The last two years really changed the way we ate—and the Restaurant Awards shifted to reflect that change. With a focus on takeout (aka the way we were all eating), last year’s categories looked a little different. But truly the most important part of choosing the best of the best was taking this opportunity to highlight the restaurant industry as it faced the challenges and incredible costs of doing business during COVID.
By now we're all pretty tired of hearing how we’re “getting back to normal,” but in the case of Restaurants Awards, we truly are. We have fifteen categories this year, and a full slate of judges. Most of the categories you’ll remember from previous years (Upscale, Steakhouse, Casual, Chain, Vegetarian, Chinese, Japanese, Thai, Korean, French, West Coast, Latin American, Italian and Indian). Plus, rotating back in this year, we'll have Best Afro/Caribbean.
Lifetime Achievement and Producer of the Year will also back for the 2022 season, and we will still be honouring front of house with Premier Crew. Of course, we'll also still have the big-ticket awards that everyone’s vying for: Best New, Chef of the Year and Restaurant of the Year.
We’re also very excited to announce that we will be hosting the Restaurant Awards in-person event as well this year. You can expect a rundown of all the event details later this summer, but after two years, we’re all very excited to celebrate the best food in the city with the people who make it happen.
In the coming weeks, we’ll release a shortlist of the finalists in each category, plus a list of our incredible cabal of Restaurant Awards judges (who are currently busy eating out and re-visiting all of the unique and intriguing restaurants they've discovered over the past year). Winners will be announced in our September/October Issue (and at vanmag.com).