Chef Ryan Bissel

Vancouver is home to some of the best chefs in the world, many have worked for the top chefs and restaurants around the world as well as around the city. Dishing with the Chefs is a series of Interviews with some of the top chefs in and around Vancouver.

Chef Ryan Bissel

At 18 years old while living in Vernon, I worked at the Blue Herron Pub as a dishwasher. I then went to Vancouver to Dubreulle for culinary school. At the same time while going to school, I worked at Joe Fortes for 4 months. My apprenticeship during school was at the Westin Whistler, I then continued to work there as the 1st cook. Then I became Chef de Partie at Araxi for 1 year, then moved to Whistler Blackcomb as the Exec Sous Chef for the Roundhouse Restaurant for 6 months but then promoted to Exec Chef and worked there for 1-1/2 years. I was then off to rebrand the Whistler Golf Club. In 2005 I moved to Vancouver as the Exec Chef at the White Rock Boathouse for 5 months, quit and went to Toronto for a couple of months and worked at a bunch of places including Canoe. Then back to Vancouver to work for Rare but that didn’t work out so I headed back to the Boathouse as the Senior Corporate Chef for 4 years. Then I went to work at C Restaurant to help Chef Quang Dang. I then headed back to Whistler and worked at Quattro through the Olympics. From there I got hired at Uli’s in White Rock as the Executive Chef and I have been here ever since.

What challenges you as a Chef?

Customers – in the fact that I want to create a menu that appeals to everybody.

To run a brasserie type of menu that goes all day.

What does Local mean to you?

Community – where you live and work. To support the community by participating in local events because we live here. We support the farmers and producers that live here.

  • Fieldstone Bakery
  • Ocean Park Meats
  • Hazelmere Farms

How do you find your Farmer’s that you want to work with?

I can usually call on my peers to find out who is growing the best watercress or who is growing red waddle pigs. The farmers markets are still the best places to meet suppliers.

What is it that drives you every night in your kitchen?

Cooking is my passion, I enjoy making people happy through food, being at the restaurant is not work for me. I want to ensure that every guest leaves happy.

The First Dish:

Cumin & Potato Crusted Scallop

Cumin & Potato Crusted Scallop

Atlantic Diver Scallops

Pickled cucumber

Gazpacho

Watercress

What was your inspiration behind this dish?

Summer Gazpacho, light, flavourful and I love scallops.

What do you like to do in your off-time?

  • Play Golf
  • Listen to music

What is your favourite cuisine to eat personally?

Chinese – Hot Pot and Dim Sum

What are your favourite restaurants in Vancouver outside of where you work?

  • West
  • Go Fish
  • L’Abbotoir

The Second Dish:

2.0 Burger

2.0 Burger

Balsamic candied shallots

Café de Paris butter (27 ingredient compound butter)

45 day dry aged Alberta beef

Challah bun

Butter lettuce

Garlic aioli

Fries

What was your inspiration behind this dish?

Traditional steak with compound butter, play on steak.

What do you want your chefs to learn from you in your restaurant?

When my cooks move on from my restaurant, I would hope that they have learned to be humble and that great success takes patience and persistence, that would be apart from the obvious cooking skills.

The Third Dish:

Pan Roasted Halibut with Quinoa Salad

Pan Roasted Halibut with Quinoa Salad

Halibut

Quinoa

Asparagus

Red amaranth

Basil

Chopped tomato

What was your inspiration behind this dish?

Fresh, light patio dining, healthy.

What are your favourite ingredients to cook with?

  • pork
  • fennel
  • potatoes
  • heirloom tomatoes
  • thyme

The Fourth Dish:

Vegi Burger

Vegi Burger

Double quinoa patty

Cottage cheese

Cheddar

Carrots

Green onion

Cumin

Balsamic candied onions

Cyrachia aioli

Lettuce

Challah Ban

What was your inspiration behind this dish?

Inspired by Erin Good a former Sous Chef.

Who are your Mentors?

1)    My father, he has shown me the true value of hard work.

2)    My mother, she taught me that honesty will get me anywhere.

3)    Chef Quang Dang, he always strives for perfection.

Describe your cooking direction at Uli`s Restaurant

Redefined classic comfort food, things that i grew up on given a refined twist. I mean seriously, we have a hotdog on the menu, and yes, it’s made in house.

What is your favourite Craft Beer?

Right now it is the Green Flash grand cru, it is pretty excellent.

What is your favourite dish to pair with your favourite craft beer?

I would pair the duck confit off our menu, with augula and orange viniagrette, roasted fingerling potatoes  and demi.

Stay tuned for the next chef in the Dishing with the Chef series.

By: Richard Wolak