Executive Chef of Four Seasons Hotel Vancouver, including YEW seafood + bar, Ned Bell’s cooking philosophy is farm-to-table. He is passionate about creating globally inspired dishes crafted with locally-grown ingredients and an emphasis on sustainable seafood. He's also a proud embassador for the Ocean Wise program, which is based out of the coastal city.
Much of Bell’s life was spent in British Columbia's Okanagan Valley, where he grew up instilling an everlasting passion for fresh and locally-sourced cuisine. His culinary studies began at Dubrulle Culinary School, where instructor Rob Feenie inspired Bell to follow him to Le Crocodile, and later put Bell on the opening team of Lumière, a restaurant that put Vancouver on the global culinary map.
Looking to broaden his culinary horizons, Bell moved east to hone his talent in key positions in Toronto and Niagara. A few years later, Bell heeded the call of the west and was soon awarded the “Best Overall and Rising Star Award” from WHERE magazine after opening Murrieta’s Grill in Calgary. In 2007, Bell fulfilled his dream and returned to his Okanagan roots to become co-owner and chef at the Kelowna lakeside favourite, Cabana Bar and Grille where he was soon ranked one of Western Living magazine’s “Top 40 Foodie’s Under 40”.
“Food doesn’t need to be complicated, but it is important to know where it comes from,” says the chef. Naming his own food philosophy "globally inspired and locally created," a process that begins with premium ingredients, sourcing the best of what is available locally and seasonally, and then focusing on flavour.
Bell took the helm at the Four Seasons and YEW kitchens when the restaurant launched a new sustainable seafood concept in 2011. Using his well-known passion, influence and enthusiasm, he quickly led the hotel to become 100 per cent Ocean Wise program compliant and develop a reputation as a culinary leader who is making a difference. Within a year of the new concept launching, Bell took the restaurant into a new era of relevance with customers and media. Guest covers, restaurant sales and catering revenue grew as much as 30 per cent during his first full year as executive chef and continue to do so with the ever-evolving chef and restaurant concept.
Global BC TV News, CTV News and Breakfast TV are just a few of the media outlets where Bell has become a regularly invited guest for cooking segments and discussions, where he appears almost weekly. With an outgoing nature and sense of fun, pair perfectly with an impeccable attention to detail and desire to share his love of good food, it's clear that Bell loves people and people love him.
Finding his niche in seafood and sustainability while running a multi-million dollar food and beverage operation for one of the world’s biggest and best hospitality brands has sharpened Bell’s skills like never before. Multi-tasking is a must for this talented chef who is equal parts showman, advocate, teacher and leader.
When the apron is off, Bell practices what he preaches, naming running, road-biking, dining out and weekends at farmers markets as his rejuvenating activities. Spending time with his family, however, tops the list of what keeps him inspired; you’ll never see him happier than when he’s playing a round of pick up hockey with his boys.
Via Teverre Pizzeria: traditional pizza and awesome Italian salads. Great hidden gem on Victoria off the Drive/Commercial.
Zest Japanese Cuisine: Out of the way on the west side, close to Kits and Dunbar; best sushi; not overly expensive. Great hot food and season features also.
Wildebeest: Cool new spot. kitchen is super solid, nose to tail. Great cocktails, great vibe.
Good Wolfe Kitchen and Bar (for damn good eats): Chef owner Josh Wolfe is a ninja, period. He also owns the Fresh Local Wild food truck.
Homer St. Cafe and Bar: Executive chef Marc Andre Choquette is also a ninja, but a French one. He's also chef of Tableau and previously the chef de cuisine of Lumière.