TORONTO — On Friday, nearly 450 hospitality-industry professionals gathered to celebrate this year’s winners of KML’s Pinnacle Awards. The 33rd-annual awards gala – held at the Fairmont Royal York in Toronto – honoured companies and individuals who are impacting the Canadian foodservice-and-hospitality industry.
The event featured a gourmet lunch prepared by the Fairmont Royal York’s executive chef JW Foster and his culinary team.
Following words of welcome from the event’s Platinum Sponsor Chris Siedel, VP of Venue Partnerships at Encore Canada, the awards portion of the day – featuring video tributes to each winner – began.
“The good news is that even through the ebb and flow of COVID, the industry has persevered, survived and in some cases, even thrived. Certainly, it speaks to the resilience of the hospitality industry, which has experienced setbacks and undoubtedly will again,” said Rosanna Caira, editor and publisher, Kostuch Media Limited, who co-hosted the event with Amy Bostock, managing editor, Kostuch Media Limited. “This year’s circle of winners share a common thread – all have been around for decades and all are eminently experienced – a testament that experience really does count. It also speaks to their ability to take tried and true concepts and through time, adapt, improve and evolve.”
Toronto-based Realstar Hospitality was Hotelier’s Company of the Year, while Markham, Ont.-based Mary Brown’s Chicken accepted the award for Foodservice and Hospitality’s (F&H) Company of the Year.
Other category winners for Hotelier included Coast Hotels for Regional Company of the Year; Tim Terceira as Hotelier of the Year; and the Ontario Restaurant Hotel & Motel Association (ORHMA) for Supplier of the Year.
On the foodservice side, Supplier of the Year went to Lactalis Canada; Chef of the Year honours went to chef Michael Smith from The Inn at Bay Fortune in P.E.I.; Independent Restaurateur of the Year went to Teatro Restaurant Group; and Regional Company of the Year honours went to White Spot.
The final award category, the Rosanna Caira Lifetime Achievement Award, was presented to seasoned industry executive Simon Cooper, who led such brands as Canadian Pacific Hotels, Omni Hotels & Resorts, Delta Hotels & Resorts, Marriott and the Ritz-Carlton, and was instrumental in the formation of the Canadian Tourism Commission (now Destination Canada) back in 1994.
Since launching the first award in 1988, F&H has honoured a diverse group of leaders for their continued success and achievements, representing every facet of the industry, from upscale restaurants to quick-service chains. Each of this year’s winners are distinguished for their contributions to the image of the industry through civic, educational and community involvement, as well as their efforts in establishing innovative concepts in foodservice or hotel management. Past winners include George Cohon of McDonald’s Restaurants of Canada Ltd., The TDL Group, Starbucks Canada and Four Seasons Hotels founder, Isadore Sharp. Hotelier magazine’s first annual Hotelier of the Year award, representing similar achievement in the hotel industry, was presented in 1994 to hotel executives Robert DeMone, Canadian Pacific Hotels & Resorts; Michael Beckley, Commonwealth Hospitality; and Simon Cooper, Delta Hotels & Resorts.