Kashk Bademjan – Hamid Salimian
“It all started from my mother,” Hamid Salimian says. He is a several-fold award-winning Canadian-Iranian chef, currently based in Vancouver. He was born and raised in Iran, where the path to his success started, right in his mother’s kitchen amid her passion for cooking. “My mother had so much love for food and entertaining her guests. I grew up in a family that really cared about food. That was how I got into cooking, from the time I was a little child.”
He’s come a long way since then. From growing up and learning about food on his father’s dairy farm and orchards, to graduating at the top of his class at Vancouver Community College (Culinary School), later on a chef on the top luxury hotels in the city and to become a captain if culinary team Canada winning 10 international gold medals. But becoming a chef wasn’t something Salimian had initially planned on doing.
“At first I just wanted to learn how to cook. As soon as I started to learn more and more about cooking, I fell in love with food. And as I learned more about culinary arts I realized that besides feeding your guests and giving them nutrition, you could also entertain them with the art of cooking.”
“To become a better cook I have carefully studied the science of it. It is important to understand why ingredients act the way they do. As a chef, once you understand how food reacts, cooking becomes much simpler.”
Like many chefs with roots in countries with colorful cuisines, Salimian has drawn a lot of inspiration from the Persian way of cooking.
“Every time I eat Persian food it brings back memories from the past.”
“In my work, I have taken over 50 national dishes and used a combination of modern and French cooking techniques when executing them. The idea behind each dish has been to stay true to the dish, but enhancing the flavor and presentation of it through these new techniques.”
Through his food and his way of cooking, Hamid Salimian aims to tell a story and entice emotion in his guests.
“Food is fuel, our body needs it to be able to perform. But our food does not need to be boring and bland. I try to draw inspiration from how I feel on a certain day. It could be the weather, people that I talk to, a cookbook, or a story about the past. I always ask myself what I’m trying to say to my guests. How do I want them to feed after eating the dish?”
“An ideal day for me, food-wise, would begin with breakfast with my wife. If she were cooking, it would be asparagus and eggs. Then that would follow up with lunch with my friends at one of their restaurants, and finishing off the day with dinner with my family at my mothers house.”