Top Table honoured at Vancouver Magazine Restaurant Awards

April 13, 2011

Araxi, Blue Water Cafe, CinCin and West honoured at
Vancouver Magazine Restaurant Awards

Vancouver, B.C. – In British Columbia’s culinary industry, nothing salutes the advent of spring quite like the annual Vancouver Magazine Restaurant Awards. Unique in Canada, and now in its 22nd year, the awards were convened on Tuesday, April 12th at the Sheraton Wall Centre. A panel of 19 judges acknowledged industry excellence as AraxiBlue Water CafeCinCin and West were honoured before a standing-room-only audience of leading restaurateurs, chefs and service professionals.

Lifetime Achievement Award, Jack Evrensel

A great honour for the entire Top Table Group saw our proprietor Jack Evrensel acknowledged for his leadership and excellence in the culinary arts during his lengthy career with the Lifetime Achievement Award, presented to just one British Columbian each year.

In his acceptance speech, Jack simply stated, “I would like to thank all the judges and Vancouver magazine. I would also like to thank everyone at Top Table—this is truly your recognition. It is my privilege and pleasure to work in an industry where people care for others and give of themselves.”

Araxi Restaurant + Bar

•    Best Whistler, Gold
•    Silver Wine List Award, Vancouver Playhouse International Wine Festival

For an unprecedented 11th year, Araxi was recognized once again with the Gold Award for Best Whistler restaurant, a testament to the hospitality of executive chef James Walt and restaurant director Neil Henderson.

“This splendid restaurant is one of the best things about Whistler,” one judge said of Araxi. “The commitment to local products and suppliers shines through the inventive dishes from chef James Walt’s kitchen.”

Blue Water Cafe + Raw Bar

•    Best Formal Restaurant, Gold
•    Best Seafood, Gold
•    Best Formal Japanese, Honourable Mention
•    Platinum Wine List Award, Vancouver Playhouse International Wine Festival

Chef Frank Pabst, the 2010 Chef of the Year, together with restaurant director Stephan Cachard, led Blue Water Cafe to win both Best Formal restaurant and its fourth annual Best Seafood award, as well as an Honourable Mention for Best Formal Japanese for its Raw Bar.

According to Vancouver Magazine: “Blue Water Cafe scored highest with its ‘commitment to every aspect of the dining experience, starting with a chef, Frank Pabst, at the top of his game.’ ‘Always busy without feeling crowded, and expertly run,’ offered another judge, ‘Blue Water Cafe is the room you’d take an out-of-town visitor who wanted to experience the embodiment of Vancouver’s culinary sensibility.’”

CinCin Ristorante + Bar

•    Best Formal Italian, Silver
•    Gold Wine List Award, Vancouver Playhouse International Wine Festival

Executive chef Todd Howard has recaptured the legacy of CinCin’s storied forno and its welcoming rooms with classically inspired dishes heightened with modern nuances.

Moving CinCin smartly to the forefront of contemporary Italian cooking, Chef Howard and restaurant director Ricardo Ferreira, along with their colleagues, certainly captured the attention of the restaurant awards jury, who said that, “CinCin offers ‘quality dishes (and especially unforgettable desserts) in a vivid, buzzy room that appeals to visitors and locals alike.’”

West Restaurant + Bar

•    Best Formal Restaurant, Silver
•    Platinum Wine List Award, Vancouver Playhouse International Wine Festival
•    Sommelier of the Year, Owen Knowlton

Chef David Gunawan and restaurant director Brian Hopkins placed West just behind sister restaurant Blue Water Cafe in this hotly contested category that signals the very best in British Columbia dining. According to the Vancouver magazine judges, “David Gunawan brings regional expressions of the season to the plate with imagination and flawless technique.”

West’s wine program was also recognized, capturing not only Sommelier of the Year in the form of the ever-articulate Owen Knowlton, but also the Platinum Wine List Award, again with sister restaurant Blue Water Cafe, the only two recipients of this highest award.

Top Table is one of the most highly respected hospitality groups in Canada, encompassing four leading restaurants in Vancouver and Whistler: Araxi, CinCin, Blue Water Cafe and West, as well as the highly anticipated atelier, ‘thierry’ (Spring 2011). Continuing to evolve in the pursuit of excellence, each venue has received significant critical acclaim, both locally and internationally. For more information,

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Media contact:

Shelley McArthur
Communications Director
Top Table Group: Araxi | Blue Water Cafe | CinCin | West | Thierry
555 Helmcken Street, Vancouver, B.C.  V6B 5H7
604 836 8005 |