A restaurant career isn't for everyone. It's a job that promotes talent and rewards passion and sacrifice. Especially sacrifice. If you don't possess any of those qualities and can't hold your own against a room full of hungry and picky diners, then you better get out of the kitchen. Fast.

The Huffington Post B.C. asked five veteran executive chefs to identify the province's top young talent. Who are the young chefs in B.C. worth watching?

Despite our calls across the province, all the insider answers pointed back to Vancouver.

Angus An of Maenam was quick to recognize David Gunawon as a force to watch. "Not only is he very driven, he's very hard-working, and very focused on what he needs to do," An told The Huffington Post B.C. "I watched his whole evolution, he worked with me a long time ago and saw him mature from a cook to a chef."

James Walt of Whistler's famed Araxi restaurant selected L'Abattoir chef Lee Cooper for his "interesting menu concept."

"He's a really good technical chef," Walt applauded, "He's under 30 and making a name for himself."

Thank you to An, Walt, Vikram Vij, Edward Tuson, Ned Bell, and Roger Sleiman for helping us compile the list below:

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  • Lucais Syme, chef and co-owner La Quercia, La Pentola

    Adam Pegg (left) and Lucais Syme (right) of La Quercia fame single-handedly transformed the intersection of West 4th and Alma St in the city's West End neighbourhood with two unofficial embassies of Northern Italian fare.

  • Lucais Syme, chef and co-owner La Quercia, La Pentola

    La Pentola, interior.

  • Lucais Syme, chef and co-owner La Quercia, La Pentola

  • Lucais Syme, chef and co-owner La Quercia, La Pentola

    La Pentola's pork stuffed potato eggs benedict.

  • Kristian Eligh, chef de cuisine, Hawksworth Resaurant

  • Kristian Eligh, chef de cuisine, Hawksworth Resaurant

    Hawksworth Restaurant interior.

  • Kristian Eligh, chef de cuisine, Hawksworth Resaurant

  • Kristian Eligh, chef de cuisine, Hawksworth Resaurant

  • David Gunawan, chef, Wildebeest

    Chef David Gunawan pictured centre.

  • David Gunawan, chef, Wildebeest

    Collage of Wildebeest restaurant and dishes.

  • David Gunawan, chef, Wildebeest

  • Quang Dang, executive chef, West

  • Quang Dang, executive chef, West

    West Restaurant interior

  • Quang Dang, executive chef, West

    Baynes Sound scallops. Maple glazed, Pemberton carrots 'vichy' and marcona almond vinaigrette.

  • Quang Dang, executive chef, West

    Fresh raspberries with lemon tuiles, cream cheese ice cream and nobo fruit tea syrup.

  • Sean Murray, chef, YEW restaurant + bar

  • Sean Murray, chef, YEW restaurant + bar

    YEW resturant + bar interior.

  • Sean Murray, chef, YEW restaurant + bar

  • Sean Murray, chef, YEW restaurant + bar

    Vegan warm potato salad.

  • Sean Murray, chef, YEW restaurant + bar

    YEW resturant + bar dessert selection.

  • Taryn Wa, chef, Savory Chef

  • Taryn Wa, chef, Savory Chef

    Ricotta gnocchi with braised Sloping Hill Farms pork cheeks.

  • Taryn Wa, chef, Savory Chef

    Nicoise "salad"

  • Taryn Wa, chef, Savory Chef

    Five spice profiteroles.

  • Lee Cooper, chef, L'Abattoir

  • Lee Cooper, chef, L'Abattoir

    L'Abattoir interior.

  • Lee Cooper, chef, L'Abattoir

  • Lee Cooper, chef, L'Abattoir

  • Dale MacKay, Top Chef Canada winner

  • Brodie Swanson, chef, Salmon 'n Bannock

  • Brodie Swanson, chef, Salmon 'n Bannock

  • Brodie Swanson, chef, Salmon 'n Bannock

    Sweet portato pie.


B.C. TOP YOUNG CHEFS

Lucais Syme is the co-owner of La Quercia, a Kitsilano restaurant specializing in northern Italian cuisine that has redefined neighbourhood dining in Point Grey. With partner-in-crime, Adam Pegg, Syme opened La Pentola inside the OPUS Hotel Vancouver in early September. With a dish named, "Badly Cut Pasta," what's not to like?

Taryn Wa's white-hot (and delicious) Asian-inspired cuisine has pushed her career through a position as the sous chef on the second season of Channel M multicultural cooking show, "Fusion Fare" to the kitchen of multi-award winning Bistro Pastis. Wa's fearless style draws inspiration from her international travels and recognition of Vancouver as a multicultural source of culinary creativity.

Kristian Eligh is the chef de cuisine at Hawksworth Restaurant with over 10 years of culinary experience under his belt. He describes the menu he helped create as "contemporary in technique and presentation, a showcase of Canadian ingredients, and all encompassing of the ethnic diversity of our region."

