The winners of the Beijinger's 2015 Reader Restaurant Awards gathered yesterday at the Conrad Hotel to celebrate their victories as well as to vote on the inaugural class of the Beijinger's Dining Hall of Fame.

Four venues and five indivuals were elected to the newly-created Hall on the basis of being named on 50% or more of the ballots submitted by their peers in attendance. Voting was restricted to the senior staff (onwers, head chefs or operations managers) of the restaurants that won.

Venues winning election into the Hall of Fame were Beijing Duck maestros Da Dong Roast Duck; long-time Japanese standby Hatsune, Italian stalwarts Annie's and legendary Belgian beer bar and pizza pioneer The Tree.

Five indivuduals were also elected for their contributions to Beijing's dining scene over an extended period of time. Those enshrined were Alan Wong, creator of Hatsune as well as Kagen and Kariya Spice House; Annie Lee, the founder of Annie’s; Ignace Lecleir, creator of TRB and formerly of Maison Boulud; Rich Akers, the markerting guru behind Lush, Sugar Shack (formerly Pyro Pizza) and Gung Ho! Pizza; and Avi Shabtai, the founder of Peking pita pioneers Biteapitta.

Those enshrined were chosen from a list of venues and people that have been active for at least seven years in Beijing. For this year, that means the candidates must have been active in the Beijing food scene from before March 1, 2008.

At the ceremony, eligible voters were given the opportunity to choose up to 25 venues from a list of 53 and up to 15 personalities from a list of 31.

Peers also chose two Industry Insider awards, given to their favorite New Restaurant and their favorite Chef.

They chose the Rosewood Hotel's Bistrot B as their favorite, followed by Palms LA Kitchen and Taco Bar.

For Best Chef, the insiders' top choice was Rob Cunningham of East Hotel, followed by Kin Hong (The Taco Bar); Dong Zhenxiang (Da Dong Roast Duck) and Jarrod Verbiak (Bistrot B, Rosewood Hotel).

This is the first year the Beijinger has held a Hall of Fame vote, and we'll continue the tradition next year, when the year of eligibility moves to March 2009. Unelected venues and people from this year's ballot will remain on next year's ballot provided they received more than 5% of the vote. They will remain on the ballot for three successive years before being removed from future consideration.

Yesterday's event was emceed by award-winning film producer, writer, actress and entrepreneur Ai Wan, whose films This is Sanlitun and Yasukuni have won awards internationally. She's the co-writer, producer and leading actress of the upcoming new romantic comedy California Sunshine produced by the Wanda Media Group.

Providing food and drink for the event were China Wines & Spirits; Grand Marnier Liqueurs; JC Chenet; Anchor; Aurora Events; Vandergeeten and Qchefs. The afternoon event later spilled over onto the fabulous roofdeck of Conrad's Vivid Bar until the evening.

Below is the final percentages in the Venue Hall of Fame and Personality Hall of Fame voting for this year, with elected venues and people marked with asterisks:

Venue Hall of Fame:

*Hatsune (59%)
*The Tree (59%)
*Da Dong Roast Duck (57%)
*Annie's (51%)

Biteapitta (49%)
Agua (43%)
1001 Nights (35%)
Haidilao Hot Pot (35%)
Din Tai Fung (33%)
Morel's (33%)
Cafe de la Poste (31%)
Dali Courtyard (31%)
The Courtyard (31%)

Kempi Deli, Kempinski Hotel Beijing (29%)
Jin Ding Xuan (27%)
Vineyard Café (27%)
Rumi (24%)
In and Out (22%)
Aria, China World Hotel (20%)
Brasserie Flo (20%)
Comptoirs de France (20%)
Serve the People (20%)

Cafe Sambal (18%)
Lush (18%)
The Bookworm (18%)
The Orchard (18%)
Alameda (16%)
Assaggi (16%)
Bellagio (16%)
Mrs. Shanen's Bagels (16%)
The Den (16%)
Tim's Texas BBQ (16%)
Ganges (14%)
Kro's Nest (14%)
Made in China, Grand Hyatt (14%)
Pure Lotus (14%)
Cepe, Ritz-Carlton Financial Street (12%)
Chef Too (12%)
Middle 8th Restaurant (12%)
Purple Haze (12%)
Chuan Ban (10%)
Grandma's Kitchen (10%)
Green T. House (10%)
Taj Pavilion (10%)

Indian Kitchen (8%)
Luga's Villa (8%)
Quan Ju De (8%)
Senses, Westin Beijing Chaoyang (8%)
Lan (6%)
Matsuko (6%)
Peter's Tex-Mex Grill (6%)
South Beauty (6%)
Yotsuba (6%)

Personality Hall of Fame:

*Alan Wong, Hatsune / Kagen / Kariya Spice House (74%)
*Ignace Lecleir, Maison Boulud / TRB (65%)
*Rich Akers, Lush / Gung Ho! Pizza (65%)
*Annie Lee, Annie’s (56%)
*Avi Shabtai, Biteapitta (52%)

Jeff Powell, The Orchard / Element Fresh / Kro's Nest / Gung Ho! / Flamme / Back Alley Bistro / Frost / Charcoal (47%)

Daniel Urdaneta, SALT/Mosto/Modo/Moka Bros (38%)
Jordi Valles, Marenostrum / Agua (38%)
Dong Zhenxiang, Da Dong Roast Duck (35%)
Gordon Kutil, Rickshaw / Saddle / Big Smoke (35%)
Rennate Morel, Morel’s (35%)
Benjamin Devos, Comptoirs de France (32%)

Hetal Hemnani, Ganges (29%)
Jade Gray, Lush / Sugar Shack (Pyro Pizza) / Gung Ho! (29%)
Tim Hilbert, Tim’s Texas BBQ (29%)
Brian McKenna, Blu Lobster / ROOMBeijing / The CourtYard (26%)
Gabi Alves, Alameda / SALT (26%)
Kro Bauer, Kro’s Nest (26%)
Lejen Chen, Mrs. Shanen’s Bagels (26%)
Cho Chong Gee, Café Sambal (24%)
Frank Siegel, Frank's Place / Sequoia Café (24%)
Kris Ryan, Saddle Cantina / The Big Smoke / Uncle Otis (24%)
Will Yorke, Vineyard Café (24%)

Luga, Saddle / Luga's Pho-Pho / Luga's Villa (18%)
Fariborz Mohebati, Rumi (15%)
William Bolton, Chef Too (15%)
Paul Astephen, Steak and Eggs (12%)
Tobi Demker, Purple Haze (12%)

Jin R, Green T. House (9%)
Mehernosh Pastakia, Taj Pavilion (9%)
Jin Rui, Dali Courtyard (3%)


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