Chef Curtis Luk moves from the Parker to Bambudda in Gastown

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      Former Top Chef Canada  contestant Curtis Luk has recently been on the move. The chef, who has helmed the Parker vegetarian restaurant since spring 2013, is now head chef at Bambudda, the "nouveau Chinese" restaurant in Gastown.

      Luk, who was born in Hong Kong and raised in Ontario, is a lifetime omnivore with a Cantonese culinary foundation and an appreciation of Western techniques. After competing on Top Chef in the spring of 2012, Luk moved to Vancouver to help his competitor Trevor Bird open Kitsilano’s Fable restaurant.

      At Bambudda, his changing family-style menu includes dishes like pork belly with taro served with red fermented tofu and lime sauce, and pan-seared salt-and-pepper Humboldt squid with a Szechuan white peppercorns and shallot sauce.

      Luk is still catering to vegetarian and vegan diners at Bambudda, as well as omnivores. Vegetarian dishes at Bambudda include crisp tofu with Sichuan pepper, wood ear mushrooms and kale, and roasted kabocha squash served with locally harvested sea lettuce.

      Hunter Moyes is now the executive chef at the Parker, according to proprietor Steve Da Cruz. In a phone interview with the Straight, Da Cruz said that Moyes has been the sous chef at the Parker for a year now. Moyes is also the founder and director of the Tiffin ProjectThe Parker's concept remains the same--locally influenced vegetarian fare--and Moyes's new seasonal menu will debut shortly.