From VCC classes to world-class culinary success
Chef David Wong's success is what young chefs embarking upon their training at Vancouver Community College aspire to.
His journey to become a world-class chef demonstrates that passion nurtured at a young age—combined with family roots and expanding your horizons—is often your compass in finding your true calling.
David Wong, one of 12,200 VCC chefs who built this city.
While he helped prepare traditional Chinese dishes growing up, David attributes travelling and his exposure to the food of Europe as the reason he chose to pursue training in culinary arts and hospitality. That training, including graduating from the Food and Beverage Management program in 1997, set David off on a track that included working with Fairmont Hotels & Resorts in B.C. and Alberta, taking on the role of the first Executive Chef of the Fairmont Pacific Rim in 2010. He also found time to run his own restaurant, Jar—a breakfast and lunch eatery in his hometown of Nanaimo.
Along the way he also amassed an impressive collection of medals and awards—both in Canada and internationally, allowing him to add world class to his status as a chef. Highlights include his gold medal win as part of Culinary Team Canada in Basel, Switzerland and a top-ten finish representing Canada in 2009 at the Bocuse d'Or—considered the most prestigious culinary competition in the world—held in Lyon, France.
Currently, David is the Product Development Chef with Earls Kitchen + Bar. He's also part of Earls Chef Collective alongside VCC culinary arts program alumni Hamid Salimian, Ryan Stone and Brian Skinner. The collective taps into the cooking styles and ethnic backgrounds of the team who collaborate on new ideas, ingredients and cooking techniques to create dishes for the menus of Earls 65 restaurants in Canada and the U.S. David draws inspiration from his cultural roots and his grandmother in the creation of pan-Asian dishes such as his take on bibimbap, or Korean rice bowl, a favourite of Earls' diners.
David's connection to VCC is the "full meal deal": not only is he an alumnus, he's also been an instructor with the culinary arts program and has hired more than 70 program graduates to work alongside him over the course of his career. In 2010, he was the recipient of VCC's Outstanding Alumni Award in recognition of his career accomplishments and contribution to the college.
And, he's one of the featured chefs participating in VCC's 50 Years. 50 Chefs. Gala on November 17, alongside his fellow instructors and former students.