Interview with Behshad Zolnasr

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.

Executive Chef Behshad Zolnasr first got his foot in the door working the forno oven at Earl’s former flagship Tin Palace in North Vancouver in his teens. After graduating from culinary school at the Pacific Institute of Culinary Arts, he honed his chops under renowned chefs at a number of Michelin-starred spots around the globe like Ristorante Mamma Angelina in Rome, Restaurant Gordon Ramsay in London and Jean-Georges in New York City before returning to Vancouver.

When he was back in Vancouver, he was the Executive Chef at West Vancouver’s Café Ça Va and Rive Gauche Bistro. also led the culinary teams at Vancouver’s Served Catering, Seaside Provisions in North Vancouver and Frankie’s Italian Kitchen & Bar locations in Vancouver and Chilliwack.

In 2021 he became the Executive Chef at C|Prime Modern Italian Steak & Wine.

You can follow Chef Behshad Zolnasr on instagram @chefbehshad

What is your view of the Art of Dining?

I think it is a dying art as a guest. Now people who come to the restaurants as a family you see the parents on their phones, the kids on their tablets; while the teenagers are looking for the wow factor not necessarily taste, and it has become all about the Instagram photo.  

What does Dry Age mean when referring to meat?

It is a controlled temperature and tenderizing the meat and removing moisture and intensifying the flavour.

What is Wet Age mean when referring to meat?

Meat comes in a bag and we leave it in the cooler for about 1-1/2 weeks.

All meats are different, for example a Ribeye is Best Dry Aged for 28 days.

What was the Driving Factor behind your interest in cooking when you were younger?

I decided to pursue a career in the kitchen while watching cooking shows at a young age with my grandmother.

What TV Shows did you watch growing up?

Emerill Live

Hells Kitchen

Kitchen Nightmare

What do you Watch Now?

Eater on YouTube

Bon Appetite on YouTube

What are your Hobbies or interests?

Spending time with friends and family.

I love being the diner and going out to eat at restaurants around the city.

How do you Dine?

I go out and try a dish at one place, then I go to another place for a different dish or a donut or something else at another.

What is your Favourite Cuisine to eat out?

Whatever I am in the mood for.

What is your favourite Persian Restaurant in Metro Vancouver?

Sahill on Broadway in Vancouver

Akbar Joojeh on Lonsdale in North Vancouver

If you eat at your Parents place, what is your favourite Persian dish?

Gehmeh (stew)

What do you want your Cooks and Sous Chefs to know?

The basics of food

How to make a proper stock

How to debone fish

How to clean animals

How to make a beef wellington

1st dish:

Roast Chicken Breast


Delicata Squash, Glazed shallots, Chestnut puree, Fraser Valley Chicken


Wintery, local ingredients, trying to do dishes people don’t see currently.

Do you have a Dream to open your own Restaurant?

Not in Vancouver

2nd dish:

Risotto Nero


Confit tomatoes, squid ink, grilled octopus, parmesan crisp, Italian gremolata


Make a risotto that is seafood and light for the winter season. Also not seen on every menu.

What is your Favourite City around the World for Food ?

San Sebastian

What are your Favorite dishes to cook at home?



What would we find in your home pantry?

Olive oil, truffle oil, balsamic, saffron, Iranian spices, yogurt

3rd dish:



Brown Butter Squash, Pecans. Pomegranate, Balsamic Caviar


Changing up the Burrata dish seasonally with the best ingredients to complement the Italian Burrata.

What is your favourite food or guilty pleasure?

Corn dogs

What are your Favourite Restaurants in Metro Vancouver outside of where you work?

Savio Volpe

Kissa Tanto


Fanny Bay Oysters

Tableau Bistro


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

By: Richard Wolak