TORONTO — Close to 500 members of the foodservice and hospitality industry gathered at Toronto’s Fairmont Royal York Hotel Dec. 7 to officially kick-start the holiday season at the Pinnacle Awards, presented by Kostuch Media, publishers of Foodservice and Hospitality magazine and Hotelier magazine.
Each winter since 1988, industry insiders have gathered to celebrate the crème-de-la-crème, presenting awards to the top restaurateurs, operators, suppliers and hotel companies in Canada.
There was a spotlight on West Coast leaders this year, starting with Browns Socialhouse, based in Vancouver, which was named Regional Company of the Year. Connie DeSousa of Charcut Roast House in Calgary accepted the award on behalf of her three other partners for Independent Restaurateurs of the Year, while David Hawksworth was named Chef of the Year for his work at Hawksworth Restaurant in Vancouver. This year’s Lifetime Achievement award was presented to John Bishop of Vancouver’s Bishop’s restaurant.
Ryan Smolkin, founder of the Ajax, Ont.-based Smoke’s Poutinerie took home the award for Company of the Year, treating attendees to a rendition of “Crazy Nights” by Kiss, while accepting the award. Dominic Bombino of Saputo Dairy accepted the award for Supplier of the Year, while Pizza Nova took home the award for Franchise Excellence.
Hotelier magazine also recognized Canada’s top hoteliers and hotel companies. St. John’s, N.L.’s Fortis Properties took home Company of the Year award, while Pomeroy Inns and Suites Inc. won the Company of the Year (Regional) award. Heather McCrory, regional VP, Central Canada, and GM of the Fairmont Royal York hotel was recognized for Hotelier of the Year. Tony Pollard, president of the Hotel Association of Canada (HAC), was recognized with a Lifetime Achievement award.