Big Upcoming Events For CinCin, Araxi, West and Blue Water Cafe

November 3, 2010 

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Veteran Top Table restaurant staff have been recognised for their contributions to the Vancouver restaurant scene...

News from Scout supporters CinCin, Araxi, West, & Blue Water Café

Vancouver & Whistler, BC | Check out all the details on CinCin’s Truffle Festival, the Mayor’s Arts Award for Blue Water Cafe executive chef Frank Pabst, Neil Henderson’s return to Whistler’s Araxi, the Chefs’ Table luncheon at West and the full calendar of holiday events at each Top Table restaurant (including Araxi’s annual involvement in Cornucopia) after the jump… Read more

West Restaurant Elevates David Gunawan To Executive Chef

September 14, 2010 

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West is located at 2881 Granville in Vancouver's South Granville neighbourhood | 604-738 -8938 | westrestaurant.com

News from Scout supporter West Restaurant

Vancouver, BC | Jack Evrensel, proprietor of Top Table Group, is pleased to announce the promotion of David Gunawan to the position of Executive Chef of West Restaurant.

“Since assuming the Chef de Cuisine role at West, David has worked tirelessly with his team and our suppliers to create new menus that reflect the very best of British Columbia,” Evrensel said. “That devotion to West’s core values of providing exemplary fine dining experiences has been reflected in the overwhelmingly positive response of our guests. This promotion is recognition of that response, which flows from David’s tremendous talent, his discipline, and his leadership skills.”

An emergent star in Vancouver’s culinary scene, the Singapore-raised Gunawan honed his skills in top restaurants in Chicago, Seattle and Vancouver. He joined West as Chef de Partie in 2007, and was promoted to Chef de Cuisine from Executive Sous Chef earlier this year. Read more

Top Table Staff Win Accolades As Major Anniversaries Near…

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Veteran Top Table restaurant staff have been recognised for their contributions to the Vancouver restaurant scene...

News from Scout supporters CinCin, Araxi, West, & Blue Water Café

Vancouver & Whistler, BC | Fresh on the heels of an unprecedented 17 awards garnered at the recent Vancouver Magazine Restaurant Awards, Top Table team members will be recognized with two more accolades.

On September 27th, executive chef Frank Pabst of Blue Water Cafe + Raw Bar, and restaurant director Brian Hopkins of West, will be inducted into the British Columbia Restaurant Hall of Fame. These awards signal those “who have demonstrated exceptional professionalism working in the restaurant industry by making their restaurant a special experience.”

The BC Restaurant Hall of Fame was founded six years ago by the BC Restaurant and Food Services Association, and annually honours “the greats” of the province’s culinary community. Jack Evrensel, proprietor of Top Table Group (and 2007 inductee) said, “This is a true distinction and a great honour for Frank and Brian, as well as being a real credit to the other team members in their respective restaurants.” Read more

Top Table Eateries Win Big At The Van Mag Restaurant Awards

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CinCin, Araxi, West, and Blue Water Cafe take home awards at the 2010 Vancouver Magazine Restaurant Awards

News from Scout supporters CinCin, Araxi, West, & Blue Water Café

Vancouver & Whistler, BC | We are pleased to share with you that Top Table restaurants were recognized an unprecedented 17 times at the 21st annual Vancouver Magazine Restaurant Awards held Tuesday, May 18th at the Sheraton Wall Centre. A panel of 19 judges acknowledged Araxi, Blue Water Cafe, CinCin and West, before a standing-room only audience of British Columbia’s leading restaurateurs, chefs and service professionals. Read more

Top Table’s New Awards, Spring Menus And Upcoming Events…

April 28, 2010 

Keep up with award-winning Top Table restaurants CinCin, Araxi, West, and Blue Water Cafe at TopTable.ca

News from Scout supporters CinCin, Araxi, West, and Blue Water Café

Vancouver + Whistler, BC | Top Table restaurants were successful again this year at the annual Vancouver Playhouse International Wine Festival Wine List Awards. Convened on Friday, April 23rd at a luncheon to kick off the final weekend of the 32nd festival, Blue Water Cafe and West won two of only three Platinum Awards, while CinCin won one of five Gold Awards, and Araxi, Silver.

The Wine List Awards draw upon restaurants from across British Columbia and Alberta, with judging criteria measuring each restaurant’s wine program philosophy and how successfully wine and food pairing goals match it. Further criteria include the quality of wine education for staff, an accessible and user-friendly list, and the provision of value at all price points.

