Posts Tagged ‘The Apron’

Creme Brulee Challenge Winners

The  Vancouver Foodster Creme Brulee Challenge was a huge success featuring 9 creme brulee creations from restaurants around Vancouver and Richmond. Each restaurant featured their creme brulee from April 11-30, 2014. Our media judging panel determined the ultimate winners of the challenge, and this was quite the task as each judge who tasted each creation with a rigorous process based on taste, originality/uniqueness and presentation/appearance.

Our Media judges for this challenge were: Stephanie Yuen, Karl Klip, Joyce Lam and Jeremy Inglett

The Winners are:

1st Place: Toasted Hazelnut Creme Brûlée

Toasted Hazelnut Creme Brûlée

Novo Pizzeria

Description: Frangelico Ganache, rosemary & pine nut cookies, orange granita

Created by:  Carmine Paradiso and Charles Richard

Novo Pizzeria

2118 Burrard Street, Vancouver

Tel:    (604) 736-2220


Twitter:   @NOVOPizzeria


Carmine Paradiso - (owner)

Carmine Paradiso – (owner)

2nd Place: Banana Choconutty Crème Brulee

Banana Choconutty Crème Brule

Cafe One 

Created by: Pastry Chef Gabriela Gandolfo

Cafe One (inside Sheraton Wall Centre Vancouver Hotel)

1088 Burrard Street, Vancouver

Tel: 604 893 7205


Twitter: @WallCentreHotel


Pastry Chef Gabriela Gandolfo (left) &

Pastry Chef Gabriela Gandolfo (left) & the Executive Chef Starri Chow(right)

3rd Place: Bread and Butter Crème Brulee

Bread and Butter Crème Brule

The Apron

Description: The elegance of a classic vanilla bean Crème Brule mixed with the comfort of bread pudding, served with biscotti

Created by: Chefs Robert Uy, Michael Stavely and team

The Apron (inside Westin Wall Centre Hotel)

3099 Corvette Way, Richmond

Tel: 604-303-6565


Twitter: @apronyvr


Allister Cave ( F & B Manager) & Chef Robert Uy

Allister Cave ( F & B Manager) & Chef Robert Uy

In the People’s Choice Awards category, the public who tried the Creme Brulee dishes were the ones who had the opportunity to cast their vote throughout the challenge.

The Winners are:

1st Place People’s Choice:


Salted Caramel Apple Creme Brulee

Salted Caramel Apple Creme Brulee

Kingston Taphouse and Grille

Created by: Chef Simon McLeod

Description:  Caramelized granny smith apples with a salted caramel custard.‎ Finished with a touch of citrus salt.

Kingston Taphouse and Grille

755 Richards Street, Vancouver

Tel: 604-681-7011


Twitter: @TheKingstonPub


2nd Place People’s Choice:


Banana Choconutty Crème Brulee

Banana Choconutty Crème Brule

Cafe One 

Created by: Pastry Chef Gabriela Gandolfo

Cafe One (inside Sheraton Wall Centre Vancouver Hotel)

1088 Burrard Street, Vancouver, BC

Tel: 604 893 7205


Twitter: @WallCentreHotel


3rd Place People’s Choice: 


Salted Honey Creme Brûlée

Salted Honey Creme Brûlée

The Bakeshop

Created by: Meg Reed

Description: Flaky pastry filled with creamy earl grey creme, finished with a crispy layer of bruleed honey and rock salt.

The Bakeshop

4021 MacDonald Street, Vancouver

Tel: 604-762-2471


Twitter:  @VanBakeshop


Thank you to all the chefs, restaurants and bakeries that accepted my invitation and featured their creme brulee on the menu for the past few weeks during this challenge.

I encourage you to visit the winning restaurants and bakery to try their creme brulee! See all the 9 Creme Brulee entries here.

By: Richard Wolak

Summer Menu Tasting at The Apron

I revisited The Apron recently for dinner to taste some of the new summer dishes that Executive Chef Hamid Salimian has created. Since I was dining solo, Chef created this Tasting Menu for me portioned accordingly.

