'Top Chef Canada' Judge Mijune Pak on Dining Out and Travelzoo Restaurant Month
Travelzoo is on a mission to inspire its members to "dine outside their comfort zone" in 2019. We've partnered with "Top Chef Canada" judge Mijune Pak -- and now, the Travelzoo Global Food Correspondent is hosting Travelzoo Restaurant Month, a virtual food festival throughout April featuring special prix fixe menu deals at Canada’s top restaurants. Here, Mijune answers our questions about life as Canada’s most recognized food personality (FollowMeFoodie.com) and explains how to make the most of Travelzoo Restaurant Month.
Mijune, how many restaurants did you try in 2018? 597 restaurants. 365 in Vancouver and 232 across Canada and internationally.
Are you trying to surpass that number in 2019? No, it's not about quantity or making it a competition to eat out as much as I can. It just so happens I eat out that often.
Which Canadian cities or regions have the best up-and-coming food scenes? I just came back from Winnipeg and was super impressed. I thought the restaurants would be "good for Winnipeg," but they’re good for Canada. Sure, you don’t have a massive amount of them due to population, but the ones they have that are highly rated are great. I haven’t been to Saskatchewan yet, but I know some cool stuff is happening there, too. I also have my eyes on Quebec City.
Which aspect of Travelzoo Restaurant Month are you most excited about? I’m excited that it’s the first time ever for an event of this nature. It's the only restaurant festival in Canada that's nationwide, and to get the restaurants we got to be on board means a lot. I can’t wait to show them off.
What are your tips for navigating Travelzoo Restaurant Month? You can look for the Mijune's Pick label to get started, but don’t try just one restaurant – the festival is four weeks long, so take your pick! Book early to get the day you want, and be sure to mention "Travelzoo Restaurant Month" when you make your reservation. Also, download the Travelzoo app for hassle-free voucher redemption, maps to the restaurant, and other local and vacation offers you'll love.
What is your hope for Canadians coming out of experiencing Travelzoo Restaurant Month? I hope they dine outside their comfort zone and emerge with a new appreciation for Canada's culinary scene.