An Incredible Journey. Chef Felix Zhou brings modern, elevated techniques to the kitchen.
Chef Felix Zhou has been running kitchens for five years. While that may not seem like a long time – he has definitely made those years count.
The 31-year-old had his first real chef job in a small vegetarian and vegan restaurant when he was 26. However, he had been in the kitchen for about a decade prior to that.
Zhou’s road to the kitchen started when he received a scholarship from his high school to attend culinary school.
“During my time at school I fell in love with cooking and eating, and I knew that I wanted to pursue a career in the culinary world. I would definitely describe cooking as a passion. It’s very challenging to work in a kitchen 12-16 hours a day, so you really have to love it and have a true love of food,” says Zhou.
A little over two years ago he helped open Heritage Asian Eatery in Vancouver. The menu reflects the flavours and comfort-food dishes that Zhou remembers enjoying as a child back in China.
“I spent much of my career working in high-end kitchens and learning French and Western techniques. I wanted to bring those modern, elevated techniques to my own restaurant but focus on traditional Chinese and Asian dishes,” he shares.
The menu features a variety of baos, rice bowls, noodles and some rotating feature dishes like congee and crispy pork hock. For those who have never dined at Heritage Asian Eatery before Zhou recommends trying the Duck Rice Bowl with roasted duck breast and duck leg in house-made Peking sauce.
Opening the restaurant has been an incredible journey. They are now close to opening their second location at Cambie and Broadway. The new location will be larger in size and will be table-service rather than counter-service.
“The menu will be similar but we’ll also be offering a larger variety of dishes with some new seasonally inspired features, and a special Chef ’s Tasting Menu, which I’m really excited about.” Another excitement for Zhou this year was being on Top Chef Canada. “My time on Top Chef Canada was short and sweet. Being part of the show was a huge achievement and I’m truly grateful for the experience. Top Chef Canada showed me a very clear picture of what I want to achieve and accomplish in my life and career.”
In October 2018 Zhou participated in the regional competition for Canada’s Great Kitchen Party (formerly Gold Medal Plates) in Victoria. In 2017 he was awarded the top prize at Vancouver’s Curry Cup for his Thai-style duck curry with potato rösti.
His greatest achievement is his restaurant.
“Opening my own restaurant, along with my two partners has been my greatest career achievement to date. I’m so proud of what we’ve built and can’t wait to introduce Heritage to a new neighbourhood when we open our second location in 2019.”
Looking to the future, Zhou would like to continue developing his talents profile as a successful restaurateur…perhaps expanding Heritage or opening an entirely new concept somewhere down the road.
By Nicole Sherwood. Photography: Phillip Chin. Reprinted with permission from Western Restaurant News (Winter 2019).