The ‘Best of the Best’ Honored at 2011 Awards Ceremony

(Vancouver, BC) – “It was an amazing culinary journey,” says Founding
Director, Craig Stowe of the process by which the 25 Critics’ Choice
Signature Dish winners were selected for this year’s HSBC Chinese
Restaurant Awards. “The Lower Mainland boasts an incredible array of
Chinese cuisine, and we found the right panel of judges who are the
Chinese culinary experts and were up to the task of identifying and
selecting the ‘best of the best’. Like modern day Marco Polos they
figuratively travelled the length and breadth of China, tasting the best
of its regional specialties, all while remaining right here. It’s a
testament of the wealth of the Lower Mainland’s Chinese culinary
culture.” The panel of 12 professional chefs and food writers who
‘stepped up to the plate’ literally had ‘their plates full’ from summer
through mid-December as they tasted the best signature dishes to be
found amongst Metro’s nearly 500 Chinese restaurants. Ballots were
submitted to auditors PricewaterhouseCoopers with the results being
unveiled at an ‘Oscars-style’ Awards Ceremony at the River Rock Show
Theatre, emceed by Breakfast TV’s Dawn Chubai and ONMI TV’s Johann
Chang, held today in Richmond. Famed for its ‘Food Street’ (Alexandra
Road), the location of several award-winning restaurants, Richmond has
increasingly become known as the destination of choice for locals and
tourists seeking a high quality Chinese dining experience.

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In addition to the 25 Gold Medals for Critics’ Choice Signature Dishes,
the Awards Ceremony also presented the Chinese Restaurant Chef of the
Year to Tony Luk (Executive Chef, Jade Seafood Restaurant), the Award
for Wine and Spirit Service (Bao Bei Chinese Brasserie), and awards to
the restaurants who had, earlier in November 2010, won Diners’ Choice
Awards in on-line voting by the public. Of the 25 Signature Dish Award
winners, six restaurants were honored with Gold Awards of Distinction
for having previously won the Gold Medal in their signature dish
category. “We felt it very important to single out these particular
recipients for the consistent excellence of their signature dishes,”
said Stephen Wong, Founding Chair of the Judging Panel. “They set a
standard that cannot be matched anywhere else in Metro Vancouver.”

Cathay Pacific Airways was also honored with a special award for the
Best Signature Dishes in the Air in recognition of their 2010 campaign “
Best Chinese Food in the Air” which saw Cathay Pacific serve signature
dishes created by award winning Hong Kong chefs.

As in past years, Richmond and Vancouver vied for pride of table. This
year the race resulted in an overall tie with Richmond edging out
Vancouver by one award in the Critics’ Choice category. Richmond
garnered 12 Critics’ Choice Awards and seven Diners’ Choice Awards for a
total of 19 while Vancouver restaurants also received 19 awards in
total – 11 Critics’ Choice Awards and eight Diners’ Choice Awards.
Burnaby received two Critics’ Choice Awards. Many of the winning
restaurants have more than one location with venues in both Vancouver
and Richmond as well as in other Lower Mainland communities.

Mr. Liang Shugen, Consul General for the Peoples’ Republic of China in
Vancouver, presented the Gold, Silver and Bronze medals to the three
Chinese Restaurant Chef of the Year finalists Tony Luk (gold), Sam Leung
(silver) and Wing Ho (bronze). Ms. Jane Dodds, OMEGA Boutique Manager
Vancouver, also presented Chef Luk with an OMEGA Constellation
Chronometer in honour of his achievement.

In his remarks, Mr. Stowe announced today that the Chinese Restaurant
Awards have formed an alliance with the World Association of Chinese
Cuisine (WACC). Initiated by China Cuisine Association in 1991, the WACC
is recognized by the government of China and headquartered in Beijing.
It is a worldwide organization whose goal is the promotion of Chinese
cuisine, with member chapters round the globe. CRA will work with WACC
to advance Chinese culinary exchanges between China and North America,
expand the awareness of Chinese Restaurant Awards’ winning restaurants
and chefs, and promote Chinese culinary tourism.

Mr. Stowe underlined the important role the Lower Mainland, and
especially Richmond, has played in the development of Chinese cuisine.
He cited the article in last February’s Condé Nast Traveler Magazine
(which proclaimed we had the best Chinese food in the world) as
recognition that our blend of traditional techniques with local,
seasonal and sustainable ingredients has made a unique contribution to
an ancient culinary tradition. This enviable situation has arisen from
our role as a gateway to Asia – ideas and techniques travelling freely
across the Pacific from China to the Lower Mainland and vice versa.
While chefs in the Lower Mainland have become very attuned celebrating
our rich bounty of local and seasonal ingredients by incorporating them
into classic Chinese dishes. He stated that in 2011, the CRA’s focus
will be to work even more closely with the Chinese Chef Associations and
restaurants to inspire Chinese restaurant chefs to create new unique
signature dishes that reflect the area’s rich food resources. Canada is
now ‘Approved Destination’ for travellers from China. This in turn will
provide tourism organizations with a CRA authentic dining guide as the
tourism organizations promote our region’s exceptional Chinese culinary
culture to in-bound travellers – especially those from China. The CRA
plans to expand its scope to include major cities in North America and
Asia where Chinese food makes an impact; and will engaging Chinese food
critics in identifying their region’s ‘best of the best’ in Chinese

The 2011 HSBC Chinese Restaurant Awards wishes to thank title sponsor
HSBC Bank Canada and the following sponsors who help to make these
awards possible:

Tourism Richmond, Remy Martin, Mercedes Benz, OMEGA, River Rock Casino
Resort, PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, Quintessentially Canada, Amoy Food
limited, Tsit Wing Group, Underwater Harvesters’ Association, Wingtat
Game Bird Packers, CityTV, OMNI TV, Montecristo Magazine, CHMB AM 1320,
Fairchild Radio AM1470 & FM96.1, Global Chinese Press,,
World Journal, Canadian Dim Sum Chefs Association, Chinese Canadian
Chefs Association, Hong Kong Canadian Chinese Chefs Club and VCC Asian
Culinary program

For more information on the HSBC Chinese Restaurant Awards:

For updates, visit HSBC Chinese Restaurant Awards’ Facebook page & Twitter (@CRADiningGuide)

English Media Contact:

Nancy Wong

Culinary Communications