The Best Culinary Elites Honored at 2012 Chinese Restaurant Awards
(Vancouver, B.C.) – Through flaming woks and steaming plates, the Chinese Restaurant Awards (CRA) embarked on a journey four years ago in search of the best Chinese signature dishes in Metro Vancouver to expand the audience base of Chinese culinary industry. “The road to success has not always been straight but after seeing how the Chinese restaurants, tourism industry, and diners have benefited from the CRA’s programs makes all the hard work worthwhile,” says CRA Founding Director, Mr. Craig Stowe. Indeed, the well-attended 250-seats 2012 Chinese Restaurant Awards ceremony, held today at the River Rock Casino Resort, reflected the CRA’s prominent position in the industry.
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Hosted by Breakfast TV’s Dawn Chubai and OMNI Television’s Catherine Chan, the opulent Award Ceremony opened with a tasting of past award-winning dishes, which included two geoduck plates supported by the Underwater Harvesters’ Association. The guests were treated to a live cooking demonstration of Sautéed Geoduck with Egg White by the 2011 Chinese Chef of the Year, Tony Luk, of Jade Seafood Restaurant.
In a theater filled with the mouthwatering fragrances of Chinese cuisine, the much-anticipated Critics’ Choice Signature Dish Awards were presented. As in previous years, Richmond and Vancouver were head-to-head in the running for gold. Richmond won the battle by taking 17 of the 28 awards, leaving Vancouver as runner up. The Gold Awards with Distinction were bestowed on five restaurants in Richmond for their continued high standards of their award-winning dishes. “We felt it was important to recognize these particular recipients who have persisted in maintaining a level of excellence that cannot be match anywhere else in Metro Vancouver,” says Lee Man, one of the food critics from the judging panel.
This year, Signature Dish Dining Festival was inaugurated in November 2011 to encourage the public to visit 18 different restaurants over a period of 18 days throughout Vancouver, Richmond and Burnaby. The Festival proved to be a great success, attracting over 8,000 diners and generating over CAD$240,000 revenue. The participating chefs were asked to design new menus that featured Alberta Beef and Pork, British Columbia seafood, and Amoy sauces—pushing the boundaries of Chinese cuisine in Metro Vancouver into delicious new territories.
In recognition of the restaurants’ achievements, seven new awards were created under the Festival’s category. The recipients of the Festival’s Best Alberta Beef, Best Alberta Pork, and Best Amoy Sauce Dish were voted by a panel of eight professional food critics and announced today during the ceremony. The remaining four awards, Best Restaurant Overall, Best Service, Best Dining Environment, and Most Innovative were voted online by diners and announced together with the 15 Diners’ Choice Awards on December 5th.
Among the culinary contenders on the award-winning list, one avid competitor stood out from the pack. Richmond’s Shiang Garden Seafood Restaurant (Executive Chef, Wing Leung), a frequent award-winner in the history of the CRA, took home two of the 2012 Critics’ Choice Signature Dish Awards—Best Alberta Pork and Best Amoy Sauce Dish. The panel of judges felt that Chef Leung deserved special mention for his creativity in modifying his past award-winning dishes—Dongpo Style Braised Alberta Pork with Amoy Sauce and Fried Lobster with Green Onions in Amoy Premium Soy Sauce. As a Critics’ Choice Award recipient in the Festival category, Shiang Garden also received a prize of $2,500 in supply credits from the producers of Alberta Pork.
As in previous years, the 2012 award ceremony was well attended by culinary professionals, media friends, and VIPs. Internationally renowned Chef Martin Yan sent his videotaped greetings and congratulations from Vietnam. Guest speaker, Mr. Jianping Mei, Consul of Science and Technology at the Consulate General of the People’s Republic of China in Vancouver, praised the award winners for their outstanding performances. Four of the Signature Dish Dining Festival Awards were presented by Ms. Angela Lum, International Trade Manager of the Alberta Livestock and Meat Agency, and Ms. Elyse Mailhot, Travel Media Officer of the Canadian Tourism Commission. With much support from the Chinese Consulate General and the culinary, meat, and tourism industry, the Chinese Restaurant Awards is prepared to meet any challenge that may lie ahead in 2013.
The 2012 Chinese Restaurant Awards wishes to thank the following sponsors who help to make these awards possible: Alberta Livestock and Meat Agency, Alberta Beef Producers, Alberta Porks, Mercedes-Benz, River Rock Casino Resort, Onni Group, PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, Hennessy Cognac, Cupcake Vineyards, Spicebox, Amoy Food limited, Anchor Foods International Limited, CityTV, OMNI BC, Richmond Review, Westender, Yelp Vancouver, New Home Living, Foodspotting.com, Atherethere.com, TheRedPocket.com, AX3 Multmedia, What’s In Magazine, Global Chinese Press, and Westca.com
For more information on the Chinese Restaurant Awards: www.chineserestaurantawards.com
Review & Official Site of the Signature Dish Dining Festival: www.ChineseDiningGuide.com
Chinese Restaurant Awards’ Facebook page & Twitter @CRADiningGuide
778.829.6244 // rae@ChineseRestaurantAwards.com