Best Front of House Service 2012

Having skied since he was a “wee boy,” Whistler seemed the perfect spot for Neil Henderson to complete a hospitality business school internship, and when he arrived from Edinburgh in 1992 to bus at Araxi, he never looked back. Today he runs the show as restaurant director. Terry Threlfall, our Sommelier of the Year, kick-started his career at West alongside David Hawksworth before decamping for London. He returned to oversee the wine program at Hawksworth, where he offers a changing fresh sheet of wines (including “taster” sizes) and the chance for his customers to experiment. Iori Kataoka of Zest and ShuRaku modestly describes her job as being “the middleman between the chef’s creation and the customer. I just happen to offer a drink to go along with it.” We know her expertise (especially with sake) goes well beyond that. Brooke Delves, GM at Maenam, and Corey Bauldry, manager of Diva at the Met, have both been in the industry since they were kids; she busing tables at her parents’ restaurant (“They made me go to film school, but it didn’t stick”) and he as a 15-year-old dishwasher in Mississauga (“I talked too much, so the chef kicked me out of the kitchen. I’ve been front of house ever since”).