Executive Chef Ned Bell’s cooking philosophy is farm-to-table. He is passionate about creating globally inspired dishes crafted with locally grown ingredients with an emphasis on sustainable seafood.
Much of Ned’s life was spent growing up in British Columbia’s Okanagan Valley, instilling a lifelong passion for fresh and locally sourced cuisine. His culinary studies began at Dubrulle Culinary School, where instructor Rob Feenie inspired Ned to follow him to Le Crocodile and later to 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 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.”
Ned took the helm of 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, Ned quickly led the hotel to become 100% Ocean Wise and develop a reputation as a culinary leader making a difference. Within a year of the new concept launching, Ned was responsible for taking the restaurant into a new era of relevance with customers and media. Guest covers, restaurant sales and catering revenue grew exponentially during Ned’s five year tenure in his role as Executive Chef and he raised YEW’s profile as a serious sustainable seafood contender across the globe.
Ned’s latest role as Ocean Wise Executive Chef will help further conservation program across Canada. Bell also leads the culinary team at Vancouver Aquarium, one of the city’s most coveted venues for special events and conferences.
With the support of the Aquarium’s Ocean Wise program, Ned Bell created Chefs for Oceans in 2014 to raise awareness about sustainable seafood by riding his bike across Canada. Bell’s dedication to sustainable seafood has inspired many Canadian chefs to get involved in the cause – a movement that is having a meaningful impact on the way consumers think about the seafood they eat, where it comes from and how they, too, can help protect our oceans by making ocean-friendly seafood choices.
Ned was recently honoured as Canada’s “Chef of the Year” recipient for Food Service and Hospitality magazine’s 2014 Pinnacle Awards and was nominated with a Global Seafood Award for Advocacy at the 2015 Seaweb Seafood Summit in Malta as well as the 2015 Green Award for Sustainability by Vancouver Magazine.
His community-focused life is firmly based on the health and wellness of his home, his country and the world through ‘feeding’ extraordinary life experiences. As the father of three sons, Ned is dedicated to inspiring Canadians to become part of the solution for healthier oceans for today’s children and generations to come.
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