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Product of the Year 2019 Judges


DANNY MARCOWICZ,  Executive Chef White Spot Canada

Promoted to Executive Chef in May 2014, Danny Markowicz brings more than 20 years of diverse culinary experience to White Spot and Triple O’s.

Danny completed his Red Seal designation at Southern Alberta Institute of Technology with an apprenticeship at the Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel, and moved to Vancouver to pursue his passion at the Pan Pacific Hotel and Diva at the Met. Prior to joining White Spot & Triple O’s, he led menu development at Browns Social House.

An integral part of the White Spot family since 2010, Danny’s transition from Executive Development Chef to Executive Chef was earned through huge accolades from both guests and staff, and for his menu innovation – including healthy choices such as the Tandoori Cauliflower Quinoa salad along with popular entrees like  Mexicali Fish Tacos and Chicken & Mushroom Fettuccine Alfredo, and conversation-starting features like the Peanut Butter, Bacon, & Jalapeño Burger and the Poutine Burger and the re-launch of the most requested item of all time, Chicken Pick’ns.

Danny’s rare level of creativity, unfalteringly positive attitude and deep understanding of the hospitality business make any culinary challenge an exciting possibility.

When not in the kitchen, Danny can be found supporting the local music scene or travelling the world with his snorkel in tow.


MIJUNE PAK,  Top Chef Canada

Mijune is the founder and personality behind the popular food and travel blog www.followmefoodie.com. Named industry’s “Must Follow” at The Social Media Awards, it is internationally recognized and respected as one of the top ones in Canada. She is also the food columnist for the Westender, culinary host on Novus TV, honorary media judge for BC Chefs' Association, and judge for the Canadian Grand Prix New Product Awards. Follow Mijune on Twitter and Instagram at @FollowMeFoodie.  


KEN CLARK,  Save on Foods

Ken began his career in the retail grocery business back in 1971.  He has worked, managed and led Teams in every area of the business and has had the good fortune of having the opportunity of working for and learning from a number of very good organizations like Steinberg/Miracle Food Mart, Loeb/IGA, Loblaw’s/National Grocers, Ontario Pork Marketing Board, the Oshawa Group and IBP/Lakeside Packers.

For the past twenty-one years he has had the great pleasure to call Save On Foods home where he has been a member of the Senior Management Team.  Ken’s role today is General Manager Meats where he and his Team are responsible for Meat and Seafood Merchandising.

Save On Foods operates 175 stores throughout Western Canada under the following banners: Save On Foods, PriceSmart Foods, Urban Fare and Bulkley Valley Wholesale.


DARYLE NAGATA,  Executive Chef, Premium Brands Holdings

Scottish Japanese heritage and was born and raised in Lethbridge, Alberta. Chef Negata started working in restaurants at age 14 and moved to Edmonton to apprentice at the Westin Hotel. Once complete, he moved to England and worked at Savoy Hotel. After which he moved to Switzerland and continued his journey and training at 5 Star hotels in Europe. Over the years, Chef Nagata has worked across Canada, USA, China, Japan, Taiwan & Indonesia. He has operated large brigades in hotels as Executive Chef for 25 + years. He was Chef Consultant for Team Canada 2008 Olympics, James Beard House Guest Chef, Chopped Canada Champion & Extensive International Promotions for Agriculture & Agrifood Canada. Chef Nagata is Currently Corporate Chef for Premium Brands Holds Corporation which owns and manages over 50 Specialty food and Distribution Companies in Canada & USA.

Chef Nagata’s Signature Modo is “Nourish Your Body, Feed Your Soul & Happy Cooking “


ALEXANDRA GILL  Globe and Mail Vancouver

Alexandra Gill has been The Globe and Mail’s Vancouver restaurant critic since 2005. She joined the paper as a summer intern in 1997 and was hired full-time as an entertainment columnist the following year. In 2001, she moved to Vancouver as the Western Arts Correspondent, a position she held until 2007. Her arts reportage was nominated for a National Newspaper Award in 2004. Now a freelance contributor, she writes primarily about food and drink for the B.C. and Life sections.


Ryan Moreno CEO, Co-Founder & Principal, The Joseph Richard Group

Ryan Moreno is co-founder and CEO of The Joseph Richard Group, one of BC’s fastest growing Hospitality companies. The company currently operates 25 Food & Beverage establishments, a private-label beer called Two Pals Lager, a wine proprietorship branded Chapter Estates Wine Co., and a catering division called Blank Canvas Catering. Most recently under Ryan’s direction the company further diversified their portfolio by acquiring Glass House Estate Winery. Ryan is also partner in a Health & Wellness clinic in the U.S.; holds a commercial real estate portfolio and is an operating partner at Search + Rescue Marketing Agency which he started in 2005 under a different name.

Ryan launched the JRG Sleep Out Fundraising Campaign in 2017 as a result of his involvement with Covenant House. The 1st Annual JRG Sleep Out exceeded the fundraising goal and raised over $115,000. The 2nd Annual JRG Sleep Out in 2018 raised over $160,000 for Covenant House and Youth Unlimited. He sits on the Board of Governors for the South Surrey Independent School Society which operates Southridge School. Ryan named finalist for the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year® 2018, and was awarded 2018 Business Person of the Year by South Surrey White Rock Chamber of Commerce.