Puffed Piggy Puffs and Stella

Triple Decker Fois Gras Sandwich

Puffed Mac & Cheese

Cotton Candy Pizza

To Start, off the Bar snacks menu:

  • Puffed Piggy Puffs and Stella
  • Triple Decker Fois Gras Sandwich
  • Puffed Mac & Cheese
  • Cotton Candy Pizza

Cilantro sugar and Lemons

Cilantro sugar and Lemons from the Philippines as a palate cleanser was refreshing.

Sweet Pea Soup

Citrus Cured Sunshine Coast Sturgeon

Miles' Tomato and Blown Mozzarella

Haida Gwaii Razor Clam

Pacific Provider Salmon

Queen Charlotte Sablefish

Roasted Quebec Fois Gras

On the table for the Mains:

  • Sweet Pea Soup with sweat peas grown on a Richmond farm.
  • Citrus Cured Sunshine Coast Sturgeon  a playful garden on the plate.
  • Miles’ Tomato and Blown Mozzarella  the flavourful salad was hidden under the globe!
  • Haida Gwaii Razor Clam with local fava beans.
  • Pacific Provider Salmon
  • Queen Charlotte Sablefish w/ tomato eggplant stew
  • Roasted Quebec Fois Gras with walnut and pomegranite purée

Cherry Lane Rhubarb Tart

On the table for Dessert:

Cherry Lane Rhubarb Tart with strawberries and sour cream sorbet


Each dish was well presented and all were good, my favourite dishes were the Sweet Pea Soup, Miles’ Tomato and Blown Mozzarella, Pacific Provider Salmon, Queen Charlotte Sablefish and the Cherry Lane Rhubarb Tart.

I have dined at The Apron on a few occasions previously, see one of my previous visits here.

The Apron Restaurant is located inside the Westin Wall Centre Vancouver Airport Hotel at 3099 Corvette Way, Richmond.

You can reserve online or phone them at 604-303-6565

By: Richard Wolak

Vancouver’s Best Desserts

It’s no secret that I have always been fond of desserts, here are some of the best desserts that I have had in the past two months in and around Vancouver. These desserts would make wonderful treats not only for moms on, before or after Mother’s Day but also for all lovers of delicious sweets.

Here are 8 of my favourite desserts, in no particular order:

1)    Lindt Single Farm Chocolate & Soil -created by Chef Hamid  Salimian

Lindt Single Farm Chocolate & Soil

What looks like soil in a ceramic flower pot, is an outstanding surprise for your tastebuds, chocolate that has a slight salty meets sweet is very unique dessert created by the chef.

The Apron Restaurant

3099 Corvette Way, Richmond

Tel: 604-303-6565

2)    Lemon Merengue Pie -created by Chef Michael Deutsch

Lemon Merengue Pie

This pie is a deconstructed version of a Lemon Merengue Pie that is nothing like you thought it would be!

Fleuri Restaurant

845 Burrard Street, Vancouver

Tel: 604-642-2900

3)    Marzipan Layer Cake – Created by Chef Jean-Georges

Marzipan Layer Cake

After eating one piece of this delicious cake with mixed glazed berries, and sour cherry sorbet, I was craving another, if you love Marzipan you will love this dessert.

Market by Jean-Georges

1128 West Georgia Street, Vancouver

Tel: 604-689-1120

4) Shattered Baklava -created by Chef Hamid Saliliman

Shattered Baklava

A Persian dessert, broken down baklava saffron pistachio ice cream, cardamom dates, rosewater honey. One of a kind dessert!

The Apron Restaurant

3099 Corvette Way, Richmond

Tel: 604-303-6565

5)    Matcha Layer Cake -created by Chef Arthur Chen

Matcha Layer Cake

Matcha cream layered between a delicate white cake and its addicting!

Fairmont Pacific Rim Lobby Lounge

1038 Canada Place, Vancouver

Tel: 604- 695-5502

6)   Bounet


A traditional Piemontese pudding made with amaretti and cocoa that is exquisite.

