE GL ASFURD (CREATIVE DIRECTOR), AREN FIELDWALKER (MANAGING DIRECTOR), K ATHERYN BENEDICT-PERRI (PROJECT MANAGER), SPENCER PIDGEON (DESIGNER), DAVID JACKSON (ILLUSTRATOR), SHANMING GUO AND AVI BERNET (ANIMATORS), WHITNE Y MILLER (PRODUCTION COORDINATOR)

CONNECTING AND INSPIRING PEOPLE

Create a memorable experience for your attendees with Backdrop Pro. It provides an alternative solution that is sleek, cost-effective and both modular and quick to set up. Backdrop Pro is a scalable scenic solution that creates an inviting and engaging event environment. It looks like a professionally designed stage set, but at a fraction of the cost. Customizable, Sustainable and Affordable – Backdrop Pro is your canvas. PSAV Sales Department Sheraton Vancouver Wall Centre psavsales@wallcentre.com 604-893-7470

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N

Meet the faces of CBC Vancouver News

7 days a week

C B C VA N CO U V E R

C B C VA N CO U V E R CBCNEWSBC

CBC.CA/BC

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N E O N LOV E / Q U E E N S O F DAV I E S T. / T H I N G S TO D O

  VA N M AG .C O M/S T Y L E

Culture ON THE RISE

SLEEP EASY For too many adults—this writer included, maybe—the very demure act of slipping into one’s PJs involves throwing on a pair of beaver-festooned flannel pants and your rattiest, most oversized T. But Jessye Ashworth, founder of the Vancouver-based Kinda Sleepwear, is making a strong case for investing in nightclothes that not only look presentable but are also made to last: relaxed button-up tops and highrise pants crafted from luxe Italian shirting cotton; striped drop-shoulder robes that are as light as the easy-breezy, oh-just-casually-lounging-at-home vibe they impart. “It’s something for you to feel really good in,” she explains, “and less of a display for the world.” For Ashworth, sporting sleepwear you genuinely like—and that is sustainably produced, to boot—is a form of selfcare. And as she draws inspo from everything from art and flamenco to the Oscar-nominated The Favourite, she has every intention of spreading the love to boudoirs far and wide. “If I like it and want to wear it,” she says, “I think other people would enjoy it, too.” by

Lucy Lau

photograph by

Kyoko Fierro

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Culture    L U C Y LOV E S o Dip your toe into the neon rainbow with Le Bon Shoppe’s signature small-batch socks ($12). Whether paired with sneakers, sandals or your chunkiest Swedish-made clogs, they’re bound to inject a jolt of life into any ’fit. vincentpark.ca

G

Th

l Acidic lime is tempered by

lustrous charmeuse in the Viola wrap dress ($675) from cult New York City–based brand No.6. The modest slit shows just enough leg, and the maxi-length fit makes it apropos for the office and summertime weddings alike. theblock.ca

Sp

m Stop traffic with this easy-breezy button-up ($688) by Dries Van Noten, which toasts prolific Danish designer Verner Panton in two ways: the original hand graphic is Panton’s own, and the arresting pylon-orange shade pays tribute to his unabashed use of colour. holtrenfrew.com

DJ, tea for Win Pre Cha

Pres

l There’s a reason rapper Cardi B shouts out

those shoes “that look like socks” in her infectious Latin-trap track “I Like It”—the kicks not only look cool, they’re comfy AF, too. We imagine the artist would approve of these statement-making sneakers ($245) by Love Moschino, which are arguably as colourful as she is. simons.ca

ON THE BRIGHT SIDE

So

Welcome summer—and wake up your wardrobe—with an electrifying palette of lime, tangerine and fuchsia. Introduce pops of yellow or aqua to an otherwise neutral ensemble, or channel the contents of your grade-school Spacemaker case by layering one highlighter hue atop another—the brighter, the better. by

ad ah Ass

Ma car cou has Som and

Lucy Lau

Pres

Vin

j One swipe of Dior’s Double Rouge lipstick ($46) in its latest—and zingiest—shade, Tutti Frutti, coats your pout in a pretty pink hue while highlighting its centre for an ever-so-subtle ombré effect that’s both moisturizing and irresistibly wearable. sephora.com

