Interview with Chef Hamid Salimian

Chef’s Table is a series of Interviews with some of the top chefs in North America.

Chef Hamid Salimian

I have tasted many dishes that Chef Hamid Salimian has created at the Apron Restaurant in the Westin Wall Centre Hotel in Richmond. Often on a journey through one of his outstanding multi-course Tasting menus. It’s always a pleasure to talk with Hamid about this passion for food, pastry, creativity and photography.

What is your Culinary background?

Hamid went to Vancouver Community College Culinary school in 1997, while going to school he also worked at The Sutton Place Hotel as an apprentice, he also did pastry school at VCC afterward work. He spent 5 years at The Sutton Place Hotel as the PM Saucier.

In 2003 he joined the Metropolitan Hotel for 5 years at Diva at the Met as the Sous Chef then as the Banquet Chef. In 2007 he joined The Westin Bear Mountain Resort in Victoria as Executive Souse Chef for 2 years, and then moved back to Vancouver to open the Westin Wall Centre Vancouver Airport Hotel as the Executive Chef in 2009.

Growing up what did you want to be?

Veterinarian

Where did you grow up?

I grew up in Iran on a farm that was a dairy farm citrus farm and rice fields, I moved to Canada in 1989.  My grandfather owned Patisserie shops and restaurants, cooking was always big for his family. We were sustainable, growing all our own vegetables and fruits.

Why are most of the restaurants you have worked at in hotels ?

I am challenged in an environment like the one here at the Westin with so many things to do such as the restaurant, banquets and in room dining.

How creative can you get in your Exec Chef role here?

I stay within the perimeter that management sets for me and as you have seen I do get quite creative with my cooking.

How would you describe your style of cooking here?

French influences, California style with influences from overseas.

What is your favourite cuisine?

French

Why is the ice cream you make here cylinder shaped?

We blast freeze so it is perfectly molded and it looks cool.

Describe the plating of your dishes?

I have done a lot of work in competitions have done 2 culinary Olympics in the past, I was a member of Team Canada and Team BC and Team Worldcup in 2002 & 03

What do you cook at home?

Light stews, lots of vegetables, hot pot soup

What are the must have ingredients in your home pantry?

  • Saffron
  • Cardemon
  • Rosewater
  • Sumac
  • Stone dry lime

What do you do in your off time?

Read cookbooks, surf the internet, watch tv, workout

Are you going to compete again?

I will be coaching Team BC when we go to Germany in 2012 there will be 156 teams from around the world.

What’s the future hold for you?

Build The Apron as a destination place fun food and atmosphere

Stay tuned for the next chef in the Kitchen Rock Stars series.


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