To recognize the long-time dedication and good food offered by local Chinese restaurants, a Vancouver-based non-profit organization created the first-ever Master Chef awards – and 12 Richmond restaurants won the award out of 80 nominees. Four Vancouver restaurants also won a Master Chef Award.
“Chinese cuisine can give our bodies a healthy boost and help immigrants feel at home, but it’s rare to see local Chinese restaurants receive any award even though they play an important role in our lives,” said William Tse, director and chief secretary of Canada Catering Association, a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting high standards of catering to the public.
“Food is an important part of Chinese culture. To acknowledge the contribution and impact made by Chinese restaurants to the local community, we decided to give out Master Chef Awards.”
These 12 winners feature a wide variety of Chinese cuisine, such as dim sum, fresh seafood and hand-pulled noodles.
Sun Sui Wah Seafood Restaurant near No. 3 Road is one of the restaurants that won a Master Chef Award, and it’s well-known for its king crab and roasted squab. The king crab meat has a unique “sweet” flavour and delicately tender texture, and the roasted squab is guaranteed to be juicy and extremely flavourful, according to Tse.
Among the winners, Saint Germain Bakery is the only pastry shop to receive a Master Chef Award.
“Saint Germain Bakery’s success doesn’t come without commitment and dedication to the public. This pastry shop is known for its baking skills, great choice of ingredients and cutting edge equipment,” said Tse.
The winners’ list also included one American restaurant, a Chinese hand-pulled noodles eatery in San Francisco. Tony Wu, one of the top chefs of the restaurant, was the first chef to set a record for pulling 16,000 noodles in two minutes, said Tse, adding that he hopes to invite Wu to bring his signature dish to Richmond in the future.
The Master Chef award was planned to start in Richmond and Vancouver, and then to be introduced to other cities later.
“Almost 80 per cent of our association members are from Richmond; lots of Chinese restaurants thrive here since restaurants all cluster together, providing food lovers with access to different cuisines, ” Tse noted.
In addition, the organizer also set up the “best service and courtesy” award this year. Eight restaurants from Richmond won this award.
However, getting a trophy isn’t just luck, Tse said, adding that his association set up criteria to evaluate which restaurantsw would meet the qualification. To apply for this award, the candidate must have worked in the industry for at least 15 years.
“And we focus on team efforts instead of a single employee’s achievement. Even if the manager stands out with exceptional customer service skills, that’s still not enough,” Tse said.
“We want to see a team working efficiently and profitably together. If a manager brings a team together and fosters its ability to work as a whole, that would prove he or she is a good boss.”