7 Celebrity Chefs Reveal their Favourite Vancouver Restaurants

Want to dine like a celebrity chef? Now you can follow in their footsteps when they step out of their kitchens

We asked some of Vancouver’s most celebrated chefs to dish on their favourite local eateries. Here’s where they like to chow down outside of their own kitchens

It’s no surprise that when they put their knives away for the day, Vancouver’s culinary superstars lead us to some of the best food in town — from toothsome burgers to top-notch sushi spots. Follow in their footsteps and consider this your underground guide to some guaranteed good eats.

Chris Whittaker, Forage Restaurant

As Forage restaurant’s executive chef, Chris Whittaker executes his farm-to-table and sustainable cooking style at the Listel Hotel, a leader in sustainability and green tourism practices. Winner of WHERE Vancouver’s Where to Dine Green Table Award, Whittaker was also named in Western Living’s ‘Top 40 Under 40.’

Where he eats when he’s off-duty: “In Vancouver, we head to Red Wagon for a carb and protein breakfast. Nicli Antica Pizzeria is always a fave when headed back home from our day; I love a simple Margherita pizza done well. Pho Tau Bay is about my only dining option in Maple Ridge; have the beef stew!”

Karen Barnaby, Gordon Food Service

After 17 years as executive chef at the Fish House in Stanley Park, Karen Barnaby is chef of product and business development for Albion Fisheries, Intercity Meat, and Fresh Start Produce. Barnaby is a Vancouver Sun food columnist, award-winning cookbook author, and 2006 inductee into the BC Restaurant Hall of Fame.

Where she eats when she’s off-duty: “I generally check out new restaurants in my Gastownneighbourhood and my current fave is Wildebeest, but I keep going back to House of Dosa at Knight and Kingsway. I love the paneer 65 and fish pakora followed by a lamb palak dosa. Swiss Chalet is a perennial favourite, when I just want to eat and not be part of a “scene.”

Ned Bell, YEW restaurant+ bar

Sustainable seafood-smarty Ned Bell, executive chef of Yew restaurant + bar at the Four Seasons Hotel Vancouver, is the chief advocate for an official National Sustainable Seafood Day in Canada. Yew took second place for Best Seafood at the 24th Annual Vancouver Magazine Restaurant Awards, and Bell is ranked in Western Living’s ‘Top 40 Under 40.’

Where he eats when he’s off-duty: “My favourite local restaurants include Via Tevere, my family’s number one pick, but Nicli Antica Pizzeria also tops the list. Yoshi’s sushi at Zest is as good as it gets and I am crazy about dim sum at Sun Sui Wah and Szechuan Chongqing.”

Trevor Bird, Fable

Trevor Bird, owner/chef of Kitsilano’s Fable, a simple farm-to-table approach with local, fresh and seasonal ingredients, showed off his culinary chops as a finalist on Season 2 of Top Chef Canada. He was also awarded first place in The Georgia Straight’s 2013 Golden Plates for Best New Restaurant.

Where he eats when he’s off-duty: “For late night eats, me and the Fable crew always go to Suika Izakaya; hellz chicken and the pressed mackerel sushi areamazing.If it’s my day off, I’ll take my lady to the Oakwood forthe best burger in town andsome local brews.”

David Hawksworth, Hawksworth Restaurant

Owner/chef David Hawksworth of Hawksworth Restaurant won the 2013 Vancouver Magazine Restaurant Awards for Chef of the Year and Restaurant of the Year. Hawksworth is the youngest chef inductee in the BC Restaurant Hall of Fame and was named in Western Living’s ‘Top 40 under 40.’

Where he eats when he’s off-duty: “On a day off I like to eat close to home, and Dan Japanese Restaurant is a vibrant neighbourhood gem that offers a relaxing and family style service. They prepare authentic Japanese cuisine using local ingredients and their pork jowl dish is one of my favourites. Rich and delicious, it’s a warm and comforting dish that I enjoy time and time again.”

Matthew Stowe, Cactus Club

Cactus Club product development chef, and award-winning cookbook author, Matthew Stowe is currently competing on Season 3 of Top Chef Canada. At the 2012 Gold Medal Plates Canadian Culinary Championships, Stowe’s team took home silver.

Where he eats when he’s off-duty: “On a day off,one of my favourite places to go for a meal with my wife isBacchus Bistro at Domaine De Chaberton Estate Winery in South Langley. They have a great pork rillettes dish and the setting is fantastic.It’s like being in the Okanagan or Napa without leaving my own backyard.”

Credit: Michel Chicoine

Hidekazu Tojo, Tojo’s

Master sushi chef and owner of Tojo’s restaurant, inventor of the California roll, and 2006 inductee into the BC Restaurant Hall of Fame, Tojo’s has won Vancouver Magazine Restaurant Awards for Best Upscale Japanese, Gold every year since 1988.

Where he eats when he’s off-duty: “I frequent Golden Great Wall on West Broadway. Favourite dishes include: sautéed cod with julienne and Chinese celery, Szechwan-style fried green beans, and Xiao Long Bao, Shanghai soup dumplings. I also enjoy the tasting menus at Cioppino’s Mediterranean Grill with chef Pino Posteraro.”

Celebrity Chefs’ Favourite Vancouver Restaurants