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Shangri-La Hotel, Vancouver Welcomes Ken Nakano as Executive Chef

Shangri-La Hotel, Vancouver Welcomes Ken Nakano as Executive Chef

Shangri-La Hotel, Vancouver announces the appointment of Ken Nakano to the position of executive chef. Nakano joins the hotel from the 156-room Rosewood Hotel Georgia, where he served as head chef from 2011 to 2015. Nakano brings with him over 20 years of culinary experience, covering all aspects of food and beverage operations, with a particular passion for regional, seasonal cuisine.

Guests dining at the hotel’s restaurant, MARKET by Jean-Georges, can expect to see sophisticated yet uncomplicated flavours, and seasonal menus showcasing ingredients from coast to coast. Guest are encouraged to keep an eye on the Rooted in Nature dinner tasting menu, and dishes such as the Beef Carpaccio, Pickled Chanterelle Mushrooms and House Made Mustard, which uses British Columbia born and grazed beef from Cache Creek Natural Beef. Another standout dish is the Soy Lacquered Veal Cheek, served with Crosne and a purée of Sunchoke from North Arm Farm in Pemberton, British Columbia.

Nakano grew up in a traditional Japanese household, where the garden was the driving force of his family’s meals. Tending to the backyard garden was part of his daily chores, and scavenging for local fiddleheads, coltsfoot, and berries were the highlight of family camping trips with his cousins. Once the seasons changed from fishing and foraging for fresh ingredients, to harvest time, he learned the arts of salt curing, canning, and pickling thanks to his mother. Little did he know at the time, Nakano’s mother was instilling the importance of practicing a sustainable, seasonal approach to cooking. 

“I remember putting seaweed from Spanish Banks into the garden in the spring, and fallen maple leaves in autumn, to nourish the soil and prepare it for the coming seasons,” said Nakano. “Honouring the seasons and eating this way has always been part of my lifestyle. As a chef, I have a great respect for our local community; when we collaborate with farm partners and local producers we can plan and create truly regional, seasonal menus.” 

Nakano spent six years, from 2006 to 2011, at the Fairmont Empress where he honed his senior management skills as the executive sous chef. With a vast knowledge and passion for sustainability, he helped launch the Vancouver Aquarium’s Ocean Wise program on Vancouver Island in 2007. 

During a longstanding tenure with Delta Hotels and Resorts, Nakano worked his way up the culinary ranks at various properties around British Columbia, including Vancouver, Sun Peaks, and Victoria. Prior to working for hotels and resorts in Canada, Nakano spent 2001 living in Singapore, working with the luxury cruise ship line Crystal Cruises. 

In 1995, Nakano graduated from the British Columbia Institute of Technology with honours, allowing him to secure his Interprovincial Red Seal in Culinary Arts. 

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