DARREN BROWN, EXECUTIVE CHEF, ORU CUISINE (2014)
Homegrown and internationally travelled chef Darren Brown has always had food and family woven into the fabric of his life. Born and raised in Coquitlam BC, Darren's first kitchen duty began in the ‘90's working with Chef Deb Connors at Horizons. Darren caught the travel bug and discovered an appetite to take on French cuisine. What better place than in Antibes, France, and onboard Merv Griffin's 15-ft yacht?
During summer in the Mediterranean and winters in the Caribbean, Darren cooked for celebrities that ranged from James Bond to the Princess of Spain. In 2002, Darren joined Rumjungle at Mandalay Bay Resort in Las Vegas and in 2005 he was appointed Assistant Executive Chef of Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino. He later moved back to Vancouver with wife Alison, and joined Glowbal Restaurant Group where he was most recently Corporate Executive Chef.
Now leading the Fairmont Pacific Rim's kitchen brigade, Darren oversees an eclectic mix of outlets including an Italian inspired giovane café + winebar, raw and sushi bar at Lobby Lounge, locally sourced with a Pacific Rim flare - ORU Cuisine and an additional 15,000 sq ft of function space.
1038 Canada Place, Vancouver
Your signature dish:
Our Haida Gwaii Sablefish, with sunchokes from North Arm Farms, house made chorizo, and a tomato consommé
What is your food philosophy?
Work with food that's grown and raised in your current environment, at the right time, in the right season. Keep it clean and simple
One ingredient you could not cook without:
Tomatoes, preferably from Village Farms Tomatoes
What advice would you give to aspiring young chefs?
Someone told me 25 years ago to write down everything. That was good advice
What did you love to eat growing up as a child?
My mom used to make crepes stuffed with whipped cream and brown sugar, then we'd pour a little coffee over it to melt the sugar. Come to think of it, that probably explains a lot of things...
When no one is looking, what is your guilty-pleasure food?
Chocolate. No, Ice Cream. Can I have 2?
Do you prepare anything that is unconventional?
I'd say we think out of the box whenever we can... We've got some wild boar prosciuttos curing for the last 6 months, that's not your typical restaurant prep, lol
What are your top cooking tips for busy people?
Plan ahead a little. Don’t try to do everything the same day you need to have it done
The dish customers must try during Dine Out:
The lobster's been popular, but our Angus Reserve Beef Tenderloin has been getting rave reviews
The best part of Vancouver’s Dine Out Festival:
The pace. We all love being busy!
Tell us about yourself in a few words:
I’m homegrown in BC, born and raised in Coquitlam, lived several years in Whistler, then did a tour as a yacht chef for a few years in the Mediterranean and Caribbean, a couple years in Beverly Hills, 6 years in Las Vegas, then came home again, where the food is great and the farms are close by...