BC RESTAURANT HALL OF FAME
Save the date – Monday October 4, 2021
An evening of celebrating the restaurant industry’s stars
Lower Mainland Inductees
Susan Mendelson is chef/owner of The Lazy Gourmet (Vancouver), one of Vancouver’s first catering companies, and the author of many successful cookbooks for kids and adults around the world. Susan’s passion for great tastes and presenting impeccable food for events of every size and scope has influenced a generation of cooks and entrepreneurs. Her commitment to elevating the tastes and service that we are known for here in BC is something we are pleased to celebrate.
Meeru Dhalwala, co-owner/chef of Vij’s and Rangoli Restaurants (Vancouver), is being inducted for her excellence as a chef and mentor. Meeru runs one of the only all woman kitchens in the province. She mentors home cooks trained in the traditional Indian ways to brings them into her restaurant kitchens. She has changed the face of Indian cooking in Canada through her inspired menus and her cookbooks geared to the everyday cook.
Bruce Fox is the Vice-President Business Development for Browns Restaurant Group. He is responsible for bringing over 200 franchisees into the restaurant community. Bruce is super passionate about helping great people find business success in restaurants. Through his career with Boston Pizza, Opa! Souvalaki, Good Earth Café and now Browns Restaurant Group, Bruce has helped pair brands with locations and people to give BC consumers great dining choices.
Barb Finley is a chef, educator and the founder of Project Chef. We are inducting her for her leadership in bringing the love of healthy local food and cooking to children and families at schools in Vancouver. Barb’s ability to translate the love of wholesome, nutritious meals to the next generation in a hands on way is helping to make our industry stronger and helping professionals connect with the next generation.
Frank di Benedetto
As owner of FDF Brandz (Vancouver), Frank di Benedetto operates over 175 locations of Ricky’s Family Restaurants, FatBurger, Famoso Pizzeria and ABC Family Restaurants. Since his first job at McDonald’s in Prince George in 1969, Frank has driven growth and introduced new burger concepts to the province. We recognize his appetite for development and commitment to innovation.
Vancouver Island Inductees
Ronald St. Pierre
Ronald St. Pierre, owner/chef of Locals Restaurant, is being honoured as a Local Champion. St. Pierre’s commitment to local is proudly displayed on his seasonal menus, his wine list and in his supplier relationships. With this award, we are celebrating his steadfast belief that locally sourced food tastes better, lasts longer, has an economic benefit and provides for a unique customer experience.
Gary Hynes is being post-humously inducted as a Friend of the Industry. As editor and publisher of EAT Magazine for 19 years, Gary worked to tell the stories of the people in front of and behind the plate. He liked to bring out the best in people and to inspire others in British Columbia to eat well and to celebrate the bounty of our province through the lens of the restaurants, farmers and producers. A passionate cook and writer, Gary owned and ran an award winning inn and restaurant before he moved to the Island. He knew every aspect of the restaurant trade.
Manny is the proprietor of Miradoro Restaurant at Tinhorn Creek (Oliver) and former owner of Le Gavroche (Vancouver). As a career restaurateur, Manny is recognized for his commitment to staff training and to ensuring the highest quality dining experience for his guests. After a career in Vancouver, Manny came to the Okanagan and through his dedication, succeeded in elevating hospitality in the Okanagan by pairing his strong wine knowledge with his leadership in the front of house. By inducting Manny into the Hall of Fame, we recognize his ability to share his passion and to foster faith in his clients and his suppliers.
Stephen is the founder/owner, Summerhill Pyramid Winery (Kelowna), he being inducted as a Local Champion for providing holistic hospitality in his winery and his restaurant. Ever since Stephen Cipes first came to the Okanagan in 1986, when it was still very early in the development of the British Columbia wine industry, his determination to champion sustainability and organic agriculture, has helped him forge a unique path to success. We are recognizing him for his leadership as an advocate of the land and for bringing sustainable wines and flavours to the restaurant table.
BC Restaurant Hall of Fame 2019
“I look forward to this event every year. It is a wonderful opportunity to salute the people and the restaurants who shape BC’s vibrant and unique restaurant industry. We are fortunate in this province to have such depth and expertise in our hospitality field.”– Ian Tostenson, President and CEO, BCRFA
“BC Restaurant Hall of Fame is an evening dedicated to celebrating the people who work tirelessly to contribute to the excellence of British Columbia’s restaurant industry. We honour and celebrate the accomplishments, dedication and passion of all those who make our industry world class.”– Bob Parrotta, Chairperson, BCRFA
“The BC Restaurant Hall of Fame is a unique opportunity to celebrate the people that make a difference to service, hospitality and dining in British Columbia. Since 2004, we’ve been honouring individuals who contribute not just to their business, but to their communities and the the industry as a whole.”
Ian Tostenson, President & CEO, BCRFA