Guild Award Winners - 2018
Spokane’s Hot 50
When I first moved to the Spokane Valley from Hayden, Idaho, it took me a great deal longer to find my way around than I had thought it would, but it took me even longer to find all of the truly great restaurants. With so many local food bloggers and some that are paid for their opinions, it was difficult for me to get a list of date night spots for myself and my husband (also a gourmet food enthusiast) without worrying about the authenticity of the “best” lists I was reading. I didn’t want the results of a popularity contest, and I didn’t want to fall for a paid advertisement. If ever saw “#sponsored” on a social media post, I knew that I couldn’t trust that message to the same level as I would other fully unbiased sources. I realized that I had to do something about it myself, and that’s when the Spokane Culinary Arts Guild was born.
It was just an idea in that moment, but it felt so real to me. It was almost as if it was what I’d been waiting to do my whole life. I ran it by several chef, blogger and food writer friends of mine to get quality feedback and meticulously researched culinary award evaluation systems. Being a professional educator, evaluation is a daily part of my job. Applying these same concepts to food translated naturally from my field, and I approached it with the same intensity. I quickly realized, though, how many restaurants there really were in the Inland Northwest, and knew that the next step would be forming a really dynamic team.
I again took to researching, but this time, under local hashtags like #spokanefood and #eatspokane, and found so many wonderful individuals who had a zest for life, and a strong knowledge base about cuisine. We shared our passion for living well, and formed fast friendships through mutual respect. They ranged from chefs, to food bloggers, to passionate (and talented) home cooks, to food photographers, business professionals who dine out almost every day and more. They are as diverse in their interests as they are as individuals, and each one of them has a really helpful perspective in discovering great local gems as well as evaluating meals. They all rallied behind our collective cause, and evaluated hundreds of restaurants throughout the last two years using our highly developed rubric that includes ratings on service, ambiance, plating, proper execution, consistency over multiple visits, accurate menu description, flavor balance and many more. We have meticulously reviewed the data compiled throughout the year to find Spokane’s very best eateries, and every one of these unique spots is listed below. We are thrilled to be celebrating all of these local award-winners at our very first annual Spokane Culinary Arts Guild Awards Gala at the Max at Mirabeau Park Hotel on January 8.
We hope you enjoy eating at these phenomenal, locally owned hotspots - let them know we sent you and give them a high-five from us.