Chef of the Year 2013

If David Hawksworth, the Restaurant Awards’ ninth Chef of the Year, were no longer able to cook, what would he do? “Heli-ski guide,” he says without hesitation one morning in his eponymous restaurant in the Rosewood Hotel Georgia. “I absolutely love skiing-the fresh air, the mountains. But if I needed a real career? A commodity trader? I’ve always liked that intensity, that rush. That everything can change in a moment.”

Read more about Hawksworth’s Restaurant of the Year 2013 win

It’s a fitting vision for the owner/chef who transformed the corner of Georgia and Howe two years ago into a slice of, dare we say, risk-taking world-class fine dining. “We’re up there with the few that all do the same kind of thing in town,” he says, “a twist on modern food but with a lot of structure and background to it.” His goal: to create a dining experience akin to that in San Francisco or New York or London. After quitting South Granville’s West he might have gone on to those cities (he trained at England’s Le Manoir aux Quat’ Saisons, Le Petit Roi, and The Square) except: “It would have been utterly meaningless. I was born here: it means just so much more to do this here.” Our judges agreed: “Humming along like a well-oiled machine he’s changed the landscape of dining in this city. In a time when ‘formal’ can be a dirty word, Hawksworth has no trouble filling seats. He continues to astound.”