We would also like to congratulate Owen Knowlton, wine director of West, who was nominated for Sommelier of the Year, a distinction awarded to Blue Water Cafe’s Andrea Vescovi in 2009 and Chris Van Nus in 2007.

Top Table’s wine libraries are also perennial recipients of the ‘Best of’ Award of Excellence from Wine Spectator magazine. Read more

David Gunawan Promoted To Chef De Cuisine Position At West

April 19, 2010 

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West is located at 2881 Granville in Vancouver's South Granville neighbourhood | 604-738 -8938 | westrestaurant.com

News from Scout supporter West Restaurant

Vancouver, BC | Jack Evrensel, proprietor of Top Table Group, is pleased to announce the promotion of David Gunawan to Chef de Cuisine of West Restaurant.

“David is a tremendous talent who will provide a fresh focus for West’s kitchen,” said Evrensel. “His philosophy reflects the restaurant’s core values and our ongoing dedication towards providing exemplary fine dining experiences.”

A rising star in Vancouver’s culinary scene, David honed his skills in top restaurants throughout Chicago, Seattle and Vancouver.

Unusually for an aspiring chef, he first studied at Purdue University in Indiana where he graduated with a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering. Form soon followed function, when he graduated from two culinary schools: Kendall College in Chicago, and then Vancouver Community College. Read more

Top Table Restaurants On The Most Romantic Night Of The Year

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Award-winning Top Table restaurants CinCin, Araxi, West, and Blue Water Cafe are celebrating Earth Hour

News from Scout supporters CinCin, Araxi, West, and Blue Water Café

Vancouver + Whistler, BC | Like yours, our Olympic memories are rife with wonderful individual moments and the spirit that celebrated excellence at every turn. We enjoyed a great mix of our regulars and locals at each of our restaurants – Araxi in Whistler, and Blue Water Cafe, CinCin, and West in Vancouver – along with many visitors, royals and celebrities of an extraordinary diversity. Read more

Top Table Restaurants Opening Doors And Corks To Medalists

February 5, 2010 

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Award-winning Top Table restaurants CinCin, Araxi, West, and Blue Water Cafe to pop corks for Olympic medalists

News from Scout supporters CinCin, Araxi, West, and Blue Water Café

Vancouver & Whistler, BC | Winning an Olympic medal is no easy feat. The road is long, the sacrifices many, and the support structures that enable athletes to reach the podium are elaborate. But ask an Olympic athlete the key to their success, and the reply is almost always, “My family and friends.”

Araxi in Whistler, and Blue Water Cafe, CinCin, and West in Vancouver, will salute winning athletes during the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics by helping them toast family and friends at the restaurants’ bars with a complimentary bottle of Nicolas Feuillatte champagne.

“We want to congratulate the bronze, silver and gold medalists from all countries, and give them the opportunity to toast those closest to them, that took them to the pinnacle of their sport,” said Jack Evrensel, proprietor of Top Table. “Top Table is all about teamwork, and so are the endeavours of Olympic athletes – this is a simple way to show our appreciation.”

Medalists: Reserve in advance through Top Table’s restaurant directors, bring your medal, and the bubbles will begin to flow. Read more

Top Table Cookbook Collection From Vancouver’s Top Toques

December 1, 2009 

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Purchase signed copies of all three Top Table cookbooks (West, Araxi, Blue Water Cafe) this holiday season

News from Scout supporters West, Blue Water Cafe, and Araxi

From the good folks at Top Table comes word of a gift set – “an inscribed collection of the year’s top cookbooks” – just in time for the holidays. More after the leap… Read more

Araxi, West, CinCin, & Blue Water Café Ready For The Holidays

November 26, 2009 

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Lunch service, cookbooks, private functions, gift certificates, and more from the Top Table group of restaurants

News from Scout supporters CinCin, Araxi, West, and Blue Water Café

Vancouver, BC | Araxi, Blue Water Cafe, CinCin and West offer delicious holiday gifts and entertainment for staff, family and favoured clients. Full details on what the award-winning restaurants have planned for the holidays after the jump…
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MIchelin-Starred Richard Neat To Cook At Granville’s “West”

August 25, 2009 

Internationally renowned chef Richard Neat will be in the kitchen at West for one night only this Monday

Internationally renowned chef Richard Neat will be in the kitchen at West for one night only this Monday

