Having a family that enjoyed cooking and eating was what pushed Chef Dennis Miura down the culinary path. He says, “My father really liked to eat and he liked to go to different restaurants. My mother was a really good cook, she made a lot of different Japanese home cooking that was really nice and that was how I got onto the path.”
Canada's Chefs: Dennis Miura, Miura Restaurant and Bar, Vancouver B.C
Chef Dennis Miura creates innovative, pan-Asian dishes with flair and inspiration at Miura Restaurant and Bar in Vancouver.
Chef Dennis Miura
Along with working at Le Crocodile in Vancouver and staging at COI and Terra in America, Miura found inspiration while staging with an Australian chef named Tesuya Wakuda at the eponymous Tetsuya’s in Sydney, Australia. Miura says, “His cuisine is similar to mine. I staged there for about a month.”
Many Japanese restaurants in Vancouver follow a formula that Miura wanted to escape. He’s taken classical Japanese dishes and added French technique and more pan-Asian flair to the menu items he’s created.
Miura uses the example of a few dishes to illustrate his approach to the food at the restaurant. He says, “I’ve taken the traditional oyster motoyaki dish where you have a mayonnaise on top of oysters and you torch it and made it into a sushi roll. That’s a good example of what we do. Also with udon noodles, I’m doing an udon alfredo with cream and mushrooms. It’s more like a tradtional pasta dish.”
There are a number of suppliers with whom Miura has worked that have provided him with high quality ingredients. The chef feels that his responsibility is to showcase those ingredients in the best possible fashion. He points out, “When I get the ingredient, I try not to do too much to it because it’s already good. I just have to highlight it with olive oil or salt or a little charcoal grilling. I try to keep the integrity of the ingredient.”
Fish and Chips Roll: Panko fried halibut, gari wasabi tartar sauce, crispy potato with garlic soy
Duck carpaccio: seared duck breast, apple fennel salad, sansho powder, almond vinaigrette
When it comes to the traits that Miura hopes to have as a chef, he is most focused on creating good food while also respecting his staff. He says, “I want to keep my staff happy, give good benefits to them and provide them with a great atmosphere.”
In terms of what Miura looks for out of his cooks, he explains, “They should have really good passion about cooking, like the environment of the kitchen and be adaptable.”
One of Miura’s concerns about the industry stems from cooks just coming out of culinary schools. He says, “As soon as the cook realizes that it’s not so much what they thought it was, they don’t want to be cooks any more. I feel that in the next twenty years, there won’t be many cooks out there. I think restaurants in general will be formulated and spread out like wildfire once a restaurant is perfected.”
Inspiration for Miura comes from the wide variety of Internet resources that exist now. He says, “The Internet inspires me with everything I can find from South America, Africa or Europe. It’s amazing how much information you can get on the Internet and what you can find to inspire you there.”
This article is based on an interview with Dennis Miura conducted on and recorded on April 13th, 2016.