Top Table is Golden – Araxi, Blue Water Cafe, CinCin and West Honoured at Vancouver Magazine Restaurant Awards

Vancouver, B.C. – Top Table restaurants were recognized at the podium an unprecedented 17 times at the 21st annual Vancouver Magazine Restaurant Awards held Tuesday, May 18th at the Sheraton Wall Centre. A panel of 19 judges acknowledged Araxi, Blue Water Cafe, CinCin and West, before a standing-room only audience of British Columbia’s leading restaurateurs, chefs and service professionals.

Top Table proprietor Jack Evrensel said, “I would like to salute the excellence of all the winners, and the brilliance with which they represented our province to the world during this Olympic year. In particular, I would like to recognize our culinary and service teams at Top Table for their remarkable achievements during the last twelve months. To see all of our restaurants win Gold Awards speaks volumes to the dedication and hard work of every team member.”


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

After publishing a multiple-award-winning—and James Beard Award-nominated—cookbook, and hosting thousands of international visitors for the Winter Olympics, Araxi capped off an extraordinary year by winning the Gold Award for Best Whistler restaurant for the 10th time, an unprecedented showing in the 21-year history of these Awards.

Once again, Chef James Walt captured this award for his seasonal farm-to-table menus proved wildly popular with Araxi’s loyal patrons and judges alike, while providing inspiration and leadership for the farmers and ranchers of the Pemberton Valley. Restaurant director Steve Edwards and his team of sommeliers and servers continue to provide the gracious service that has become a benchmark for Whistler.

Blue Water Cafe + Raw Bar

•    Restaurant of the Year, Gold
•    Chef of the Year, Frank Pabst
•    Best Seafood, Gold
•    Best Regional, Bronze
•    Best Service, Bronze
•    Best Formal Japanese, Honourable Mention
•    Platinum Wine List Award, Vancouver Playhouse International Wine Festival

Blue Water Cafe achieved a remarkable trifecta of Gold Awards this year, winning Restaurant of the Year, Chef of the Year, and Best Seafood. According to Vancouver Magazine: “There’s a reason this landmark room on Hamilton Street always seems to be hopping. Proprietor Jack Evrensel has carefully put together what one judge called ‘a dining experience that appeals to almost everyone, from serious foodies to suburbanites out for a special night.’”

The panel offered further praise for the Chef of the Year: “Executive chef Frank Pabst dazzles, as he has for years, with his ‘stellar menu highlighting locally sourced, sustainable seafood,’ continuing on to cite “his ‘crusade for sustainability,’ ‘determination to explore the culinary potential of species that many chefs overlook,’ and his ‘impeccable technique.’ ‘He may be soft-spoken,’ said one judge, ‘but the humble and lovely Blue Water chef is a force to be reckoned with.’”


•    Best Last Course, Gold
•    Premier Crew Service Award, David Stanger
•    Gold Wine List Award, Vancouver Playhouse International Wine Festival

Top Table recently announced the Autumn 2010 opening of the atelier thierry with CinCin’s talented chocolatier-pâtissier, Thierry Busset. So it seems only fitting that the judges presented CinCin with Gold for Best Last Course, saying: “Gold went to Busset, whose ‘skills shine in the simplest of dishes: ethereal coffee macarons, tiramisu like no other, brilliant sorbettos and gelatos.’”

Just five restaurant professionals are selected each year for the Premier Crew Service Award. This year, we’re delighted to announce that CinCin’s David Stanger was the recipient of this highly sought-after award, and as Vancouver Magazine stated: “Charm, attentiveness, and a good sense of humour set these front-of-house stars apart.”


•    Best Service, Gold
•    Restaurant of the Year, Bronze
•    Best Last Course, Bronze
•    Best Regional, Honourable Mention
•    Platinum Wine List Award, Vancouver Playhouse International Wine Festival

West won its fourth consecutive Gold Award for Best Service, praise indeed for restaurant director Brian Hopkins and his front-of-house brigade. As the judges stated: “Great service is choreographed but not stagey, friendly but not overbearing, efficient but never rushed. It’s sensing when to show up and when to disappear. West won Gold because of what one judge called its ‘unfailingly gracious, flawless service, right down to the smallest detail—and service is all about the details.’ Another judge said it’s a testament to the West team that ‘a room with such refined edges could feel this comfortable.’”

West also took home Bronze in the Best Last Course category, signalling Rhonda Viani’s years of dedication, and showing that the art of the sweet can be a healthy and refreshing denouement to one’s evening.

Top Table is one of the most highly respected hospitality groups in Canada, encompassing four of the leading restaurants in Vancouver and Whistler: Araxi, CinCin, Blue Water Cafe and West, as well as the highly anticipated atelier, ‘thierry’ (Autumn 2010). Continuing to evolve in the pursuit of excellence, each venue has received significant critical acclaim, both locally and internationally. For more information, visit

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Interviews and high resolution images available upon request.

Media contact:
Shelley McArthur
Communications Director
Top Table: Araxi | Blue Water Cafe | CinCin | Thierry | West
555 Helmcken Street | Vancouver, BC | V6B 5H7
604 836 8005 |