Sean Murray is thrilled to be back in the kitchens of Four Seasons Hotel Vancouver. Having been the last reigning Restaurant Chef of Chartwell back in 2006, Murray knows a thing or two about local culinary legend.
Having roamed the international kitchens of Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts with his most recent position at Four Seasons Costa Rica picking up new skills, techniques and languages, Murray is now back home.
Like many accomplished chefs, Murray began cooking as a kid. At 12 years old the family rule became – “if you’re staying home sick from school, you have to bake something for dinner,” within reason of course. Baking was Murray’s first foray into the culinary world naming apple pie and Oreo cheesecake as his first and current specialties.
Following the paths of other successful chefs, Murray first restaurant job began early – 15 years old – as a dishwasher at Nanaimo’s (Vancouver Island) Wesley Street Cafe. This led him first to culinary school and then to a two-week stage at the Pan Pacific Hotel. The experience had him “working his butt off, day and night” in hopes of earning an apprenticeship at the luxury Vancouver hotel.
Thus began Murray’s five year training ground in Vancouver’s culinary hotel world. Enter Ernst Dorfler, a mentor and father-figure to the aspiring chef, Dorfler helped shape Murray’s career. When an opportunity at the Four Seasons came up in 2002, Dorfler encourage the move to keep Murray’s career forging ahead.
During the next six years, Murray took on a number of learning roles on the road to becoming the type of chef he dreamed of being – from Saucier to Restaurant Chef at Chartwell (noted by Murray as “one of the benchmarks of progressing as a “real chef” in the city), to Banquet Chef at Four Seasons.
In 2008 he jumped at an exciting opportunity to cook for Canadian athletes at the Beijing Olympics, a career and life highlight.
After this, Murray took on the role of Senior Sous Chef at Four Seasons Costa Rica where he quickly learned about the destinations unique culture. “I am absolutely spoiled for fresh fruit and vegetables since this experience. Mangoes and avocados are just so good and plentiful there. “
“Costa Ricans strive to enjoy Pura Vida – the pure life – fish fresh from the ocean, mangoes fresh from the tree,” Murray shares. “Life is simple and meant to be enjoyed. Work isn’t everything there. It was a great place to get perspective.”
He worked his way up to Executive Sous in Costa Rica before returning to Vancouver in 2011 and accepting the role of YEW seafood + bar’s Executive Sous Chef. Murray is enjoying the variety and travel of the life of a hotel chef. He’s enjoying Vancouver and aspires to bring all his passion and enthusiasm to YEW’s new modern seafood concept.
Accepting the job hazard of eating, eating and eating some more, Murray is a fitness buff, making a daily appointment at the gym.