Chef Roy Flemming

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.

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Grew up in Montreal, in the early 90’s did a Political Science degree with a minor in history to go into law down the road. Did a restaurant diploma at Lasalle College, part of the program was a culinary part and I liked it. I staged at The Continental Hotel, then got hired as a 3rd cook at Le Martin in 1995, it was a high end seafood place, I was then promoted to Chef de Partie before the restaurant closed. From 1996-99 I worked at Le Vieux Pecheur starting out as the Sous Chef then promoted to the Executive Chef. At the time my wife’s parents were living in Vancouver and we ended up moving here to be close to them. In 1999, I was hired at the Radisson in Richmond and worked as Chef de Partie for 2 years. Then I went to the Sheraton Wall Centre as the Chef de Partie. In 2002, I got a job at Milestones in Richmond as the Executive Chef, then in 2003 moved to Milestones Robson as Executive Chef. In 2005 I was promoted to Regional Executive Chef for Western Canada at Milestones and for 3 years I oversaw 20 restaurants. In 2009, I was promoted to Area Director for Milestones and oversaw all restaurant operations until early 2013. In May 2013 I opened Tuc Restaurant with 2 friends and I am the Executive Chef.

You can follow Chef Roy Flemming on twitter @RoyFlemming2

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How did you end up opening Tuc Restaurant?

I had worked together with Colin and James over the years at Milestones. Thought was to deliver genuine food and put care back into everything we do foodwise.

How did you develop your opening menu?

We started developing the menu in late 2012, hoping to open in January 2013. That didn’t’ happen, due to delays in obtaining permits from the city, by the time we opened it was spring and I had the menus printed already and had to roll with it.

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What did you want to be growing up?

I loved history and politics and I was a bit of an athlete, I thought Law would be the next step.

Where did your food passion come from?

My mom loved cooking  and had a huge influence on me. She used to take her time with the food, she put care and effort into making delicious food.

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1st dish:

Hangar Steak ala Bourginon

Hangar Steak ala Bourginon

Hangar Steak ala Bourginon

Nugget mash potatoes with swiss cheese

Braised hangar steak

Bourginon sauce

Carrots, zucchini, baby beets, Ermite blue cheese

What was your inspiration behind this dish?

I wanted to do a hangar steak married in this classic bourginon having grown up in French Canada.

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Having worked in corporate kitchens over the years, How was it opening your independent Restaurant?

  • Investing your time in your people to deliver consistently and engage them high level with proper leadership is key.
  • The ability to plan, organize and understand every ingredient to their full potential.

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What is your Favourite food to eat?

I can’t say that there is just one, I have several:

  • Good Ribeye
  • Seafood
  • Conch
  • Lobster
  • Tortiere

What are your Favourite Restaurants outside of your own?

Chambar

Oakwood Bistro

The Sardine Can

Bearfoot Bistro in Whistler

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2nd dish:

Lois Lake Steelhead served on a warm dill potato salad

Lois Lake Steelhead served on a warm dill potato salad

Lois Lake Steelhead served on a warm dill potato salad

BC golden nugget potatoes

Champagne sauce

Peaches and cream corn

Sweet peas

Grapefruit

What was your inspiration behind this dish?

How to bring out the flavours of the trout, with a summer influence with the grapefruit and arugula.

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What are your Favourite Ingredients in your home kitchen?

  • Shallots
  • Garlic
  • Fresh Thyme
  • Kosher Salt
  • Chicken stock

What do you do in your Off Time?

  • Wife and family time
  • Bike riding
  • Golf
  • Basketball

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3rd dish:

The Gravlax Board

The Gravlax Board

The Gravlax Board

(served at Brunch)

Steelhead gravlax infused with vodka, cherries and dill

Eggplant relish

Stecca croistinis

Pickled vegetables

What was your inspiration behind this dish?

Play on a bagel and lox, love a good gravlax and not something you see everywhere else in Vancouver.

How important is the stocks for you in your cooking?

It is critical, that is where you control the flavour for the stock and it is the foundation for 2/3 of our menu. We put a lot of time and effort into our stocks.

Are you pickling your own Vegetables?

Yes – we make our own marinade rice vinegar, sherry wine vinegar, these two balance so well and this is the base for our pickled vegetables. We make them in small batches almost daily.

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

By: Richard Wolak