The Bibo Italian Restaurant

1835 West 4th Avenue, Vancouver

Tel: 604-568-6177

7)    Walnut Cake with Carrot Sorbet -created by Chef Jennifer Peters

Walnut Cake with Carrot Sorbet

Savoury meets sweet, heavenly and left my palate in delight.

Raincity Grill

1193 Denman Street, Vancouver

Tel: 604-685-7337

8)    Souffle Cheesecake -created by Chef Akiko Gonnami

Souffle Cheesecake

Strawberry-shiso compote, crystallized shiso leaf both rich and light.

Hapa Umi

110-909 West Cordova Street, Vancouver

Tel: 604-420-4272


By: Richard Wolak

Persian New Year Dinner at The Apron

On Monday March 28th, I had the pleasure of dining at The Apron in the Westin Wall Centre Hotel to experience their 9 course tasting menu to celebrate the Persian New Year. Chef Hamid Salimian had created this wondrous fine dining menu of exquisite dishes that were full of flavour picturesquely presented on the plate.

Abedogh Kiar

First Course was the Abedogh Kiar with yogurt, cucumber, mint and wild flower.


Second Course was the Gaote with pita, preserved walnut, basil and feta.

Salad-e Olivieh

Third Course was the Salad-e Olivieh with poached chicken, fingerling potatoes, and green olives.

Kookoo Sabji

Fourth Course was the Kookoo Sabji with salmon, Seville orange and sunchoke.

Mirza Ghasemi

Fifth Course was the Mirza Ghasemi with sablefish, octopus, eggplant and tomato.


Sixth Course was the Fesenjan with slow cooked duck leg, orange and pomegranate.

Ghormeh Sabzi

Seventh Course was the Ghormeh Sabzi with lamb, red bean, parsley, stone dry lime and basmati rice.


Eighth Course was the Faloodeh with lemon, rice noodle, and rose water.

Bagh-lava with akbar mashdi ice cream

Ninth Course was the Bagh-lava with akbar mashdi ice cream and almond mouse, chickpea crumble, house preserved Okanagan apricots.

I loved each and every dish, though my absolute favourite dishes were the Gaote, Fesenjan and Bagh-lava with akbar mashdi ice cream, I have dined at The Apron a few times, however this was a very special evening and a spectacular meal with outstanding service by our server Justin. They are offering this special tasting menu nightly through April 4th.

By: Richard Wolak

Chef Hamid Salimian

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 Hamid Salimian

A few weeks ago, I spent the afternoon with Chef Hamid Salimian at The Apron Restaurant at the Westin Wall Centre Hotel in Richmond. It was a pleasure to chat with Hamid and to eat with him after the interview we talked about his passion for food, pastry and creativity.

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 after 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?


Where did you grow up?

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

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. As you can see, I use what you may call interesting technique in my cooking such as blowing mozzarella for our Blown Mozzarella Salad.

The First Dish:

Blown Mozzarella Salad

With Miles tomatoes, preserved walnuts, zucchini, tomatoes, cheese, eggplant puree, dandelion lettuce

What was your inspiration behind this dish?

Fun food on the plate

How would you describe your style of cooking here?

French influences, California style with influences from overseas.

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

  • Pear Tree
  • Diva at the Met
  • Raincity Grill
  • La Belle au Berge

What is your favourite cuisine?


The Second Dish:

Flank Steak

With smoked parsnip puree, horseradish cloud, carrots, potatoes, onions, celery, red wine jus, chanterelle mushrooms

What was your inspiration behind this dish?

Making fun out of the traditional flank steak preparation.

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 in the past, including two culinary Olympics, I was a member of Team Canada and Team BC and Team Worldcup in 2002 & 03.

Who cooks at home?

We both do the cooking.

What do you cook at home?

Light stews, lots of vegetables, hot pot soup

The Third Dish:

Shattered Baklava

Almond mouse, pistachio ice cream, Persian chickpea cookie, spice fluid gel, honey rosewater bubbles, baklava sheets

What was your inspiration behind this dish?

Fun with Persian food

What are the must have ingredients in your home pantry?

  • Saffron
  • Cardamom
  • 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 Dishing with the Chef series.

By: Richard Wolak

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