Chef de Cuisine, Café Boulud
Four Seasons Tenure
- Since 2012
- First Four Seasons assignment: current
- DANIEL, New York; Gordon Ramsay at the London NYC, New York; Raincity Grill, Vancouver; Anthony's Restaurant, Leeds, England; C Restaurant, Vancouver; Heriot Bay Inn, British Columbia; Val d'Isere, Whistler; Monk's Grill, Whistler
- Lake Tahoe, California, USA
- Pacific Institute of Culinary Arts, Vancouver, British Columbia
- English plus some French and Spanish
When asked if he always knew he wanted to be a Chef, Tyler Shedden pauses, then breaks into a playful grin. “Sure. I love to eat. I love food. And I love to cook.”
This calm, unassuming, down-to-earth manner belies the culinary gifts and sheer talent – not to mention intense precision in the kitchen – that have made some of the greatest chefs in the world not only stop and take notice – but also recruit Tyler for their restaurants.
Ever humble, Tyler is quick to credit his mentors: Daniel Boulud, Jean Francois Bruel, Robert Clark, Rob Belcham, and Gordon Ramsay. It was at Boulud’s eponymous 3-Michelin Star restaurant DANIEL where Tyler’s career as a Chef took off at lightning speed, and Tyler was quickly promoted to head of the restaurant’s exclusive Private Dining. “I knew this was it, this was my test,” explains Tyler. “Most Executive Chefs at Daniel’s restaurants have at one point held this position.” Thrown into the fire – literally – Tyler excelled. And, when it was announced that Daniel Boulud would open Café Boulud at the flagship Four Seasons Hotel Toronto, Daniel knew that Tyler would be the perfect Chef at the helm to manage day-to-day operations.
Having grown up on Quadra Island, one of the Discovery Islands located off the coast of Vancouver Island in ruggedly beautiful British Columbia, Tyler’s love of the ocean and passion for cooking seafood is in his blood. “As a kid I’d go fishing with my grandfather, and then cook up great dinners for the whole family with my grandmother.” In his teens Tyler worked as a commercial seafood harvester in oyster, clam, and mussel farming, as well as on commercial fishing vessels for Pacific salmon, spot prawns, and Dungeness crab, and by age 20 he was running the restaurant in his parents’ historic 100-year-old Inn. Winters were spent in Whistler, snowboarding and cooking at Val d’Isere, where he was exposed to cooking in a fine dining environment. At C Restaurant and Raincity Grill in Vancouver, Tyler was encouraged by senior chefs to travel and set his sights abroad, and after traveling, cooking, and eating his way through Europe and northern Africa, ultimately packed one bag and his skateboard, moved to Brooklyn, New York, and landed a position with Gordon Ramsay at the London NYC Hotel.
“As a Chef, if you have the opportunity, it’s great to travel and see other parts of the world to get inspiration,” says Tyler. “I ate at this restaurant in Spain, where I had a langoustine that was cooked with just some salt and fresh corn juice. So simple, so delicious. I’ll remember that meal forever. In Morocco I sat on a rooftop drinking this incredible mint tea, watching this blazing hot pink sunset, when the prayer call went out.” His travels have also taken him on a “dream trip” backpacking through Asia for three months with his wife, Susan. In Vietnam they slept in a hut on the beach on Phu Quoc Island for more than a month. “It was an unbelievable trip. In Vietnam, the people are super nice, they are so warm and friendly and they want to feed you. My wife and I were invited to people’s houses for dinner; we had amazing meals with total strangers.” As a chef, Tyler was inspired by the cuisine’s French influences and freshest ingredients. “It was a magical time.”
“When I was offered the position at Café Boulud Toronto I was incredibly honoured,” says Tyler." I have learned so much from Daniel. The way he treats his people, the way he runs a business, the way he works with food.” Together, they developed the menu, adapting all-star favourites from Boulud’s other famous restaurants, as well as creating new dishes exclusive to Café Boulud Toronto that are inspired by Boulud’s four culinary muses – la tradition, classic French cuisine; la saison, seasonal delicacies; le potager, the vegetable garden; and le voyage, exploring the flavours of international cuisines, no doubt drawing from Boulud and Tyler’s respective travels. “I am very excited about Café Boulud,” says Tyler. “As a Chef, I think this is the best restaurant concept. It’s fine dining but not ‘fancy’ – just really comfortable, like you’re having the most delicious meal in your house with your family and friends. The four muses is an amazing restaurant concept because it is so inspiring and constantly evolving with the seasons. Every dish is created with the best, freshest, most wonderful ingredients. Everything on the menu is what a Chef would want to eat.”
Tyler is happy to be back home in Canada with his wife and baby son Henry. “I love Canada, it’s my home. And I love living in Toronto. I live in a cool house at St. Clair and Bathurst. It’s such a great neighbourhood, and my kid has a great big backyard to play in.” Tyler and his family enjoy taking walks along the stretch of Queen West all the way to Queen East to the Beaches, stopping at specialty food shops and restaurants. “I love that Toronto is a big metropolitan city but it definitely has the feel and warmth of a small city. And, Torontonians really care about food – not just dining, but about good, quality food, and good sustainable food practices, and appreciating local farmers and fishermen. I’m all about that. Toronto is a city that embraces and champions those philosophies.”
Menu highlights? “Everything,” says Tyler with another grin. “It’s just all really, really good.” We can’t wait.