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Lower Mainland Professionals to be recognized

Aug 16, 2019 bcrfauser01

The Restaurant Hall of Fame celebrates those who have made significant contributions to the restaurant business and to grow our industry’s professionalism. “Our province is blessed with considerable talent. This year’s group of inductees has worked tirelessly on behalf of the industry and their leadership inside and outside of the industry makes them incredible role models,” says Ian Tostenson, president and CEO of the BC Restaurant and Food Services Association (BCRFA).

The 2019 Lower Mainland Hall of Fame inductees will be honoured on October 7, 2019:

– Susan Mendelson is chef/owner of The Lazy Gourmet (Vancouver), one of Vancouver’s first catering companies, and the author of many successful cookbooks for kids and adults around the world. Susan’s passion for great tastes and presenting impeccable food for events of every size and scope has influenced a generation of cooks and entrepreneurs. Her commitment to elevating the tastes and service that we are known for here in BC is something we are pleased to celebrate.

– Frank di Benedetto and Bruce Fox have both driven restaurant growth on a large scale. Their passion for this industry and for promoting the potential of careers in restaurants make them each perfect for the Hall of Fame.

As owner of FDF Brandz (Vancouver), Frank operates over 175 locations of Ricky’s Family Restaurants, FatBurger, Famoso Pizzeria and ABC Family Restaurants. Since his first job at McDonald’s in Prince George in 1969, Frank has driven growth and introduced new burger concepts to the province. We recognize his appetite for development and commitment to innovation.

Bruce is responsible for bringing over 200 franchisees into the restaurant community. Bruce is super passionate about helping great people find business success in restaurants. Through his career with Boston Pizza, Opa! Souvalaki, Good Earth Café and now Browns Restaurant Group, Bruce has helped pair brands with locations and people to give BC consumers great dining choices.

– Meeru Dhalwala, co-owner/chef of Vij’s and Rangoli Restaurants (Vancouver), is being inducted for her excellence as a chef and mentor. Meeru runs one of the only all woman kitchens in the province. She mentors home cooks trained in the traditional Indian ways to brings them into her restaurant kitchens. She has changed the face of Indian cooking in Canada through her inspired menus and her cookbooks geared to the everyday cook.

– Barb Finley is a chef, educator and the founder of Project Chef. We are inducting her for her leadership in bringing the love of healthy local food and cooking to children and families at schools in Vancouver. Barb’s ability to translate the love of wholesome, nutritious meals to the next generation in a hands on way is helping to make our industry stronger and helping professionals connect with the next generation.

“The individuals being inducted in 2019 are true professionals whose generosity of spirit and strength of passion and contribution make the BC Restaurant industry world class,” says Bob Parrotta, Chair of the BC Restaurant Hall of Fame. “We couldn’t be more honoured to recognize the diverse efforts and accomplishments of the 2019 inductees. These people set a high benchmark for future years.”

Early bird tickets for the October 7 gala are now available for purchase online or by phone: 604-669-2239