From the Editor: The Epitome of Excellence

Photo by Nick Wong

With the sudden arrival of December, it’s time to cast our eyes to the year ahead but not until we take one last look at the past year and acknowledge the various highlights and achievements of those who have managed to break ground, who have moved past the setbacks and, in doing so, have crafted a narrative that reflects the epitome of excellence.  

While it’s clear that the foodservice and hospitality industry has not totally put the pandemic behind it, and the impact of COVID-19 continues to be felt across all industry segments, and undoubtedly will continue to do so for many years, it’s re-assuring to see that many operators have moved valiantly forward, breaking free of the pandemic’s stranglehold, all the while learning valuable life lessons along the way that will serve them well in their next chapters.  

Once again, this year’s Pinnacle Award winners are a testament to hard work, creativity and dedication. This year’s winners also share another common trait — they have not let the pandemic define them. Despite the ongoing challenges and the various ups and the downs, they’ve been able to stand out from the pack by daring to believe in themselves and by choosing to dream big. Perseverance and resilience are part of these companies’ playbooks but they’re also sprinkled with creativity, imagination and tenacity. 

As part of this year’s Pinnacle Awards, it gives me great pleasure to recognize, posthumously, an individual whose impact has been far reaching and has stood the test of time. Sadly, Peter Oliver, co-founder of Oliver & Bonacini, passed away last year, leaving a gaping hole in the heart of this dynamic industry. Oliver not only created a lasting legacy — a collection of 69 restaurants and event spaces sprinkled across this vast nation we call home, but he also shaped the lives of so many individuals who chose to work in this industry because of the valuable lessons he imparted on them and the passion he inspired in them. Oliver may no longer be among us, but the lessons he taught us along the way, the enthusiasm and energy he shared with us and the charitable spirit he inspired through his generous donations to various causes have enriched us all and left an indelible impact on the community at large (see story on Peter Oliver). 

As we close out the year and look forward to celebrating the holidays with family and friends, while also taking a much-needed pause in our daily frenetic lives, we hope you enjoy the spirit of the holidays. On behalf of the entire team at KML, we’d like to wish our readers and advertisers alike the very best of the holiday season. Though the world continues to spin faster every day, and geopolitical turmoil continues to plague us and haunt us at every turn, we wish you good health, happiness and, as always, a touch of magic during the holiday season.

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