If you’ve never been to the restaurant inside the Century Plaza Hotel on Burrard, don’t feel bad. Neither had we. But now that we’ve experienced C|Prime Modern Italian Steak & Wine (it somewhat recently reopened, in the space formerly occupied by Beyond Restaurant, with a new exec chef, Behshad Zolnasr, at the helm), it’s on our list of top eateries in the city. The menu is a delicious mix of Italian cuisine and steak—think from-scratch pasta (the gnocchi is pillowy perfection) and choice cuts of beef—accompanied by a thoughtfully curated wine list with a sharp focus on Italian varietals in an intimate-yet-lively setting. We chatted with chef Behshad to learn more. —Noa Nichol
Hello Behshad! Please tell us a bit about yourself and C|Prime to start.
I was raised in West Vancouver, I’ve been professionally cooking since I was 15 years old and I’ve always wanted to be a chef.
You’ve cooked at acclaimed kitchens around the world; what brought you to Vancouver, and C|Prime?
Vancouver is my hometown; I wanted to go abroad and discover amazing cuisines and bring my skills and knowledge back to Vancouver. Cprime has been the restaurant that really lets me do my own style of cooking and for that I’m grateful for.
In our opinion, C|Prime, thanks in large part to you, is one of this city’s greatest hidden culinary gems. Do you agree? What would you like Vancouverites (and visitors) to know about the restaurant?
I am grateful for where Cprime has come in the last year and being at the helm is an honor. But the credit to Cprime’s success goes to the amazing staff past and present that have worked hard through tough times to get where we are today. This is just the tip of the iceberg for my plans for Cprime. I’d like everyone to know the amount of care that goes into all our dishes at Cprime. We really try to go above and beyond to source out the best of the best we can get. As being an Italian Restaurant and a Steakhouse, we give equal amount of love and care to our pasta program as we do into our beef program. The team and I are always learning and wanting to expand our culinary knowledge.
The menu changes often, and definitely seasonally; can you tell us why, and what the thought process behind new dishes is?
Vancouver gives us four seasons’ worth of amazing produce. As a chef I love taking advantage of these seasons and rotating products. We have our signature dishes that stay on the menu but working with my team of sous chefs we love exploring new techniques and cooking methods to make a perfect dish.
This question may be hard to answer, but we must know: what secret ingredient do you use that makes your food so darn good!? (We have never had a bad bite at C|Prime.)
Not hard at all, at Cprime we let the ingredients sing for themselves. Having amazing product, you don’t need too much to make an amazing dish, most of our dishes only have a few ingredients in them and as always love and care go into every dish with a sprinkle of salt!
Beyond C|Prime, what has one of your favourite culinary roles, adventures or experiences been?
Being able to travel Europe was an amazing experience, which I would tell every young chef to do. Getting out of my comfort zone was one of the best decisions I ever made.
If you could only order one dish from the C|Prime menu for the rest of your life, what would it be?!
Our Holstein Ribeye. It’s a unique cut of beef and we are fortunate to sell it at Cprime.
Win! A $250 Gift Card To Dine @ C|Prime!
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