Meet the 40 shortlisted finalists who represent the best in the West€”in the running to be one of the 10 Foodies of the Year.

For the ninth year in a row, we here at WL have scoured the West—from the Manitoba border to the tip of Tofino—searching for chefs, owners, activists and producers who’ve had a major impact on how we eat. This year we run the gamut from a brand new, old-school Jewish deli in Winnipeg, to a farm-to-table spot on a Gulf Island (population: 1,000) that has people happily hopping on BC Ferries, to a chef who’s melding traditional Japanese cuisine with prairie ingredients. These 40 nominees represent the best in foodiedom for the past year, and from their ranks we’ll select out 10 Foodies of the Year on June 21, 2016. They’ll join such illustrious alumni as David Hawksworth, Connie DeSousa and John Jackson and Daniel Costa.The winners will be announced at a gala event on June 21 in Vancouver, but until then, let us know what you think of this year’s crop. (And don’t forget to check out our 2016 Foodies of the Year video where our editors chat about food trends and why these foodies made our list!)

  1. Michael Bartier (Bartier Bros Winery, Oliver) In an area long on bold-name wineries, but short on bold-name winemakers, Bartier is one who has indelibly put his stamp on the region’s wine.
  1. Maxime Bettili and Julien Aubin (Owners, Au Comptoir, Vancouver) This pair of French ex-pats has done the impossible—imported the feel, spirit and the food of a true French brasserie to the heart of Kitsilano.
  1. James Boettcher (Owner, Fiasco Gelato, Calgary) Emerging from a devastating fire, Fiasco continues to expand across the West with its note-perfect take on Italy’s fave cool indulgence.
  1. Uwe Boll (Owner, Bauhaus, Vancouver) The Bauhaus owner makes the list for daring to think that Vancouver was ready for Michelin-starred dining—in Gastown no less.
  1. Blake and Norman Flan (Owners, PD3, Blake, Canmore) Whether you eat at the food truck, the restaurant or buy their take-home provisions—it’s tough to eat well in Canmore without coming into their growing foodie orbit.
  1. Garth Brown (Test Kitchen, Calgary) The pop-up impresario pairs vacant space with up-and-coming chefs to create some of the most dynamic dining nights in the West.
  1. Ezra and Gosia Carroll (Myrtle Point Heritage Farm, Powell River) Just outside of Powell River, these two raise the province’s most sublime free-running heritage pigs in the woods.
  1. Clement Chan, Steve Kuan (Chef and Owner, Torafuku, Vancouver) Everyone always talks about the transition from food truck to bricks and mortar, but this duo has nailed it like few others with their impossible-to-get-a-seat spot on Main Street.
  1. Christine Day (CEO, Luvo Foods, Vancouver) Former Lululemon CEO seeks to bring healthy convenience to the masses.
  1. Lisa Dyck and William Dyck (Owners, Cornell Crème, Winnipeg) Artisanal single-source ice cream—right down to the milking of the cow—now that’s a commitment to local.
  1. Eric Hanson (Chef/Co-Owner, Prairie Noodle Shop, Edmonton) The mash-up of prairie ingredients (barley, locally smoked Gouda) and Japanese technique is creating some of the biggest buzz (and longest lines) of the year.
  1. Nathan Head (Bartender/Owner, Milk Tiger, Proof, Calgary) One of the pillars of Alberta’s mixology scene doubles down this year on the amazing liquor stop, Proof.
  1. Chris Hildreth (Topsoil, Victoria) This urban farmer is transforming Victoria’s rooftops and neglected lots into sources of food so local that you share a postal code.
  1. Jon Hochman (Owner, Sherbrook Street Delicatessen, Winnipeg) A new take on an old-school Jewish deli may be the most inspired foodie decision of the year.
  1. Sean Hoyne (Hoyne Brewing Co., Victoria) The latest star to emerge from Victoria’s overachieving craft brewing scene. Hoyne’s offering strides the fine line between nerd and mass market.
  1. Jacqueline Jacek (Owner, Jacek Chocolates, Edmonton) Like a fashion house, each season brings something wonderful and surprising from Alberta’s cacao queen.
  1. Juno Kim (Chef/Stylist/Instagram, Vancouver) The pop-up chef and Instagram phenom is the foodie guru for the under-25 crowd.
  1. Kevin Kossowan (Documentarian, Edmonton) The Edmonton documentary filmmaker has been the go-to archivist of all things local and sustainable in Alberta.
  1. Roger Maniwa (Hawksworth, Vancouver) Serious wine knowledge paired with a not-too-serious approach helps Maniwa unlock the formidable Hawksworth wine list.