News from Scout Supporter West Restaurant

A few seats remain for our forthcoming guest chef dinner with renowned UK Chef Richard Neat next Monday, August 31st. Richard, who mentored West’s own Warren Geraghty at London’s fabled Pied à Terre and at Restaurant Neat in Cannes and London, was honoured as the first British chef to win a Michelin star in France. Read more

Chowblog: The 5 Unique Species Of South Granville Customer

Guest-blogger Lauren Mote | Chow is on South Granville, smack dab in a neutral area, just five doors north of a steep hill. Along this stretch, from Broadway to 50th, the customers change on all sides. We get ‘em all. The most interesting thing about them is that they are all complete products of the neighbourhoods in which they live. The places they visit don’t define their attitudes. Read more

The Covenant Of The Cook At Chow

The following is the first of several posts by guest blogger Lauren Mote, bar manager at South Granville’s Chow Restaurant.

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The Covenant of the Cook: an unspoken theology or contract accepted from the moment the apron goes on, and the knives are sharpened.

We all know it takes a “special” kind of person to last in a restaurant, to withstand the military regime of the “Oui, chef!” kitchen. The covenant of the cook, the bond that holds the team together and keeps them loyal to their chef, shows in bold relief whenever I hear “D’ahhhhhh——–!”. It’s the high-pitched squeal that intermittently stirs up from JC’s spacious dungeon, where we keep our cooks.

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If you took a long look at his team at work, you’d wonder how it is that they ever stop screaming. Robbie the sous stares back at me with his “Pasquale?s Kitchen” red hat and off-set spatula, his walkie-talkie to the other kitchen informants (I would pay him to break out into an aria like Pasquale Carpino himself). Up close and personal, his finesse and precision confirms why he’s JC’s right-hand man. To his right, JC anxiously prepares cases of butternut squash for battle. Kitchen intern “Killer” sadly busted his arm a while back, and is still out of the game. He loved peeling squash.

Every so often, with a little encouragement from the other screams, JC will turn and join his crew, squealing “D’ahhhhhh——–!” while reverberating ever so slightly to the Marky Mark track blasting on the dungeon stereo. Dom, our favourite Quebecois cook (from the same town as JC), pokes and prods the meats on his station, dips his finger into a random sauce to control salt (we assume), but he never yells. His particular charm comes from his attempts at becoming fluent in English. Of course we don’t make it easy for him. We teach him bad words and how to blaspheme, all the rude slang and the least “correct” ways of expressing oneself (is it really verb before noun, or is it noun before verb?). When Dom bellows lines like “Luuuuuuke, get the yolk eggs, get the yolk eggs!”, and then quietly mutters “I like these peoples a lot”, it’s hard not to find him the most charming man in the world.

Myra, who has somehow acquired the unflattering nickname of “LidBin”, likes tall wicked witch socks, short pants, and sneaking out for mid-service cigarettes. She is hands-down the greatest staff meal cook I have ever encountered, and to that end some have stopped buying groceries altogether. At 4:30pm every day, Myra can stuff them silly for free. She’s the team’s pastry gal, and about to compete in her first ever pastry competiton for Quady Essencia Orange Muscat. To prepare, she’s been happily sampling off her ideas to guests and staff alike until they are perfected (very good for morale). On a professional, “scalding hot items” note, I’m pretty sure Myra could reach into a boiling hot pot of veal stock with her bare hands and not give a twitch.

Lastly, we find Sean Bone. He’s a double-name addressee for some reason. “My name is Bone, Sean Bone. People call me Sean Bone.” OK. Each member of this kitchen brigade is worthy of their own blog entry, but Sean Bone will be good for plenty. He’ll absolutely have a Top 10 list of Reasons Why He Should Always Get Enough Sleep, with listings 3 through 9 predictably including variances of “the necessity of wearing clothes at all times in the kitchen”.

I get to leave this place, to work the floor upstairs where the sunlight, the traffic, and the people all are, but down here, where harmlessly disturbed individuals (that anyone would be especially reluctant to pass a knife to) prepare the most outrageous of duck breasts, the most delicate of seafoods, and enough addictive sweet and savoury accoutrements to undress a team of stubbornly sexless curlers, there is this common covenant that makes the professional kitchen the envy of cubicles everywhere, even of us pretties up top. Their love for food is shared, yes, but it is the kitchen as “giggle factory” (as Robbie puts it), the love of cooking in a platoon, that makes it so special and singular.

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