Everyone wants to know where to eat. So here we have it.
bluebird day at Whistler this winter, I con rmed along-held theory that people are more likely to be chatty on the chairlift when the weather is ne—and even more so when they nd out I’m a local and can give them a little insight into Vancouver. Inevitably, on each ride up, the conversation turns to where they should eat in the city before they y out. (Other memorable conversations have included, but are not limited to: why they remade Footloose, how my friend’s pale Irish skin was due to a run of albinism in that culture, and how I was de nitely aterrible skier—the latter said to me by a ve-year-old who had never actually seen me ski but really knew a good trash talk.)
But the where-to-eat conversation always gives me pause, because how can Ipossibly give proper justice to our incredible restaurant scene in the few minutes we have on the Excalibur chair? It’s amomentous task our 14 Restaurant Awards judges have spent the last year tackling, investing hundreds of hours of dining in the city, only to invest hundreds more debating over Slack channels to determine who will make the long list in each of our 39 categories.
Then, long list in hand and categories assigned, they’re back to it again, revisiting, rethinking and nally submitting their votes to our chartered accountants, Crowe MacKay. And then we await the nal tallies—save for Restaurant of the Year, Best New Restaurant and Chef of the Year. To win those, you need to have won aGold in another category—Best French, Best West Coast, Best Pizza, et cetera—so the judges get back together again for more heated discussions (that, thankfully, lack the trash-talking of a certain ve-year-old I’ve met). And, at last, the crowns are bestowed to all the nal winners—and you can turn to page 28 to discover who those winners are for this, the 29th Annual Vancouver Magazine Restaurant Awards.
What you see in these pages is the result of the work of those judges and of our food editor, Neal McLennan, who translates their votes and comments into our mosttalked-about issue of the year. From the moment the short list is published online to the day the winners are announced at our awards ceremony (this year taking place on April 16) and in the pages of this magazine, it’s a topic of debate as personal as your favourite place to dine out. Did your own winners make the list? Head to our Facebook page to join the conversation.
Meanwhile, for the record, on that recent ne day in Whistler I did shout “Bao Bei!” to one Texan just as we parted ways at the top of the lift. Happily, our judges this year agreed with my suggestion—it takes home Gold in the Best Chinatown category.
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