  1. Jesse McCleery and Leanne Lalonde (Pilgrimme, Galiano Island) The dream—the talented chef who eschews the big-city politics and retreats to the small island to focus on pure cooking—is realized in full by this pair who has turned Galiano Island into an unexpected foodie mecca.
  1. Sandra McClintock (McClintock Farms, Victoria) A multi-generational farmer who adjusted her offerings (a water buffalo dairy was probably not considered by her great-great-grandparents) to ensure that it will be around for any generations to come.
  1. Neil McCue (Chef/Owner, Whitehall Restaurant, Calgary) London refinement meets Calgary’s local bounty in one of Calgary’s new bright lights.
  1. Jorge Munoz Santos (Bar Oso, Whistler) He’s unexpectedly killing it with the small plates in what may be the West’s only truly authentic tapas bar.
  1. David Nicolay (Designer, Brewery Owner, Vancouver) When he’s not designing the city’s most beautiful rooms (Heirloom, Bel Cafe), he’s owning them (Cascade Room, Charlie’s Little Italian, el Camino’s) or opening breweries (Main Street) on the side.
  1. Noorbanu Nimji (Cookbook Author, Calgary) She’s 83 and just released her fourth self-published book—her first, from 1974, has sold more than 250,000 copies and is still considered the bible of Ismaili cooking.
  1. Jon and Melissa Perkins (Owners, Picnic, Picnic Too, Dak Rotisserie, Victoria) The royal couple of Fort Street just hit us with Dak, a spot encompassed by our two fave words of the year: Korean Rotisserie.
  1. Marcelo Ramirez Romero and Alfonso Sanz (Owners, La Taqueria, Vancouver) The tired gripe that there’s no good Mexican food in Canada is laid bare by this duo’s four forever-packed rooms.
  1. Mike Robbins (Chef, AnnaLena, Vancouver) In a Kitsilano spot that has been brutal for every other tenant, Robbins and his team have crafted a slavish ode to the daily fresh sheet that is Vancouver’s toughest reservation.
  1. Hayley Rosenberg (Owner, Nourish Kitchen and Café, Charlotte and the Quail, Victoria) If there’s a Venn diagram of all the area’s great producers and suppliers in the regions, the centre is this staple of farm-to-table cuisine.
  1. Matt Sherlock and Ross Hackworth (Owners/Winemakers, Lock and Worth, Naramata) These two are the no-bones proselytizers of natural wine in the OK. Their merlot is unlike any other you’ve tried.
  1. Graham Sherman and Jeff Orr (Tool Shed Brewery, Calgary) Two former IT dudes do the impossible—make the leap from passionate homebrewers to the very front lines of Alberta’s craft brewing scene.
  1. Adam Snelling (Sake Somm, Ki, Calgary) The certified sake sommelier educates customers one rice wine glass at a time drawing from his uber-deep list.
  1. Teresa Spinelli (Co-owner, Italian Centres, Edmonton and Calgary) This second-generation retailer has taken on her father’s vision of bringing the best Italian ingredients to Alberta, and run with it: three bustling stores in Edmonton and one in Calgary—all busy, all the time.
  1. Ryan Spong (CEO, Foodee, Vancouver) The Tacofino partner sends shivers down the spines of traditional caterers as Foodee’s seamlessly connects corporate clients and cool restaurants, from Vancouver to Denver to Atlanta.
  1. Sarah Stewart (Chef, Juniper, Vancouver) A chef who would rather cook than give interviews, but who quietly—and with little fanfare—is cooking some of the most inspired regional dishes.
  1. Minoru Tamaru (Owner, Kingyo, Vancouver) The quiet (right up until she’s not) architect behind a growing (Toronto, Seattle) izakaya empire.
  1. Ricardo Valverde (Chef, Ancora, Vancouver) Seafood restaurants are oddly tough to run in Vancouver. Peruvian restaurants are almost unheard of. This guy has somehow managed to fuse the two and make it look easy.
  1. Sarah Ward (Restaurant Designer, Sarah Ward Interiors, Calgary) If you want to open a new room in Calgary, do what The Nash, Proof and Corbeaux Bakehouse (to name a few) have done and hire this wizard of the smart and sophisticated restaurant look.
  1. Chris Whittaker (Forage, Timber, Vancouver) Vancouver’s green champion quietly goes about his business at the end of Robson, always deflecting the attention away from himself towards the necessity of sustainable practices. But with the opening of Timber, his new casual spot, it’s time to recognize him for operating one of the city’s most consistently exciting kitchens.
  1. Jenice Yu (Fresh Ideas Start Here, Vancouver) Simply put: if you want fresh, sustainable seafood and aren’t put out by running into the Vancouver’s best chefs doing their shopping, then FISH is the spot for you.

VIDEO: Our editors talk food trends and 2016’s top foodiesMORE: 2015 Foodies of the Year