Eat Robson is a new dining series spotlighting different restaurants along Robson Street, to give you a behind the scenes look into the kitchens and chefs that make our neighborhood so scrumptious. This week, we chatted with?Executive Chef,?Wayne Sych of the award winning?Joe Fortes, whom recently launched?their new fall menu.?Equally exciting is?Joe Fortes’ recent?announcement?about?their?famous Rooftop?Garden?staying opened until?Dec. 14th.??Heated and enclosed; it is?perfect for?cozy brunches, football Sundays and holiday parties.
Wayne Sych, Executive Chef at Joe Fortes
How did your career as a chef begin?
I knew I wanted to be a chef since I was 10 years old. I started by perfecting omelets, it was intriguing to me that I was able to create different omelets with a variety of ingredients. I got my chance to work in a kitchen by being a dishwasher when I was old enough to work.
What is your favorite meal to cook when you?re hosting a dinner at home?
I like to keep it simple using seasonal and local ingredients, which is usually a combination of grilled fish and meats. I also enjoy making untraditional salads with quinoa, cous cous and different vegetables or fruits.
Who inspired you to be a chef?
Growing up I would always help in the kitchen. My grandparents would visit from Edmonton and my fondest memories stem from there. I would make perogies, cinnamon buns and bread with my grandma. I always wanted to be in the kitchen, it was a natural fit that I would pursue a career in the kitchen. I was fortunate that I knew what I wanted to do at a young age.
What is your favorite dish at the restaurant and why?
My favourite dish is our miso sablefish. Sablefish is a unique fish due to its oily texture and rich flavor. It is sustainable and Ocean Wise. It is important as a Chef to try to use as many sustainable products as possible.
Do you watch any cooking shows? Which one is your favorite???
No, I don?t really watch any cooking shows. I used to watch cooking shows when they were informative before they became reality TV.
What do you love about working in a restaurant on Robson Street?
I like being in the heart of the city, especially during the holiday season – I love the hustle and bustle.
What do you think of the food scene on Robson Street?
I think the Robson food scene is great with a diverse selection of restaurants and options for everyone.
What do you think about Vancouver?s food scene?
I think we have an amazing food scene in Vancouver. We are fortunate to have such talented chefs and a diverse selection of quality restaurants. I am constantly reminded of that when I travel.
Who do you love cooking for?
My two boys. I want them to be able to cook and learn about food. My wife and I cook together regularly with our kids. I often test new ideas and dishes on them, they always provide me with constructive criticism and honest feedback.
Any memorable chef stories you want to share?
As a chef you always have to roll with the punches. Years ago, a party joined us at the restaurant I used to be at and they brought in their own cake from a bakery nearby. About 30 minutes before cake presentation, we noticed the cake accidently got destroyed in the fridge. We couldn’t make out the writing and decorations on the top, so we quickly called the bakery and ordered the replacement cake. As a team, we were able to come together and pull through and in the end, the group had no idea what had happened. It was quite the night.
What do you want to eat on Christmas morning?
Perogies, they are a Christmas Eve tradition in my family so I like the leftovers on Christmas mornings.
Thank you, Chef!
Want?to?dine in?one of Vancouver’s most iconic restaurants? Here is your chance to win a $150 gift card! Our friend, Vancouver Foodie, is?hosting a simple giveaway on her?Instagram, so head on over to @VancouverFoodie?for the?details. To follow along Vancouver Foodie?s Robson eating adventure, or to show us your?favorite dishes,?use?hashtag #eatrobson. Bon appetite, everyone!