Restaurant Awards 2023: Premier Crew

The public-facing stars of Vancouver's restaurant industry in 2023.

“Service with a smile” is only part of the equation: the public-facing stars of Vancouver’s restaurant industry bring knowledge, guidance and thoughtfulness to the table. Here are the bartenders, servers, managers and more that our Restaurant Awards judges adore.

From left to right: Chad Clark, May Tai, Tara Davies, Stephen Whiteside, Peter van de Reep, Steve Edwards and Brittany Hoorne. Photo by Tanya Goehring, shot on location at Homer St. Cafe.

Chad Clark

Director of operations, L’Abattoir

“Kind, professional, thoughtful, attentive—Chad truly is the essential host, quietly ensuring that everything will be perfect, no matter what fires he might be putting out behind the scenes.”—judge Joanne Sasvari

May Tai

Front of house management, Dynasty Seafood

“In the high-pressure world of Chinese fine dining, May’s long tenure (28 years, the last 14 at Dynasty) is a real rarity. May leavens attentive formality with a good dose of genuine West Coast warmth, setting even the most neophyte diners at ease, and has introduced generations of loyal customers to the delicious wonders and intricacies of Cantonese banquet dishes.”—judge Lee Man

Tara Davies

Manager, Chupito and Cantina 189

“Tara’s time immersed in the vibrant culture of Mexico is well-represented in the drinks and atmosphere she creates—all of which are amplified by her gracious and welcoming spirit. Her skill, thoughtfulness and joy are evident in the venues and menus she creates and represents so well.”—judge Lindsay William-Ross

Stephen Whiteside

Co-owner, sommelier and barman, Dachi, Elephant and Hānai

“Stephen is a master at making a room—and team—shine. His presence and leadership give the already-charming Dachi a polished, elegant yet still lighthearted and neighbourly vibe that ensures newcomers and regulars alike feel like they’re visiting an old friend.”—judge Anya Levykh

Peter Van de Reep

Bar manager, sommelier and server, Bar Gobo

“Peter is a pillar of the restaurant community, loved by his guests and industry alike. His ability to encompass a world-class imbibing experience in a casual setting is merely part of what makes him a truly incredible host. Imbued with knowledge and hospitality, he always thoughtfully guides guests toward a fantastic evening.”—judge Hussain Askari

Steve Edwards

General manager, Homer St. Cafe

“Steve is a veteran of our hospitality industry. His smile and graciousness are always on display, and he immediately makes patrons feel welcome and at home. He is very detail-oriented and highly knowledgeable: easily one of the greats of our awesome dining scene.”—judge Rasoul Salehi

Brittany Hoorne

Wine director, Bar Susu

“Brittany is a paragon of finesse and delightful charm amidst Bar Susu’s vibrant buzz, establishing a warm, easy rapport with guests. In knowledgeably championing low-intervention wines from small producers, she deftly approaches wine pairings with intelligence, creativity and a touch of whimsy.”—judge Joie Alvaro Kent

Looking for more of the best restaurants in Vancouver? See all 70+ restaurants on the list.