Quang Dang just celebrated his first year as executive chef at West, one of Vancouver's finest restaurants. Raised in Calgary with Scottish and Vietnamese roots, Dang first dallied with an engineering degree before his part-time jobs in kitchens swayed him to jump ship and master the undefined grey area that is Canadian cuisine. His talents in the kitchen and aptitude for identifying and using a bounty of regional ingredients have earned him spots in international competitions worldwide.

Ex-West chef David Gunawan has created a menu for meat lovers at his new Wildebeest restaurant. Described as a "very creative chef," Gunawan worked with Maenam chef Angus An for years before he branched off this summer to open Gastown's newest wild-about-meat restaurant.

Sean Murray began cooking at age 12. His family's rule was "if you're staying home sick from school, you have to bake something for dinner." After international stints in Beijing and Costa Rica, Murray returned to YVR in 2011 to take over the kitchens of YEW Restaurant.

Brodie Swanson is the chef at Vancouver's aboriginal-owned and operated Salmon 'n Bannock Bistro. His menu is inspired from his Haida Nation roots. Swanson's mastery of traditional salmon preparation makes this under-the-radar restaurant a must-try for Coast Salish foodies.

Lee Cooper has been knocking out quite a reputation in Vancouver' restaurant scene. Cooper, the son of a man who owned and managed A&W restaurants on Vancouver Island, has been picking up critical acclaim after he opened L'Abattoir in Gastown.

Top Chef Canada winner Dale MacKay recently closed two of his restaurants in downtown Vancouver. "I quickly learned that opening a restaurant in the heart of Vancouver is something I should have done after building my business and expansion capital," he said. But restaurant or no restaurant, this chef is a notable talent to keep our eyes on to see where he pops up next.

Also on HuffPost:

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  • Vij's Railway Express

    Photo courtesy of <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/crondeau/">Christine Rondeau</a> via Flickr

  • Vij's Railway Express

    Photo courtesy of ladyncharge via Instagram

  • Street Meet Food Truck

  • Street Meet Food Truck

    Pork Belly Bites with Agro Dolce Sauce. Garnished with fresh Rosemary.

  • Street Meet Food Truck

    Meatball madness.

  • Street Meet Food Truck

    Creamy tiramisu filled cannoli.

  • Bada Bing Food Truck

  • Bada Bing Food Truck

    Chicken cheesesteak. Photo courtesy of <a href="http://www.urbanspoon.com/u/profile/1003931" target="_hplink">Amy </a>via Urbanspoon

  • Feastro

  • Feastro

    Seafood taco.

  • Feastro

    Duck salad.

  • Fresh Local Wild

  • Fresh Local Wild

    Salmon sandwich and chanterelle mushroom poutine. Photo courtesy of <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/kneoh/">karen_neoh</a> via Flickr

  • Fresh Local Wild

    Salmon Sashimi salad. Photo courtesy of <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/kneoh/">karen_neoh</a> via Flickr

  • Guanaco Truck

  • Guanaco Truck

    Pupusa platter with yuca fries and fresh tomato salsa.

  • Guanaco Truck

  • La Brasserie Street

  • La Brasserie Street

    Butter tarts.

  • La Brasserie Street

  • Loving Hut Express

  • Loving Hut Express

    Healthy grill sandwich.

  • Loving Hut Express

    Onion rings.

  • Loving Hut Express

    @stalecupcake: One of THE BEST burgers I ever had @LovingHut_Vanc #FoodTruck #AbsoluteMustForMeatLovers

  • Mom's Grilled Cheese Truck

  • Mom's Grilled Cheese Truck

    Meatloaf grilled cheese. Photo courtesy of <a href="http://www.facebook.com/dsbarnes21">Scott Barnes</a> via Facebook.

  • Pig On The Street

  • Pig On The Street

    The porker. Photo courtesy of <a href="http://www.facebook.com/Sean.Neild">Sean Neild</a> via Facebook.

  • Roaming Dragon

    Photo courtesy of <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/roland/">Roland Tanglao</a> via Flickr

  • Roaming Dragon

    Photo courtesy of SweetOnVeg via Flickr

  • Roaming Dragon

    Ahi tuna burgers.

  • Roaming Dragon

    Photo courtesy of <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/roland/">Roland Tanglao</a> via Flickr

  • Tacofino

  • Tacofino

    Pork cheek taco.

  • Tacofino

    Photo courtesy of <a href="http://www.facebook.com/Sean.Neild">Sean Neild</a> via Facebook

  • The Juice Truck

  • The Juice Truck

    The profile and the remedy.

  • The Juice Truck

    @culvercitysalads - Kale, spinach, arugula, yams, chickpeas, carrot, zucchini, beet, pickled ginger, sunflower seeds, avocado, creamy chipotle dressing

  • The Juice Truck

    Cacao coconut bars.

  • The Kaboom Box

  • The Kaboom Box

    Oyster Po' Boy, homemade tartar, maple mustard slaw.

  • The Kaboom Box

    Crab cake sandwich. Photo via <a href="http://twitter.com/fongbao">@Fongbao</a> via Twitter

  • The Re-Up BBQ

  • The Re-Up BBQ

    Pulled pork sandwich.