With the departure of Oliver Beckert to the new Four Seasons in Baltimore, the Four Seasons' team looks forward to welcoming its newest addition, Executive Chef Ned Bell, effective August 15th.
'Farm to table' is an essential mandate of this Okanagan born chef. A good portion of his life was spent growing up in the Okanagan Valley which has instilled a lifelong passion for fresh and locally sourced cuisine. At 12, Ned began making dinner for his brother and sister igniting his love of cooking.
Bitten by the 'restaurant bug' early, Ned got his first job at 15, washing dishes at Kerrisdale's Avenue Grille. His culinary studies began at Canada's prestigious, Dubrulle Culinary School, where instructor Rob Feenie inspired Ned to follow him to Le Crocodile. Flourishing as an apprentice under Feenie and Vancouver culinary legend, Michel Jacob, Ned next moved up as Sous Chef for the opening team of Lumiere, a restaurant that put Vancouver on the global culinary map.
Looking to broaden his culinary horizons, Ned moved east to hone his talent at key positions in Toronto and Niagara. A few years later, things turned a 'little bit country' when Ned 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, Ned fulfilled a 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.
After a 2010 move back to Vancouver to be closer to family with his wife and newborn son, Ned is absolutely thrilled to join the Four Seasons family to work with a hotel and restaurant so loved and established within the industry and community. "I am very excited to be part of this team," says Ned. "With YEW's meaningful approach to food, an absolutely stunning room and incredibly talented team from front to back, I can't wait to be a part of the vision, adding my own twist to the future."
"Outgoing and passionate about his craft, Chef Bell has such energy, enthusiasm and passion for cooking," comments Regional Vice President and General Manager, Robert Cima. "We look forward to welcoming him to our team and sharing our compassion for the culinary world."
When the apron is off, Ned can be found running local trails, hitting golf balls and spending time with family. Chef Bell is passionate about making a difference to cuisine in British Columbia. He loves being part of the vibrant food scene and is particularly smitten with local farmers markets and BC wine country.
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