Downtown Hotspot Singled out for Best Upscale, Seafood Restaurant Honours While Chef Alex Chen Crowned Chef of the Year at Annual Industry Ceremony


It was a banner day for both Boulevard Kitchen & Oyster Bar and Chef Alex Chen when the downtown destination captured big wins in the Best Seafood and Best Upscale categories, while Chen was appointed Chef of the Year at the 2018 Vancouver Magazine Restaurant Awards.

Cementing its influential role in Vancouver’s culinary landscape, Boulevard unseated long-standing winners in both the Best Upscale and Best Seafood categories at the 29th annual edition of the Awards.

“This year it’s the second act of Boulevard Kitchen & Oyster Bar, Alex Chen’s temple to all things seafood in the Sutton Place Hotel, that the judges felt had found its groove four years after opening,” stated the magazine in its May 2018 awards issue. “ ‘The combo of (Alex Chen and Roger Ma) may be the best in town’, noted one judge.”

Chen, who now adds Vancouver magazine’s ‘Chef of the Year’ title to his list of impressive accolades, led Team Canada to a top-10 finish at the 2013 edition of the prestigious Bocuse d’Orin Lyon, France, and won the 2015 and ’17 editions of the Gold Medal Plates BC regional culinary competitions as well as the 2018 Canadian Culinary Championships.

“Our judges lauded ‘the absolutely Herculean effort’ Chen has put forward since opening Boulevard … to move a very traditional hotel kitchen forward into fresh, exciting cooking that remains grounded in unyielding rigour, classical French technique and respect for history’,” stated the magazine. “He ‘effortlessly brings Asian sensibility, lightness and nuance to his menu in a subtle yet clear-eyed way that doesn’t feel foreign or intrusive’.”

In accepting his award on stage before a standing-room-only of BC’s culinary who’s who, Chen stated: “I dedicate this award not only to my family but to our back- and front-of-house staff both past and present and the various vendors we work with,” said Chen. “Without them I wouldn’t have the same motivation or desire to mentor and we couldn’t do what we do on a day-to-day basis. I am incredibly grateful for this recognition, but it is, as always, a team effort and I share this with the entire team at Boulevard.”

The Vancouver Magazine Restaurant Awards are judged by a panel of leading culinary experts and critics and handed out at a formal award show at the Sheraton Wall Centre in Vancouver. A full list of winners from the 2018 edition of the annual awards is available at

For the latest news about Boulevard, register for the restaurant’s e-newsletter at, become a fan of /blvdyvr on Facebook or follow @blvdyvr on Twitterand Instagram.

ABOUT BOULEVARD KITCHEN & OYSTER BAR | Located in the heart of downtown Vancouver, Boulevard Kitchen & Oyster Bar redefines the fine art of dining with subtle, unexpected and playful approaches to cuisine, service and style. From the all-star front-of-house team to the acute attention to detail in design to the understated elegance of the restaurant’s seafood-focused cuisine infused with casual West Coast flair, Boulevard sets forth an uncompromising standard of excellence guaranteed to capture the attention of food-savvy Vancouver residents and visitors on plate and palate alike. Paired with exceptional service, a wide-ranging selection of wine and cocktails and true European ambiance in a traditional-yet-modern setting, Boulevard offers breakfast (6:30 to 11 a.m.), lunch (11 a.m. to 4 p.m.), dinner (5 to 11 p.m.) and late-night service until 1 a.m. seven days a week, as well as weekend brunch from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and happy hour from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m.

845 Burrard Street, Vancouver, B.C. V6Z 2K6 | (604) 642-2900 | | Twitter: @blvdyvr | Facebook: /blvdyvr | Instagram: @blvdyvr

ABOUT ALEX CHEN | Executive Chef — Signature Restaurants for the Sutton Place Hotel’s luxury brand, Alex Chen got his first taste of the restaurant industry in Vancouver while working as a dishwasher and busboy after emigrating with his family from Malaysia at the age of 13. From that auspicious start, Chen went on to build an impressive resume with more than a decade of experience at some of the most acclaimed hotel properties across North America, including the world-renowned Beverly Hills Hotel and Polo Lounge and Four Season Hotels in Toronto and Chicago. A classically trained chef with a true taste for high-pressure culinary competitions, Chen led Team Canada to a top-10 finish at the 2013 Bocuse d’Or in Lyon, France prior to opening Boulevard Kitchen & Oyster Bar in 2014 and went on to claim top spot in both the 2015 and ’17 editions of the annual Gold Medal Plates regional championships in Victoria, BC, the gold medal at the 2018 Canadian Culinary Championships in Kelowna, BC and the prestigious Chef of the Year honours at the 2018 edition of the annual Vancouver Magazine Restaurant Awards.
Boulevard Kitchen & Oyster Bar Welcomes California Vintners for Exclusive Wine Dinner, May 17
(April 12, 2018): Kitchen & Oyster Bar Chefs Alex Chen, Roger Ma Promoted to New Roles
(April 4, 2018):’s Executive Chef Alex Chen Wins 2018 Canadian Culinary Championship
(February 5, 2018): 

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