Spo

k Danish company Rains produces more than just raincoats. There are accessories, too, like the waterproof belt bag ($90), which boasts the same functional, streamlined feel that’s made their outerwear such a hit—especially among Vancouverites. simons.ca

MA

TRA

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The Wine

World is Here

GREAT FOOD. GREAT WINE LISTS. GREAT PEOPLE. The following awards were presented at the 41st Vancouver International Wine Festival on March 1. Spirited Industry Professional DJ Kearney The annual Spirited Industry Professional Award is presented to an individual who has made a significant contribution to the sales, service or promotion of wine in British Columbia. DJ, a classically trained chef, has 18 years in the wine industry, embracing teaching, wine writing and wine criticism. DJ has also been the Drink Editor for Vancouver Magazine, chief judge for Vancouver Magazine International Wine Competition and critic/contributor for WineAlign. She has been Vice President of the Canadian Association of Professional Sommeliers, BC Chapter and a member of Les Dames d’Escoffier. Presented by

Sommelier of the Year Matthew Landry, general manager / beverage director, The Stable House Bistro The Sommelier of the Year Award recognizes working sommeliers who consistently demonstrate an outstanding passion for marrying wine with food and a dedication to exceptional service. Matthew Landry was selected through a hands-on competition organized by the BC Chapter of the Canadian Association of Professional Sommeliers. Matthew is originally from St. Catharines, Ontario and began his service career in the heart of Niagara wine country, nervously pouring things he couldn’t pronounce and that, hopefully, came under screw cap. Matthew has since achieved his sommelier certification through the Court of Master Sommeliers, finished the WSET Level 3 Advanced, and completed the French and Italian Wine Scholar programs. Presented by

In partnership with

Vintners Brunch Food and Wine Pairing Competition Executive Chef David Mueller Bauhaus Restaurant Pork Hock, BBQ, Black Garlic, Celery paired with Louis M Martini Winery Monte Rosso Gnarly Vine Zinfandel 2014 Expert judges were Julian Bond, Josh Clark, Tim Pawsey and Joanne Sasvari. Sponsored by

MAJOR SPONSORS

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MAJOR PARTNERS

Sponsored by

The Wine Program Excellence awards recognize restaurants for creating a wine program that complements their establishment’s unique menu and concept. Expert judges were Tom Doughty, DJ Kearney, Martha McAvity, Iain Philip, and Jason Yamasaki.

METRO VANCOUVER

WHISTLER

Platinum L’Abattoir AnnaLena Blue Water Cafe + Raw Bar Chambar CinCin Ristorante + Bar Hawksworth Restaurant Nightingale

Gold Il Caminetto Silver Araxi Restaurant + Oyster Bar

VANCOUVER ISLAND AND COASTAL ISLANDS Silver 10 Acres Kitchen (Victoria) Agrius Restaurant (Victoria) The Courtney Room (Victoria)

Gold Botanist Elisa – Best New Entry Savio Volpe Tap Restaurant Ugly Dumpling – Best Innovation Yuwa Japanese Cuisine

Bronze Sonora Resort (Sonora Island) Zambri’s (Victoria)

Silver Ancora Waterfront Dining and Patio Captains Room Le Crocodile Fable Kitchen Joe Fortes Seafood & Chop House Mott 32 PiDGiN Provence Marinaside / The Wine Bar The Stable House Bistro Tableau Bar Bistro West Restaurant Wildebeest Bronze Edible Canada Homer St. Cafe and Bar Piva Modern Italian Tuc Craft Kitchen

Honourable Mention Artisan Bistro (Victoria) Summit Restaurant at the Villa Eyrie Resort (Malahat)

ALBERTA Gold Vin Room Mission (Calgary) Vin Room YYC Airport (Calgary) Silver Vin Room Mission (Calgary) Bronze Clementine (Edmonton)

