Mentorship Award 2013

More influential even than his cookbooks, TV shows, and innate charm is John Bishop’s skill as a mentor. The unassuming Welshman has not only guided diners’ palates from his eponymous Kitsilano restaurant, which opened in 1985, he has trained or otherwise influenced some of B.C.’s best known culinary talents: Andrea Carlson (Burdock & Co., Harvest Community Foods), Andrey Durbach (Pied-à-Terre, La Buca, Sardine Can), Vikram Vij (Rangoli, Vij’s), Dino Renaerts (Pier 7), Carol Wallace (Blue Eyed Marys), and Jack Chen (L’Abattoir) are just a few of his alumni still active in Vancouver. And then there are those who took what they learned from Bishop further afield. James Walt still shines almost impossibly brightly at Whistler’s Araxi. Jeff Van Geest turned Miradoro-the winery restaurant at Oliver’s Tinhorn Creek-into an award-winning destination. Nearby, Judith Knight put the restaurants at Quails’ Gate and CedarCreek on the map. Michael Allemeier did the same at Mission Hill Family Estate, spreading Bishop’s gospel of local cuisine throughout the Okanagan. Fellow Bishop’s veteran Adam Busby trained a whole generation of chefs at the Culinary Institute of America. Even Rob Feenie of the Cactus Club did a short stint in the kitchen. Bishop’s shaping of our culinary landscape has been nothing short of tectonic, with the proof of it served on thousands of plates across the city and beyond.