Presented by

Sakura Night celebrates Vancouver’s top local restaurants through an exquisite evening of Asian-fusion flavours. Guests will also be able to taste the wonderful health-enhancing Gabaron tea, provided courtesy of Finlandia Healthcare. NEW this year, wine pairings, to be announced!

Until March 1, 2018 (11:59 pm PST), Early Bird ticket prices of $150 plus tax of $2.50 with a $100 charitable tax receipt issued at the event.

After March 1, 2018, ticket prices are $160 plus tax $2.50 with a $100 charitable tax receipt issued at the event. Ticket sales end Wednesday, April 18 at midnight.

Proceeds go towards the non-profit and charitable Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival (VCBF), an intra-community arts and cultural Festival vital for community engagement, multiculturalism, the arts, and the environment. Purchase below or at this link here.

 Meet Our Chefs!
Benkei Ramen
Chef Taka Omi
Born and raised in Tokyo Japan, Chef Takayuki (Taka) Omi found his passion for food early in life. After sharpening his skills in Japan’s restaurant scene and at the Yamaha Resort in Tsumagoi, he made his way to Toronto, where he honed his craft at a small Japanese restaurant under his mentor, Chef Okada. In 2010, the ‘West Coast called’ and Taka moved across country to open The Lobby Lounge in the Fairmont Pacific Rim where he has since held the reigns of Sushi Chef. His passion for spreading Japanese cuisine has also led him to Benkei Ramen, where he dedicates several hours a week to producing authentic and quality ramen for Vancouverites to enjoy. When Taka isn’t rolling and slicing, he takes his talents to the classroom and shares his skills; teaching sushi classes for adults and children with proceeds going to the Red Cross Relief Fund.

Presenting: Tori-Shio Ramen with Cherry Blossom

Paired With:


Chef Nathan Lowey
Born and raised in Regina, chef Nathan Lowey is dedicated to learning—and mastering—the traditions of his trade. He received his Red Seal Journeyman Certificate at the Northern Alberta Institute of Training in 2006 and later earned the role of chef de cuisine at Edmonton’s Jack’s Grill, one of the city’s premier fine-dining establishments at the time. In 2009, he relocated to Vancouver with the intention of working under acclaimed local chef Robert Belcham. Nathan was soon hired as chef de partie at Belcham’s now-defunct Refuel and would go on to serve as chef de cuisine at the award-winning Campagnolo and Campagnolo Roma. Along the way, he has cultivated relationships with local farmers and become a proponent of “slow cooking”, which values handcraftsmanship, quality products, and upholding the integrity of individual ingredients.

Presenting: Spring harusame (yam) noodle salad; and Sakura Onigiri

Paired With:


Shangri-La Hotel Vancouver
Chef Ken Nakano
Chef Ken Nakano’s cuisine is ingredient-driven, first and foremost. A Vancouver native, Nakano was raised in a traditional Japanese household, where he developed an early appreciation for seasonal, home-grown ingredients thanks to foraging and fishing excursions with his family. The importance and respect for culinary traditions were instilled in him by his mother from a young age, and this continues to influence his style today.

With over 20 years of culinary experience, covering all aspects of food and beverage operations, Nakano expresses his food philosophy at Shangri-La Hotel, Vancouver with sophisticated yet uncomplicated flavours, and menus that showcase the best ingredients from coast to coast.

With a passion for sustainability, he supports many local farmers, producers and fisherman; he was instrumental in launching the Vancouver Aquarium’s Ocean Wise program on Vancouver Island.

Smoked Manila Clams
Spicy Daikon Oroshi;

Foie Gras Terrine
Ume Boshi
Sake Kasu Macaron

Paired With:


Chef Masayoshi Baba
Masayoshi Baba was born with great passion of Japanese cuisine with nearly 20 years of kitchen and sushi experience. Since residing in Vancouver, he has received tutelage and 10 years of valuable experience at one of North America’s foremost sushi restaurants. In 2015 he opened Masayoshi and began to serve omakase, a unique dining experience based on seasonal ingredients. Masayoshi proudly uses his knowledge of different cultural cooking techniques to bring out the very best flavours in his food creations.

Presenting: Albacore Tuna; and Sakura Mochi (with Duck and Shitake Mushrooms)

Paired With:

  Notch8 Restaurant & Bar
Chef Will Lew
Growing up in the ‘City of Glass’, Will’s journey into the culinary world started through his grandfather, a chef in Vancouver’s Chinatown, and “head cook” at family dinners. He instilled not only a love for cooking in Will, but an appreciation for expressing oneself through different creative mediums including drawing, painting, woodwork, Chinese calligraphy and music. In 2005, Will took a job as a dishwasher in a local Vancouver restaurant and started to work his way up the ranks to become a cook. In the years that followed, Will’s talent and tireless dedication to his craft would pay off, seeing him as a Chef de Partie for the opening team of Trattoria Italian Kitchen, Chef de Cuisine at Sanafir Restaurant and Outlet Chef at Fairmont Pacific Rim. Finally at his new home in Notch8, Will’s fresh take on nature-inspired Canadian cuisine shines.

Presenting: Venison-Wasabi Leaf- Smoked Cherry Tartare: Maple Kuromitsu Cured Quail Yolk, Wild Knot Weed, Fermented Radish, Sake Compressed Fuji Apple, Smoked Cherry Ume Boshi Fruit Leather, Umami Rye Crumb

Zen Japanese Restaurant
Chef Nobu Ochi
“The opportunity to sample Chef Nobu Ochi’s exquisitely crafted, beautifully plated selection of sashimi, sushi, and innovative maki is well worth a trek across the bridge.” – Vancouver Magazine

Zen Japanese Restaurant, the critic’s choice as the North Shore’s best Japanese restaurant, also won the 2014 Diners’ Choice OpenTable Award and was Vancouver’s first Japanese restaurant to join Ocean Wise, a Vancouver Aquarium program committed to the long-term health and stability of the greater marine ecosystem.

“Best sushi ever…I’m addicted.”  Sarah McLachlan

Presenting: Bao Buns: Zen karaage chicken and Asian slaw with chilli mayo; and Zen inspired sushi


James’ Gelato
Maestro James Coleridge

Winner of 12 International, National Gelato Awards and Competitions
Winner of 15 Local Gelato Awards as voted by Readers of local Vancouver newspapers
Adventurer, Named one of Canada’s greatest Explorer’s by Royal Canadian Geographic Society
Summited 4 Continent’s Highest Mountains – North America (Denali), South America (Aconcagua), Europe (Elbrus), Africa (Kilimanjaro)
Summited Canada’s Highest Mountain – Mount Logan 5,959m 19,551f (28 days to the top, 6 to get down)
Summited the highest points of British Columbia, Yukon, Alberta, Manitoba, Ontario, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, PEI
Motivational Speaker, “Mountains We Climb, One Step at a Time”
Expedition Climbing Leader for Summits of Canada Expeditions
Former Maestro Gelatiere & Founder of Bella Gelateria 2009-2017

Presenting: Salted Sakura (Cherry Blossom) Gelato; Ume (Plum) Wine Sorbetto (GF)