Restaurant Awards Hall of Fame: Araxi

The restaurant that put Whistler dining on the map.

Restaurant: Araxi

Category: Best Whistler

Record: 17 Gold Medals in 18 years, from 2000 to 2008 and 2010 to 2016

Legendary restaurateur Jack Evrensel was not someone to do something—anything—lightly, so when he bestowed his Whistler restaurant with the name of his wife Araxi, you knew it was a venture that would strive to be the very best. Early on he took a chance on a young chef named James Walt and the bet paid off in Gold (a winning trend that continued after Evrensel sold his restaurant to the Aquilini family). Under Walt’s watch, Araxi became the standard that all resort dining had to live up to: locavore, inventive, the type of spot visitors would return home from and rave about to their friends. In so doing, it brought the entire level of Whistler dining up several notches—and made the competition for future Gold Medals that much harder.

Since its founding in 1981 by my friend Jack Evrensel, Araxi has established itself not only as one of the best restaurants in BC, but as one of the best restaurants in the country. With Culinary Director James Walt bringing his expertise and talent for using local ingredients to the restaurant, Araxi continues to share envelope-pushing food with diners from around the world.—Rob Feenie