Alvin AlimIn 2002, Alvin Alim came from the Philippines along with his family. He was about to disembark on a new path after studying Law back home for almost 2 years. After just days of arriving in North Vancouver, Alvin was set to find a job. He managed to get hired as a cook at a local fast food franchise, KFC (Kentucky Fried Chicken). Alvin was apprehensive on what may happen as he had never cooked before. Cooking rice came easy to him as he had a rice cooker to use in minutes.
After 5 years of working at KFC, Alvin decided to change his work environment and got hired at Whole Foods Market in West Vancouver as a dishwasher. This became as a stepping stone for Alvin as he learned the initial foundation of being in the industry. Alvin was astonished as he watched his sous chef create this apple cider bacon vinaigrette from scratch. This was an eye opener as it pushed Alvin to explore different types of food. Thus creating a whole new world for Alvin drawing him closer to a career, so he decides to pursue it.
In 2010, Alvin applied to post secondary to further expand his knowledge. He started attending Vancouver Community College downtown campus for the wellknown Culinary arts program. Alvin was truly inspired by his Chef mentors, like David Ryan and James Hutton. The dynamic duo taught Alvin nothing but essentials. At the same time, Alvin was working at a downtown Italian restaurant learning basics like, making pasta out of scratch, different types of sauces and most importantly, how to multitask. Lastly, as Chef David Ryan said to Alvin, “a good chef has 6 cooking common sense”. Alvin is very grateful as these experiences and words of wisdom has followed him to this day.
Near the end of year 2013, Alvin successfully completed his Red Seal, and became a journeyman. This set him off to accomplish experience in the work field as an apprentice. Thus, giving Alvin the privilege to work at a highend, prestigious restaurant like Fraiche, located at the top of the West Vancouver mountain. This gave him the opportunity to work with famous chefs such as Nicolas Lim and Carol Chow.
The journey further unravels for Alvin when he was hired as an executive chef position at an organic restaurant in Maple Ridge, nearly the same time he was hired at the Truffle House & Café as a sous chef under the guidance of Chef James Hodgins. These positions did not only fulfill Alvin’s goal to be in such honourable positions but also strengthened him as a chef.
Immediately, Chef Alvin was prepared to create wonders to the menu. He wanted to share the experience of having fresh local produce along with fresh meat, never frozen, to his consumers. He wanted to create a menu that best describes him. As he once mentioned, “I grew up loving my mom and dad’s cooking, gathering fresh ingredients from my own backyard, like, a native chicken from our chicken coop back home, climbing a papaya tree to pick a fresh green papaya, and the best part is picking pepper leaves. All to create a simple, wellknown chicken stew dish from the Philippines named TINOLA.”
The Truffle House & Café has given Chef Alvin the opportunity to express his childhood life, and all the crucial element he’s learned over the years through his menu with locally produced ingredients. It is his pleasure to further create astonishing dishes to present who he is and what he believes in. Throughout this whole experience, Chef Alvin does not regret experiencing the hardships as it has brought him to where he is today. He will hold on to believing that something simple, can be extraordinary.