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“ His soaring trips through the culinary stratosphere are grounded in passionate
   reverence for the growing process and the integrity of top-quality ingredients.”

  – Montecristo Magazine

Chef Hamid Salimian

Born in Iran, Hamid grew up on the edge of the Caspian Sea and learned about traditional Persian cuisine amid his father’s citrus orchards and dairy farm. Soon after his family relocated to Vancouver, British Columbia, Hamid enrolled in culinary and pastry arts at Vancouver Community College for his first formal training as a chef and graduated at the top of his class. He learned the essential skills to combine the heritage of Persian cuisine with influences of the Pacific Northwest and began to define a uniquely creative and contemporary approach. During his apprenticeship at Vancouver’s renowned Sutton Place Hotel, Hamid trained in classic French cuisine and began to explore the world of food competition.

Hamid sees food as his way of sharing Persian culture, by introducing diners to classic dishes and ingredients, educating people on regional differences within Persian cuisine, and demonstrating the how easy it is to cook. “Persian food is typically light and fresh, and there are lots of traditional dishes that are vegetarian and gluten-free.”

Throughout the years, Hamid has built a reputation as a “chef’s chef,” winning the respect of his peers for his eye for detail, insistence on quality, and his commitment to mentoring the next generation of chefs. He has held leadership positions in the kitchens of establishments such as Westin Bear Mountain in Victoria, BC; Westin Wall Centre in Richmond, B.C.; and Vancouver’s Diva at the Met, where he was recognized for his innovative approach to blending multicultural influences with traditional French fare and voted Georgia Straight newspaper’s Best Chef in the City by his restaurant peers. In the world of culinary competitions, he holds eight international gold medals and has also been a coach for Team BC and the Canadian team for Bocuse d’Or 2013.

But for Hamid, despite the professional recognition he receives, the true appeal of food and cooking comes down to the values he was taught in his family’s kitchen in Iran. “In Persian culture, sharing a meal really brings people together: everyone will help cook, and no one eats alone. It’s the one time that no one argues, and there’s no greater honour than hosting someone for dinner in your house. And that’s really what a restaurant experience should be as well. When you sit down at my table, I want you to feel totally taken care of. That’s Persian hospitality.”

Today, Hamid acts as a culinary consultant for national brands such as Earls Kitchen + Bar, and shares his knowledge and expertise with a new generation of chefs as an instructor in the VCC Culinary Arts program. He is also the co-founder of Nextjen, a gluten-free foods company, with his partner Chef Jennifer Peters.

Hamid moves from Iran to Canada with his family. After some time in Toronto, they settle in North Vancouver, an area known for its strong Persian community.

Hamid starts his culinary training at Vancouver Community College and graduates at the top of his class. 16 years later (in 2013), Hamid returns to VCC to lead the school’s International Culinary Program.

Hamid is awarded Apprentice of the Year from Vancouver’s Sutton Place Hotel.

In his first competition with Team BC, Hamid is part of the gold medal win at the World Culinary Cup in Luxembourg. He is also part of the 2004 team that wins gold in Germany in 2004.

Hamid joins Team Canada and wins a gold medal in the individual competition at the American Culinary Classic in Chicago. He is also a member of the 2008 Team Canada that wins gold at the World Culinary Olympics in Germany.

Hamid is appointed Executive Chef at Diva at the Met in Vancouver, the landmark restaurant where he previously worked earlier in his career. During his two-year term at Diva, he is named Best Chef in the City by his peers in The Georgia Straight newspaper’s Golden Plates issue.

Beginning his career as a coach, Hamid is one of the coaches for Bocuse d’Or Team Canada in Lyon, France. He also coaches Team British Columbia for the World Culinary Olympics this year. The following year, Hamid takes on the position as Team Captain for Team Canada at Le Salon Culinaire Mondial in Basil, Switzerland and brings home gold.

Hamid supports his partner, Chef Jennifer Peters as she launches Nextjen Gluten-Free, an all-purpose baking blend for those following a gluten-free diet.

Hamid is honoured to receive Vancouver Magazine’s Mentorship Award as part of the publication’s 2016 Restaurant Awards.

Building on his position as an ambassador for Persian cuisine, Hamid attends Tirgan Iranian Festival 2017 in Toronto, offering a workshop with noted Persian Chef, Hoss Zaré. Hamid looks forward to continuing to share his love for Persian cuisine and hospitality through private catering, cooking classes and attending events around the world.