Weimar Gomez thrives through challenging himself to reach new heights and take on new challenges all over the globe.
"I had to prove I could do it," he recalls of his return to Paris at age 30, where he landed as commis chef at the three Michelin Star Restaurant Guy Savoy.
Months later, he was promoted to chef de partie. And a little over a year after that, he was scooped up into the same position by Four Seasons Hotel George V, Paris. It was a great job with burgeoning responsibilities that ended with his becoming Executive Sous Chef and bras droit (right arm) to the Executive Chef.
"I worked all over the kitchen. By the end I was chef of Le Galerie, Le Bar and room service."
With a drive to keep growing Gomez chose to prove himself once again as the Executive Chef at Four Seasons Hotel Pudong, Shanghai. Here Gomez crafted menus and set the scenes at the Italian restaurant Camelia, and the exceptionally elegant and exclusive Chinese restaurant, Shàng-xí, with just 22 seats but five extraordinary private dining rooms to go around.
The key for Gomez's success has always been surrounding himself with talented people and diving passionately into his position. Along the way, he has proven exceptional at expanding his knowledge of local ingredients and culinary techniques to assure uniqueness on the plate. And so it goes in the kitchen of Four Seasons Hotel Vancouver and YEW seafood + bar.
With a goal of tasting his way through the local dining scene, Gomez is immersed in Vancouver's flavours as well as its unique and highly multicultural, highly competitive dining scene. "One of the first things I set out to do was to meet as many suppliers as possible," he says, delighting in the abundance of choice available in Vancouver, including seafood, produce and vegetables that to set the farm/ocean-to-table movement in motion.
Gomez has plenty going for him in Vancouver, not least his own history of culinary innovation. Initially intent upon becoming an architect, after high school he took work at a restaurant to finance his drafting dream. At the encouragement of colleagues, he entered a gastronomic festival in Casa Medina and, at the age of 17, saw his talent immediately recognised by an instructor from Le Cordon Bleu. Wasting no time, Gomez packed for culinary training first in Bogota and then Paris, where he was awarded a Grand Diploma from Le Cordon Bleu in 1995. He spent the years prior to joining Four Seasons working at hotels and restaurants across France and in Miami, where he spent two years as a private chef.
Though training has been important in shaping Gomez's culinary talents, even more significant is the passion he finds in the kitchen. "Being a cook takes passion and a drive to excel," he explains.
No doubt plenty of culinary professionals would happily follow Gomez - if they could keep up. When not hard at work in the kitchen, Weimar keeps his head clear and physique in tip-top condition. To date, he has completed more than ten marathons, including Paris, London, Chicago, Boston, Berlin, New York and Shanghai as well as three half and one full Ironman competitions. As an active triathlete, Weimar loves Greater Vancouver's world-class environment for outdoor recreation.