TORONTO — Kostuch Media Limited (KML), publisher of industry magazines Foodservice and Hospitality and Hotelier, has announced the 2014 winners of its prestigious Pinnacle Awards. Toronto-based King Street Food Company is this year’s Company of the Year (Eastern Canada) winner for Foodservice and Hospitality, while Vancouver-based Cactus Restaurants Ltd. is the Company of the Year winner (Western Canada); Mississauga, Ont.-based Choice Hotels Canada is the Company of the Year (National) for Hotelier.
Other Foodservice and Hospitality winners include Toronto-based Chase Hospitality Group for Independent Restaurateurs of the Year; Ned Bell, executive chef of the Four Seasons Vancouver for Chef of the Year and Lunenburg, N.S.-based High Liner Foods Inc. for Supplier of the Year.
On the hotel side, winners include Saskatoon’s Airline Hotels Ltd., as Regional Company of the Year; Zita Cobb, innkeeper of Fogo Island Inn in Newfoundland as Hotelier of the Year; and Seattle’s Starbucks Coffee Company as Supplier of the Year.
This year KML is also presenting its first Rosanna Caira Lifetime Achievement Award to Isadore Sharp, chair of Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts. Sharp is one of the hotel industry’s leading luminaries, having founded Four Seasons Hotels in 1960. His legacy includes a series of innovations, which have changed the hotel industry around the world as well as his contributions to the community through his involvement with the Terry Fox Run, among other philanthropic endeavours.
“As in past years, the 2014 Pinnacle Award winners represent a spectrum of the industry. Honorees have achieved success by creating authentic and innovative experiences while running socially and ethically minded businesses,” said Rosanna Caira, editor and publisher of Kostuch Media Ltd. “I’m also honoured to be presenting our Pinnacle Lifetime Achievement Award to a man who has had a lasting impact on the hotel industry around the world — someone who is genuinely respected as one of Canada’s great leaders.”
King Street Food Company, Company of the Year, Eastern Canada, has had a stellar 2014. In addition to running a strong portfolio of restaurants, including Buca, Jacobs and Co. Steakhouse as well as The Saint Tavern, the Toronto company opened Bar Buca and is scheduled to open a new Buca restaurant in the Four Seasons Hotel & Residences complex in early fall. Next year, King Street also plans to open the first North American location of Jamie’s Italian, teaming with celebrity chef Jamie Oliver. Vancouver’s Cactus Club, Company of the Year, Western Canada, has continued its growth with plans to expand east into Saskatchewan and Toronto. The company’s success has been achieved by blending the worlds of fine-dining and casual-dining through inventive design, quality food and personalized service.
This year’s Independent Restaurateurs of the Year are Steven Salm, Michael Kimble and Michael Steh of Chase Hospitality Group. Salm, formerly of Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment, and chef Michael Steh, most recently with Reds Bistro, run the Chase as well as Chase Fish & Oyster and Little Fin. This past summer, the Toronto company opened its much-anticipated modern French restaurant in the city’s Thompson Hotel. Colette Grand Café is inspired by the timeless boulangeries and cafés that line city streets in France and features a modern approach to traditional French cuisine.
Chef of the Year Ned Bell leads the kitchen at Four Seasons Vancouver, namely Yew Seafood + Bar. He has has made a significant contribution not only to the hotel and the city, but this year, he spent two months on a cycling journey from Newfoundland to B.C. to raise the awareness for fish and seafood sustainability.
This year’s Supplier of the Year worked diligently over the past few years to ensure its products are sustainably produced. In working toward its 2013 year-end goal, High Liner Foods ensured many of its retail and foodservice products display MSC and BAP certification symbols, invested in Fishery Improvement Projects to steer wild fisheries toward MSC certification and engaged its plants in carbon food-print profiling and reduction
On the hotel side, Company of the Year, Choice Hotels Canada has grown its portfolio to include 308 hotels across Canada. Since 2009, it has opened 80 units, including 18 new-build properties. This year, the company added 14 new units to its portfolio. Among the notable highlights of the past year, it opened its first Sleep Inn in 13 years in Emerald Park, Sask. and its first new-build Rodeway in Schefferville, Que.; its first Cambria Hotel & Suites is set to open this year.
Airline Hotels, Hotelier’s Regional Company of the Year, has grown this year, too. With nine units located mostly in Western Canada, the privately owned family run, management company purchased the Ambassador Hotel & Conference Centre in Kingston, Ont. Meanwhile, it also manages brands such as Four Points, Travelodge, Country Inn & Suites and Hilton.
As Hotelier of the Year Zita Cobb, innkeeper at Fogo Island Inn in Newfoundland, opened the Fogo Island Inn in 2013 and has generated rave reviews from the Canadian and international community. Her unique 29-room inn is part of “a groundbreaking model for community involvement and culture resilience.” The inn’s furniture is made by locals, and its restaurant promotes local and seasonal produce with a traditional yet modern spin.
On the supplier side, Starbucks has branched out in recent years, supplying Starbucks, Torrefazione Italia and Seattle’s Best coffee to more than 500 hotels across Canada. The majority of the company’s coffee is third-party certified or verified through C.A.F.E. Practices, Fair trade or it’s certified organic.
Since introducing the first industry award in 1988, Foodservice and Hospitality has honoured a diverse group of leaders for their continued success, representing every facet of the industry, from upscale restaurants to quick-service chains. The winners are distinguished for their contributions to the image of the industry through civic, educational and community involvement as well as for their efforts in establishing innovative concepts in foodservice or hotel management. Past winners include George Cohon of McDonald’s Restaurants of Canada Ltd.; The TDL Group; Donald Ziraldo and Karl Kaiser of Inniskillin Wines Inc., among others.
Hotelier magazine’s first Hotelier of the Year award was presented in 1994 to hotel executives Robert DeMone, Canadian Pacific Hotels & Resorts; Michael Beckley, Commonwealth Hospitality; and Simon Cooper, Delta Hotels & Resorts.