Jeff Donnelly, Sean Heather among 2013 B.C. Restaurant Hall of Fame inductees

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      It’s the Donnelly Group’s year at the B.C. Restaurant Hall of Fame.

      The Vancouver business, which owns more than 15 restaurants, bars, and nightclubs in the city, will see two of its own—founder and owner Jeff Donnelly and executive bartender Jay Jones—inducted into the 2013 B.C. Restaurant Hall of Fame later this year, the B.C. Restaurant & Foodservices Association announced today (July 9).

      Eleven food and beverage professionals from across the province will be recognized at a gala event at the Italian Cultural Centre on September 30. Along with Donnelly, Paul Smolen, owner of Hart House Restaurant, and Sean Heather, owner of Heather Hospitality Group, will be inducted into the Active Restaurateur category.

      Donnelly launched his restaurant group in 1999 through the acquisition of Kitsilano’s Bimini’s—which has since been renamed the Bimini Public House. Today, the Donnelly Group’s establishments include Hooker's Green, the New Oxford, Killjoy, Clough Club, the Academic, Cinema, and the Granville Room.

      Smolen helped open Burnaby’s Hart House Restaurant located at Deer Lake Park in 1988, and has co-owned the restaurant with his wife, Carol Smolen, since 2000.

      Meanwhile, Heather launched his first Gastown restaurant, The Irish Heather, in 1997, and has since expanded his Heather Hospitality Group empire to 10 restaurants, including the Salt Tasting Room, Bitter Tasting Room, Judas Goat Taberna, and Ranier Provisions.

      This year’s Industry Award inductees, which go to chefs, servers, managers, and bartenders, include Ernst Dorfler, chef and co-owner of the upscale Five Sails restaurant; Julian Bond, executive chef and program director at the Pacific Institute of Culinary Arts; and Jones, who joined the Donnelly Group in January.

      In the Friends of the Industry category, inductees include Caren McSherry, founder of the Gourmet Warehouse cooking supply store; Christine Coletta, owner of Summerland’s Okanagan Crush Pad; and journalist Joy Metcalfe.

      John Neate Jr., founder of Vancouver’s JJ Bean Coffee Roasters has been chosen for the Coffee & Beverage Award, and the late Wally Shaw, who was the founding president of the B.C. Chefs’ Association, will be honoured in the Pioneer category.

      Tickets to the B.C. Restaurant Hall of Fame gala start at $175 and are available online

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