Restaurant Awards 2022: Meet the Judges

Meet the culinary experts who judged our awards in 2022.

Joie Alvaro Kent co-authored Where the River Narrows and Maenam: A Fresh Approach to Thai Cooking. She is also Vancouver’s senior judge for the Canadian Culinary Championships.

Hussain Askari grew up in the UAE, studied wine in Australia, and has been in the Vancouver wine trade for the past decade. He is the director of operations for Wine Vault.

Sid Cross continues his lifelong passion for and pursuit of high-quality food and wine, volunteering his time to help others and writing on his blog for the International Food and Wine Society and @winefoodguru. 

Gail Johnson is an award-winning print, web and broadcast journalist and a regular contributor to CBC Radio, the Georgia Straight, The Globe and Mail, Yahoo Canada and other outlets.

Anya Levykh is a writer, editor and broadcaster covering the people, places and issues behind what we eat and drink.

Lee Man is a founding judge for the Chinese Restaurants Awards and a longtime contributor to Vancouver, Montecristo and other magazines.

Brendon Mathews is a freelance food writer with expertise in Chinese cuisine, and a judge of the Chinese Restaurant Awards.

Mijune Pak is a Food Network Canada personality, the founder of and resident judge on Top Chef Canada and Iron Chef Canada.

Tim Pawsey writes and shoots at, and for Where, Quench, Taste, Vitis, the Alchemist and others.

Iris Yim is an experienced editor who has worked in both Hong Kong and Vancouver. She writes about travel and gourmet dining for EliteGen magazine, Boulevard magazine,, her blog Gourmet Vancouver and more.

Rasoul Salehi is a wine-industry veteran, a certified Spanish wine educator and a managing partner at LaStella winery. He has an everlasting passion for the study of all things gastronomy.

Sylvia Potvin is the owner of Pacific Institute of Culinary Arts, Vancouver’s premier professional culinary education training centre.

Joanne Sasvari is author of The Wickaninnish Cookbook, Vancouver Eats, Island Eats and the website She is editor of Vitis, The Alchemist and Westcoast Homes & Design magazines, and contributes to publications including Vancouver Sun, Salut! and Destination BC.

Jacob Sweetapple is an award-winning bartender and managing partner at Notion Concepts, where he aims to elevate drinking culture around the world through innovative beverage ideation and education.

Mark Taylor is an award-winning restaurateur and sommelier, wine lover and presenter. He is currently president of the B.C. chapter of the Canadian Association of Professional Sommeliers.

Mia Stainsby is the longtime restaurant critic at the Vancouver Sun and Province newspapers.