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 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 Foodies Under 40.” Ned remains involved in Cabana Grille as a consulting Corporate Chef.
“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.
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 as much as 30 percent during Ned’s first full year in his role as Executive Chef and continue to do so with the ever-evolving chef and restaurant concept.
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 Ned’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, Ned 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 Ned Bell inspired; you’ll never see him happier than when he’s playing a round of pick up hockey with his boys.