1. The Bertossis, Maurizio and Stephanie: for great restaurants like da Maurizio, Bish, Bicycle Thief, Il Mercato (x2), and a Mano; for instilling the service culture in their staff, and the importance of wine with dinner, and bringing Metro great Italian food at all levels.
2. Willem van den Hoek, That Dutchman’s Cheese: for the whimsically named, powerfully pungent Dragon’s Breath Blue.
3. Jean Marc Riant, Boulangerie La Vendeenne: for chocolatine pastries (among other things)
4. Pete Luckett, Pete’s Frootique: for building an empire out of a wheelbarrow of produce. Before the supermarkets carried anything more exotic than a pineapple, you could find dragonfruit, durian, cherimoya and tomatillos. Now it’s produce, butchery, fishmongering, and wine-making. But in the early days, if you wanted a specialty ingredient, you headed to Pete’s.
5. Martha @ Martha’s Pizza: for the best donair sub anywhere, even if there is no Martha
6. Pete Nowlan, New Edge Sharpening: for his passion for knife sharpening, it knows no bounds. Sharpening by hand with only the very finest tools, Pete is a skilled craftsman. Sending your knives to Pete to be sharpened is showing them lots of love.
7. Frederic Tandy, Ratinaud French Cuisine: for bringing charcuterie back
8. Doug Malloy & Karen Campbell, Totally Raw Natural Dog Food: for providing your fantastic raw dog food and supplements, so I can feed my dogs as well as I should be eating
9. Gerry McConnell & Dara Gordon, Benjamin Bridge Winery: for Nova 7
10. Feed Nova Scotia: for what you provide for others. The only place on this list I wish was out of business.