It’s a tall order: Send one writer on a month-long eating excursion right across the country.

Food panelists from coast to coast help us out by recommending the most interesting restaurant openings in their area. Based on their tips, we come up with a long list of addresses that make it onto the itinerary. (Restaurants that opened between June 2011 and July 2012 were considered for this year’s survey.)

Then it comes time to arrange flights, hotels and book the tables under a fake name (sorry, chefs, we change it every year). Our writer, Sarah Musgrave, travels to each restaurant, dining anonymously wherever she goes; enRoute pays for all restaurant bills.

The final Top 10 list is chosen independently by the writer, based purely on merit, irrespective of geography. We look for restaurants that advance the country’s culinary identity and where the overall dining experience will have an impact on Canada’s food culture.