42 ND VANCOUVER INTERNATIONAL WINE FESTIVAL

Honourable Mention Chi Crowbar Feast Hart House Restaurant LIFT Bar Grill View

February 22–March 1, 2020 Featuring FRANCE

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2 If you look at history, drag queens are pioneers. We’re the ones that led the revolution in Stonewall. We’re the loudest, we’re the most out there, most in your face. Don’t mess with us or we’ll take you down, honey: these high heels are used for dancing and other things, if you know what I mean. — Carlotta Gurl, @carlottagurl, performer for 15+ years

3 I remember watching drag artists when even I didn’t understand my sexuality and gender, and they were the ones who clarified how I wanted to live. They showed me all of the possibilities of gender and where that expression can lie. It is on a spectrum, and we get to dance on it. —Continental Breakfast, @withcontinentalbreakfast, performer for two years

4 I think people would be surprised by the diversity in Vancouver’s drag scene: the types of performers, the types of drag people do. There’s classic drag, with cis men impersonating women. There are drag kings. I’m a hyper-queen: a cis woman doing a hyperfeminized version of drag... but hyper-queens can also be femme-presenting, trans, non-binary performers, and we also have drag “things” who don’t identify as anything; they just do drag.—Rich Elle, @phaserssettostun, performer for three years

5 It’s not really a character for me. For some people, it is. When I first started, I had these grandiose ideas of catchphrases, and as I got busier when I started to drag professionally, I just didn’t have time for that. I’m not a method actor at all: what you see is what you get. Sometimes I get in trouble for saying something real on the microphone because it’s just me reflecting what I see. — Alma Bitches, @alma_bitches, Emprex 48 of the Dogwood Monarchist Society, performer for nine years

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2 1 I grew up doing ballet and did it for 17 years. Through that time, I noticed issues surrounding male and female gender roles, and in wanting to be cast on the other side. I found that this drag character was my way of rebelling against the classicality of that. In the finale for Vancouver’s Next Drag Superstar—which I ended up winning—I did my final number en pointe, painted completely silver. —PM, @pmforagoodtime, performer for 2.5 years

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6 Drag provides an outlet for doing the things we love to do. A lot of people think you want to be a girl, but it’s not about that. It’s about art, about theatre, about makeup. Girls come up and say, “I wish I could do makeup like that,” and I’m like, “Ummm... it’ll take you three hours.” — Mina Mercury, @vanityboi, performer for 10+ years

7 “Maiden China” is a name that popped into my head one day, way before I started doing drag, and I pocketed it. I think it came from the fact I was not made in China. I’m second generation, but even in 2019 I still get that “Where are you from?” question, and I say, “I’m from Langley,” and they say, “No, where are you really from?” It’s just a play on words and a stab back that I wasn’t actually born there, and I’m owning that part of my identity. — Maiden China, @queenmaidenchina, performer for 2.5 years

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8 You can’t be a successful drag artist without being somewhat...I’m trying to find another word for “conceited.” It’s a business you’re creating, surrounding you as a figure, and you’re putting your art or performance on yourself, and you stare in a mirror for two to three hours at yourself doing makeup, and then there’s the self-promotion, which I fucking love. —Rogue, @itsjustrogue, performer for 2.5 years

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City    M O D E R N FA M I LY

Life’s a Drag

With an estimated 60 drag performers currently slaying on the reg in Vancouver, our robust homegrown drag scene is made up of a close-knit cohort of larger-than-life characters who portray a rich spectrum of identities, from hyper-queen to nonbinary clown, and produce shows every night of the week. For a list of where to find these killer queens and more local drag stars performing next, head to vanmag.com. Stacey McLachlan Adam Blasberg

as told to photo by

s h ot o n lo c at i o n at m a r y ’ s o n dav i e

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SPONSORED REPORT

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Culture    T H E T I C K E T

Wrestlers, Root Beer and Revolvers This month’s best bets for fun. by

Alyssa Hirose

Matilda the Musical

MATILDA THE MUSICAL DATE May 16 to July 14 VENUE Stanley Industrial Alliance Stage PRICE From $39 artsclub.com Tap your toes along to the story of Roald Dahl’s telekinetic wunderkind at this feel-good family musical.

