Four Seasons Tenure
- Since 1990
- First Four Seasons Assignment: Cook 1, Four Seasons Hotel Vancouver
- Four Seasons Resort Jackson Hole; Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale at Troon North; The Regent Singapore (A Four Seasons Hotel); Four Seasons Resort Bali at Sayan; The Regent Berlin (formerly a Four Seasons Hotel); The Regent Melbourne (formerly a Four Seasons Hotel); Four Seasons Hotel Vancouver; The Westin Bristol Place Toronto; Caledonian Hilton Edinburgh; Fairmount Le Montreux Palace
- Portsmouth, England
- City & Guides certification and degree, South Downs College, Waterlooville, England
From the Food Network to culinary web sites to cookbooks, there are many ways for stay-at-home chefs to experience the world’s cuisines. Yet for professionals, there is nothing like being there. “Only by being surrounded by a culture can you truly learn its cuisine,” says Simon Purvis, Executive Chef of Four Seasons Hotel Denver.
He ought to know. Over the course of more than 20 years in hospitality, Purvis has skipped from Switzerland to Bali, Scotland to Melbourne, and across the United States. His passion for culinary travel began while taking family trips through France and northern Spain. “The fresh baguettes, cold cuts, aromatic wines and especially the seafood really opened my eyes. I knew I needed a career that would allow me to travel.”
Purvis has picked up plenty along the way. In Bali, he mastered the art of the wok; in Singapore, he learned the Chinese focus on freshness; and at Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale at Troon North, he mastered the singular American art of grilled steak – to wide critical acclaim. “My mother was a good cook, but she cooked the hell out of everything,” he says. “It’s amazing what less time under the flame can do.”
In Denver, Purvis cooks with some wild game, an art he mastered during his tenure at Four Seasons Resort Jackson Hole. He doesn’t play too much with natural flavours, preferring to season lightly and then marry the flavours with local ingredients that complement rather than overpower. “I read a menu that someone sent over today, and it was too complex,” he says. “We keep our menu simple and our dishes straightforward so each element stands on its own.” He also incorporates as many locally grown ingredients as possible, ensuring the cuisine is influenced by the flavours of Colorado.
Beyond experiencing the Mile High City, Purvis is delighting in snowboarding – a talent he picked up in Wyoming – and is excited to hit the Colorado slopes, with some of the world's finest snowboarding, just a two- to three-hour drive from Four Seasons Hotel Denver.