Backstage Pass with Lia Chang

Lia Chang: Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman and Master Chef Martin Yan at the 5th Annual Top 100 Chinese Restaurants in the USA Awards Ceremony in Las Vegas

Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman congratulates Master Chef Martin Yan on his Top 100 Chinese Restaurants in the USA Lifetime Achievement of Excellence Award on the red carpet of the 5th Annual Top 100 Chinese Restaurants in the USA Awards at the Rio Hotel in Las Vegas on January 5,2009. (l-r  said Betty Xie, Editor-in-Chief, Chinese Restaurant News, Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman, Master Chef Martin Yan, Theresa Lin and Paige Hall. (Photo by Lia Chang)

Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman congratulates Master Chef Martin Yan on his Top 100 Chinese Restaurants in the USA Lifetime Achievement of Excellence Award on the red carpet of the 5th Annual Top 100 Chinese Restaurants in the USA Awards at the Rio Hotel in Las Vegas on January 5,2009. (l-r Betty Xie, Editor-in-Chief, Chinese Restaurant News, Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman, Master Chef Martin Yan, Theresa Lin and Paige Hall, founder and CEO of AboutFace. (Photo by Lia Chang)

Las Vegas, NV (January 6, 2009) – Over 500 Chinese restaurateurs from all over the nation gathered in Las Vegas on January 5 at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino to attend the 5th Annual Top 100 Chinese Restaurants in the USA Awards Show & Conference.

Organized by Chinese Restaurant News, the Top 100 award show was hosted by Master Chef Martin Yan and Co-Emceed by Theresa Lin and Derek Uehara. The event was supported by National Restaurant Association and the Healthydiningfinder.com. Key sponsors included Lee Kum Kee, U.S. Bankcard Services, Inc., and the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino. Notable Asian chefs such as Larry Chu, Chef Chu’s and Khai Duong, Executive Chef, Ana Mandara came out to celebrate the winners. Event highlights include an appearance by Mayor Oscar Goodman who welcomed the winners to Vegas and performed a culinary demo with Chef Martin Yan, Chinese zodiac food carving display by Award winning Food sculptor, Jimmy Zhang, the Community Award of Excellence presented to the Asian Chefs Association, and the Lifetime Achievement of Excellence Award to Martin Yan presented by Bob Ansara, Director Emeritus, National Restaurants Association.

The Top 100 Chinese Restaurants in USA Award is a national event that strives to recognize, cultivate and preserve the best in Chinese cuisine standards and excellence. This special event awarded the Top 100 restaurants in ten categories. Recognition was awarded for excellence in the categories of Regional Cuisine, Local Favorites, Take-Out, Buffets, Asian Fusion, Best Décor, Signature Dish, Rising Stars, Healthy Menus, and the most prestigious category, Overall Excellence. This year’s top ranked 100 Overall Excellence winners including No.1, Koi Palace (Daly City, CA) can be viewed at www.Top100ChineseRestaurants.com.

The Top 100 competition is open to all Chinese restaurants in the U.S., included more than 45,000 from all 50 states. Participating restaurants included newly established restaurants, seasoned restaurants, chain restaurants and past award-winners. For a list of the 2008-9 winners, please visit www.top100chineserestaurants.com

About Chinese Restaurant News
Chinese Restaurant News (c-r-n.com) was founded in 1995 to inform the Chinese speaking owners and operators of over 45,000 Chinese restaurants in USA of industry news and trends. CRN is published by parent company, Smart Business Services, Inc. (s-b-s.net).

Lia Chang © Tami Chang

Lia Chang © Tami Chang

Lia Chang is an actor, performance and fine art botanical photographer and an award-winning multimedia journalist. Lia’s portraits and performance photos have appeared in Vanity Fair, Gourmet, German Elle, Women’s Wear Daily, The Paris Review, VIBE, TV Guide, Daily Variety, Interior Design, American Theatre, Life & Style, OUT, New York Magazine, InStyle, Timeout.com, Villagevoice.com, Playbill.com, Theatermania.com, The Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, USA Today, The Boston Globe, New York Times and Washington Post. A former syndicated arts and entertainment columnist for KYODO News, Lia is the New York Bureau Chief for AsianConnections.com. She writes about culture, style and Asian American issues for a variety of publications and this Backstage Pass with Lia Chang blog. As a photographer and videographer, Lia is frequently tapped to collaborate with artists, organizations and companies in establishing their documentary photo archive. She has been documenting her colleagues and contemporaries in the arts, fashion and journalism since making her stage debut as Liat in the National Tour of South Pacific, with Robert Goulet and Barbara Eden.

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