DESTROY WRESTLING DATE May 17 VENUE Rickshaw Theatre PRICE From $25 rickshawtheatre.com Ever wanted to watch wrestlers in wildly impractical costumes beat each other up to live heavy metal music and explosions galore? We thought so.

ZIYA TONG DATE May 23 VENUE Blueshore Financial Centre for the Performing Arts PRICE From $10 capilanou.ca Instant messaging, instant banking, instant noodles— in our high-speed world, it’s hard to know what we’re missing. Luckily, Ziya Tong does, and she’s willing to share. The Daily Planet co-host and eco-friendly smarty-pants is spilling the tea on the critical gaps in knowledge within our bubbled brains, like where our food and energy comes from and where our waste ends up. This event is a sneak peek into her forthcoming book The Reality Bubble: Blind Spots, Hidden Truths, and the Dangerous Illusions That Shape Our World. Get ready for some badass bubble-bursting.

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MOGLI: ISABEL HAYN; OTHER INL AND EMPIRE: VILHELM SUNDIN

CHOCOLATE CHALLENGE DATE May 2 VENUE The Gourmet Warehouse PRICE $79 gourmetwarehouse.ca Satisfy both your sweet tooth and your hunger for competition as seven of B.C.’s best chocolatiers duke it out in a bonbon battle for the ages.

MATILDA: DYL AN HEWLET T; ZIYA TONG: NOEL FOX; DESTROY WRESTLING: STEVAN CVJETKOVICH DESIGN/RAY URNER PHOTOGRAPHY.

Chocolate Challenge


ROOT BEER FESTIVAL DATE May 25 VENUE Douglas Recreation Centre PRICE From $25 stickyscandyandbakery.com This fest’s 50 different root beers from across North America (plus root beer floats, pastries and cotton candy) are worth the trip, Langley local or not.

Chromatics

CHROMATICS DATE June 6 VENUE Vogue Theatre PRICE $30 voguetheatre.com You’ll probably recognize this Portland-born electronic band’s synth-pop from Riverdale (we know you’re still watching it).

MOGLI DATE May 19 VENUE Biltmore Cabaret PRICE $15 biltmorecabaret.com It’s no accident that this artist produces the “perfect road trip music”: she once converted a school bus into a loft on wheels and travelled across North America for inspiration’s sake. Parker Art Salon

MOGLI: ISABEL HAYN; OTHER INL AND EMPIRE: VILHELM SUNDIN

MATILDA: DYL AN HEWLET T; ZIYA TONG: NOEL FOX; DESTROY WRESTLING: STEVAN CVJETKOVICH DESIGN/RAY URNER PHOTOGRAPHY.

Mogli

PARKER ART SALON DATE May 24 to 26 VENUE Parker Street Studios PRICE From $10 parkerartsalon.com Check out work from established and emerging contemporary artists showcased in a 105-year-old warehouse-turned-studio.

Julie Hammond in Other Inland Empires at Revolver Fest

Fake Ghost Tours at Revolver Fest

REVOLVER FEST DATE May 22 to June 2 VENUE Various venues PRICE From $45 for three shows upintheairtheatre.com This theatre festival is an East Van favourite for new work, emerging artists and sitespecific spectaculars.

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Culture    S O M E T I M E I N VA N C O U V E R

7:49 A.M. SE ABUS OVERPASS

North Van commuters rise above it all—or at least above the railroad tracks—to face another workday. photograph by

Grant Harder

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Profile for Canada Wide Media

Vancouver Magazine, May/June 2019  

Engaging articles, reviews and stories all about Vancouver. Vancouver Magazine informs, guides and entertains people who engage with the ci...

Vancouver Magazine, May/June 2019  

Engaging articles, reviews and stories all about Vancouver. Vancouver Magazine informs, guides and entertains people who engage with the ci...