Our Story

The Salmon House opened its doors in 1976.  Perched like an eagle overlooking downtown Vancouver and Stanley Park – Stamped as ‘Vancouver’s Original Seafood Grill Restaurant’, The Salmon House dishes out creative seafood and fine meat cuisine smoked and grilled to perfection.

Mario Fortin

Executive Chef at THE SALMON HOUSE

Mario learned to appreciate food from an early age, “When you’re the 10th child in a family with 11 kids, mealtimes are always an adventure.” Not that Mario ever went without, “My dad had a dairy farm in St. Marcelin, a small town just south of Quebec City, and my mom ran the local grocery store, so there was always a lot to eat.”

He landed his first job in a restaurant through shear hard work, “As the son of a farmer, I’ve always had a great work ethic and one summer a buddy and I were mowing lawns to earn some cash when one of the owners came out to talk to me. He was impressed with how hard I was working and said he could use someone like me in his restaurant.”

It was Mario’s first step on a long road and creative journey through the culinary arts. After working part-time in a number of restaurants in Quebec, Mario enrolled at the prestigious Pavilion Wilbrod Bherer where he earned a diploma in French Professional Cuisine.

In 1986, he left “La Belle Province” behind for a couple of years and moved to Vancouver during Expo ’86. “I fell in love with the city and the flavours and styles of West Coast Cuisine. I worked at The Teahouse in Stanley Park as Pastry Chef and Sous Chef and gained very valuable experience.” Enough to earn a position at the famous Le Chateau Frontenac Hotel back home in Quebec. From there he moved to the equally renowned Serge Bruyere restaurant before moving permanently back to Vancouver in 1990.

Mario says he’s been very fortunate to work with some excellent people in the industry. At Il Barino in Yaletown, he helped them to win “Restaurant of the Year” and “Italian Restaurant of the Year”. He also worked alongside owner and Executive Chef Adam Busby at Cascabel.

“I’m a very curious person, it’s driven me to learn a multitude of cooking styles including Thai, Chinese, Japanese, French, Southern, Pacific Northwest and Italian Fusion. I’ve also learned the art and techniques of offering guests an extraordinary dining experience. Now I’d like to put it all to work for you.”

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