TORONTO — In Toronto-based Kostuch Media’s biggest and most lavish awards ceremony yet, the magazine publisher celebrated its 25th annual Pinnacle Awards — honouring the best and brightest in foodservice and hospitality — at Toronto’s Fairmont Royal York Hotel. It rolled out the red carpet for more than 500 industry members at the holiday reception and ceremony.
This year, the media company, which owns sister magazines F&H and Hotelier magazine, gave out a combined 11 awards, recognizing Pizza Pizza as Company of the Year for F&H and SilverBirch Hotels & Resorts as Company of the Year for Hotelier.
And, a special surprise occurred on-stage as long-time editor and publisher, Rosanna Caira, was given a Lifetime Achievement Award for her contributions to the foodservice and hospitality industry, as well as her role in the Pinnacle Awards, which she launched in 1988. Mitch Kostuch, president of Kostuch Media and Doug Fisher, president of FHG International Inc. (and an F&H board member) took to the stage in the emotional tribute to the editor, renaming the award The Caira Lifetime Achievement Award. “Receiving this tribute from the team at KML, and our esteemed editorial advisory boards, in front of 500 industry executives was extremely gratifying, and was one of the most memorable highlights of my career,” said Caira in accepting her award to a standing ovation. “And, moving forward, to have the award named in my honour is simply humbling,” she said.
As guests dined on butter poached lobster and hickory-smoked filet mignon, they watched a commemorative video of past award winners, including Ken Otto, COO of Boston Pizza, Jay Gould, president of New York Fries and South Street Burger Co., and Jeff Fuller, president and CEO of Joey Restaurants, who shared their memories of achieving a Pinnacle Award and how it impacted their operations.
Seven awards were handed out on behalf of F&H, recognizing Ink Entertainment (Regional Company of the Year), Emad Yacoub of Glowbal Restaurant Group (Independent Restaurateur of the Year); Robert Bartley, Maple Leaf Sports + Entertainment (Independent Chef of the Year); Freshii (Franchise Excellence); and Maple Leaf Foodservice (Supplier of the Year).
Hotelier magazine presented four awards, including Skyline Hotels & Resorts (Regional Company of the Year); Dimitrios Zarikos, Four Seasons Toronto (Hotelier of the Year); and CBRE Hotels (Supplier of the Year).
Stay tuned for details on next year’s 26th annual Pinnacle Awards.