It's official: our 2022 Foodies of the Year list is out! We are honoured to celebrate the top 10 (well, technically 13—there are a lot of awesome duos in this industry) foodies in the West from our roster of 40+ finalists. Read on to learn more about the folks who are changing the way we grow, cook and eat food—for the better.
Aki Kaltenbach. Photo by Lillie Louise Major.
Save da Sea, Victoria
When Save da Sea founder Aki Kaltenbach transitioned to a plant-based lifestyle with her partner in 2018, she made it her mission to find the “Beyond” of seafood—both for herself and to serve to customers at her family’s Japanese restaurant in Whistler. The search turned up no viable options—so Kaltenbach decided to create her own recipe. READ MORE ⇒
Omar Mouallem. Photo by Aaron Pedersen.
The Last Baron, Edmonton
It was 2013, and Edmonton writer (and, full disclosure, former WL contributor) Omar Mouallem had hopped into his car to drive across Alberta and chase down a story/obsession about a quirky regional chain called Burger Baron. READ MORE ⇒
Ayissi Nyemba. Photo by Kyoko Fierro.
Emkao Foods, Mission
Starting a business is always a tricky endeavour. Doing it as a recent immigrant only compounds that difficulty. Add to that the mission to manage your business according to the highest level of ethical and sustainable standards? Well, now we’re in truly rarefied territory. READ MORE ⇒
Garrett Bruce Martin. Photo by Britta Kokemor.
Garrett Bruce Martin
Concorde Entertainment Group, Calgary
There are the chain restaurants (consistent, dependable) and there are the independents (quirky, but maybe hit-or-miss), and never the twain shall meet—or so the conventional wisdom would have you believe. READ MORE ⇒
Scott Iserhoff. Photo by Aaron Pedersen.
Pei Pei Chei Ow Catering, Edmonton
Mushkego Cree chef Scott Iserhoff is bringing Indigenous cuisine to the forefront through his Edmonton-based company Pei Pei Chei Ow—while also using food as a way to delve into more far-reaching conversations. READ MORE ⇒
Don Guthro and Quang Dang. Photo by Leila Kwok.
Don Guthro and Quang Dang
D.I.C.E.D. Culinary School, Vancouver
Here’s the reality: there are hundreds, maybe thousands, of unbelievably caring people across the West who have dedicated their lives to helping those less privileged than themselves—and who never get a drop of ink written about their endeavours. And sometimes all it takes is for a new detail to surface to help us all see what was right in front of us the whole time. READ MORE ⇒
Roni Zaide. Photo by Hannah Burne.
Roni’s Kitchen, Calgary
After working in restaurants, hosting brunch pop-ups and catering weddings across Calgary, Israeli-born Roni Zaide shifted her focus to “demystifying cooking” and making delicious, plant-based homemade food accessible to all. READ MORE ⇒
Jeff Guignard. Photo by Leila Kwok.
ABLE BC, Vancouver
Ask any British Columbian who makes their living as a restaurateur: pre-COVID, the province was among the most repressive jurisdictions around when it came to making a buck from selling booze. READ MORE ⇒
Miki Ellis and Stephen Whiteside. Photo by Leila Kwok.
Miki Ellis and Stephen Whiteside
Dachi, Elephant and Hanai, Vancouver
The great ones make it look easy. Drop by Dachi on any given night and you’ll probably see Miki Ellis or Stephen Whiteside milling about, effortlessly attending to everyone’s needs—and, for a second, you’ll think I could do that in the same way that watching Steph Curry draining three-pointers at a pre-game practice makes basketball seem simple, too. READ MORE ⇒
Greg Dilabio and Antoine Dumont. Photo by Leila Kwok.
Greg Dilabio and Antoine Dumont
Oca Pastificio, Vancouver
Ask any artist (okay, at least any modern artist) what the most difficult task is and they will tell you it is drawing that perfect circle—anyone looking at it will know exactly where the mistakes are, because there’s no hiding space for error like you’ll find in shading or colouring. Which sort of makes Greg Dilabio the Titian of fresh pasta, Antoine Dumont the Bernini of the front of house, and their modestly sized Oca Pastificio the Uffizi of Commercial Drive. READ MORE ⇒