Chen to Divide Time Between Boulevard and Larger Role in Sutton Place Hotels’ Luxury Brand, While Opening Chef De Cuisine Ma Takes Over Reins as Boulevard Executive Chef
Boulevard Kitchen & Oyster Bar Executive Chef Alex Chen and Chef de Cuisine Roger Ma — acclaimed culinary colleagues who have anchored the back-of-house team at Boulevard since its inception in 2014 — have been promoted to new key roles within the restaurant and beyond.
Before winning gold at the 2018 Canadian Culinary Championships, Chen helmed kitchens at the world-renowned Beverly Hills and Polo Lounge and Four Seasons Hotels in Toronto and Chicago prior to opening Boulevard at The Sutton Place Hotel Vancouver in 2014. Chen will now take on the role of Executive Chef – Signature Restaurants for Sutton’s luxury brand, where he will also drive menu and restaurant development for its current and future properties, while continuing to be based at Boulevard to maintain a mentorship role and oversee private and custom menu creation.
Ma, who began his career at the Four Seasons Resort Whistler in 2004 before embarking on an eight-year tenure as Executive Sous Chef for renowned chef and restaurateur Daniel Boulud at his eponymous Michelin three-star Daniel in New York, will now step into the role of Executive Chef.
In the past few years, Chen and Ma have bolstered their culinary resumes in fine style. Chen, who led Team Canada to a top-10 finish at the prestigious Bocuse d’Or competition in France in 2013, won Gold Medal Plates BC regional titles in 2015 and ’17 as well as the national Canadian Culinary Championship crown in February. Ma, meanwhile, claimed top spot in both the 2015 Vancouver Aquarium Ocean Wise Chowder Chowdown and the 2016 Vancouver Curry Cup, while also earning a podium finish at the 2016 Bocuse d’Or national finals. Ma further proved his mettle as a key member of Boulevard’s winning teams at both Gold Medal Plates and the Canadian Culinary Championships.
“Alex and Roger’s partnership at Boulevard has been inseparable from the success of the restaurant,” says Boulevard Kitchen & Oyster Bar Executive General Manager JP Potters. “Roger’s leadership, contribution to the menu and calm demeanour has played a huge role in helping shape Boulevard into an iconic restaurant within Vancouver and beyond.”
“This is a huge honour for both myself and Roger,” says Chen. “We look forward to continuing our partnership and working relationship and I’m incredibly excited to see him continue to build on Boulevard’s reputation for culinary excellence.”
ABOUT BOULEVARD KITCHEN & OYSTER BAR | Located in the heart of downtown Vancouver, Boulevard Kitchen & Oyster Bar redefines the fine art of dining with subtle, unexpected and playful approaches to cuisine, service and style. From the all-star front-of-house team to the acute attention to detail in design to the understated elegance of the restaurant’s seafood-focused cuisine infused with casual West Coast flair, Boulevard sets forth an uncompromising standard of excellence guaranteed to capture the attention of food-savvy Vancouver residents and visitors on plate and palate alike. Paired with exceptional service, a wide-ranging selection of wine and cocktails and true European ambiance in a traditional-yet-modern setting, Boulevard offers breakfast (6:30 to 11 a.m.), lunch (11 a.m. to 4 p.m.), dinner (5 to 11 p.m.) and late-night service until 1 a.m. seven days a week, as well as weekend brunch from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and happy hour from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m.
ABOUT ALEX CHEN | Alex Chen got his first start of the restaurant industry in Vancouver while working as a dishwasher and busboy after emigrating with his family from Malaysia at the age of 13. From that auspicious start Chen went on to build an impressive resume with more than a decade of experience at some of the most acclaimed hotel properties across North America, including the world-renowned Beverly Hills Hotel and Polo Lounge and Four Seasons Hotels in Toronto and Chicago. A classically trained chef with a true taste for high-pressure culinary competitions, Chen led Team Canada to a top-10 finish at the 2013 Bocuse d’Or in Lyon, France prior to opening Boulevard Kitchen & Oyster Bar in 2014 and went on to claim top spot in both the 2015 and ’17 editions of the annual Gold Medal Plates regional championships in Victoria, BC, as well as the gold medal at the 2018 Canadian Culinary Championships in Kelowna, BC.
ABOUT ROGER MA | Roger Ma began his career in the industry by helping to launch Fifty Two 80 Bistro & Bar at the Four Seasons Resort Whistler in 2004. From there, Roger became an integral part of the kitchen engine that drove many restaurants in esteemed chef Daniel Boulud’s empire. In 2006, Roger rose in the ranks at Boulud’s flagship restaurant, Daniel in New York, from chef de partie to banquet sous chef to sous chef. After six years, Roger took the role of corporate sous chef in Boulud’s Dinex Group and moved on to help open Café Boulud and dBar at the Four Seasons Toronto as well as Maison Boulud at the Ritz Carlton in Montreal before returning to his hometown of Vancouver to join the opening team at Boulevard Kitchen & Oyster Bar in 2014. No stranger to accolades, Roger claimed the top prize at the 2015 Vancouver Aquarium Ocean Wise™ Chowder Chowdown and the 2016 Vancouver Curry Cup.