As far as we know, everyone seems to have survived yesterday’s Vancouver Magazine Restaurant Awards relatively unscathed.
It is, unquestionably, the industry insider’s event of the year. And even though we’re usually tearing our hair out by the time judging deadline rolls around, being as objective as possible, we think this year’s results look pretty good—especially if you’re La Quercia (Restaurant of the Year). Plus Fiona Forbes and Michael Eckford (of Shaw’s Urban Rush) were their usual witty selves as MCs—and made sure nothing dragged on for too long. Kudos to them for holding a tough but at least for the most part (at that point) sober crowd. A great show all round!
It’s also usually pretty interesting in the fashion department. But this year’s winner takes the cake—or maybe that should be: the meat.
The major draw? A striking blonde, wearing a dress (and boots) made entirely of dried meats—courtesy of Sidecut Steakhouse at Four Seasons Whistler. The dress (organised and crafted by Paintertainment.ca)—and the model—were the hit of the pre-show schmooze-fest. We originally thought she was there to promote Two Rivers Specialty Meats (superb btw)—which just goes to show that it doesn’t always pay to be too polite! My mother taught me it was rude to stare. But as you can see, above, her affiliation is clearly marked. Branded even.
Congrats to all the winners, here
Kudos especially to Lifetime Achievement Award winner, Top Table proprietor Jack Evrensel—who shared some hilarious stories with us at the Blue Water (Best Formal Restaurant, Gold; Best Seafood, Gold) after-party.
At one time Jack owned a night club and a jewelry store—as well as Araxi, the original resto, all in Whistler. The first two always made a whole lot more money with way less people and headaches than the last one. But he sold them anyway in order to concentrate on his passion, the restaurant.
Just 25 when he jumped into the business, Evrensel says:
“We got the idea of starting a restaurant on a ski hill after a few drinks one night in Montreal. We thought we’d run the restaurant and ski all winter—and then take the summers off.”
They say you can judge a leader by the quality of people they attract—and also by how long they stick around.
Congrats Mr. Evrensel, for all you’ve achieved so far…
You’re a class act.
(And, no. He hasn’t taken a summer off yet…)