Executive Chef, Metropolitan Hotel Vancouver
As Executive Chef of the Metropolitan Hotel Vancouver and its restaurant, Diva at the Met, Chef Hamid Salimian brings a true respect for ingredients and a reputation for highlighting them through both traditional and modern cooking techniques. He takes Diva’s Cascadian cuisine to the next level with his creative, contemporary approach.
Chef Salimian focuses on working with the region’s best farmers, fishers, and artisanal producers to develop relationships that, combined with Vancouver’s unique multicultural influences, result in Diva’s menus having a unique sense of place, traceability and creativity.
Born in Iran and raised on the Caspian Sea, Chef Salimian grew up amid his father’s citrus orchards, rice fields, dairy farms, and traditional Persian cuisine. His early food memories of fava beans, wild pomegranate, and herbs that could only be harvested before sunrise are also linked with memories of sharing this harvest with family and friends. Chef Salimian’s family eventually moved to Vancouver where he formally studied cooking at Vancouver Community College, finishing at the top of his class. "I always knew that I would like to cook, but it was when I went to culinary school that I really fell in love with food."
Chef Salimian is a true example of the Metropolitan Hotel Vancouver’s commitment to training and mentorship – earlier in his career, from 2003 through to 2007; he spent five years in Diva’s kitchen. During that time he immersed himself in the restaurant’s commitment to local ingredients and trained for international culinary competitions alongside renowned innovators such as chefs Chris Mills, Scott Baechler, Ray Henry, Andrew Springett and Thomas Haas. Aside from his time at Diva, he has worked in some of British Columbia’s most esteemed kitchens, starting with his apprenticeship at Vancouver’s Sutton Place Hotel, where he was named Apprentice of the Year in 2002. He was also Executive Sous Chef at The Westin Bear Mountain Victoria, and most recently was the opening Executive Chef at the Westin Wall Centre, Richmond.
Chef Salimian’s competitive and innovative nature has led him to compete in four World Culinary Cups, and in 2002 was a part of the Team BC culinary gold medal win in Luxembourg, followed by a gold medal win as a member of Team Canada at the Chicago Classic the following year. He has also competed in Canadian qualification rounds of the Bocuse d’Or and as part of Culinary Team Canada in the IKA 2008 World Culinary Olympics.