Food lovers from around Edmonton headed west to the Oasis Centre to celebrate the launch of Avenue‘s annual Best Restaurants issue.
More than 350 people turned out to mix, mingle and sample dishes from 14 of the city’s most celebrated restaurants, including NongBu Korean Eatery, the pick for Best New Restaurant, and RGE RD, the winner in Best Overall.
“It means a lot. It’s one of those [things that says] , ‘Yeah, we hit it. We’re doing it right,'” said Chris Hrynyk, assistant corporate chef with Sorrentino’s Restaurant Group, who was dishing out calzones for Buco Pizzeria + Vino, the second-place finisher in the Best New category. “It’s a feeling of relief almost. This is what we do, and this is what we do well.”
Other restaurants represented at the event included: Hardware Grill; El Cortez Mexican Kitchen and Tequila Bar; Japonais Bistro; The Marc; Jacek Chocolate Couture; North 53; Canteen; Red Ox Inn; Guru; The Lingnan; and Meat/The Next Act.
Extra food was provided by Mercer’s Catering, while Sysco was also a sponsor of the event.
A portion of the proceeds from ticket sales went to local non-profit organization E4C and its Young Chefs program, which teaches kids in Grades 4 to 6 to make low-cost nutritious meals and snacks for themselves and their families.
“One of the most important things to E4C is building a sense of community, and Young Chefs is all about community,” said Annette Schouten Woudstra, director of community services for E4C. “Cooking is all about community.”