Meet Chef Daniel Crocker

On 23 May 2017 by Bridges Restaurant


There’s a New Chef in Town!

Bridges Restaurant is proud to introduce Vancouver to Chef Daniel Crocker! Chef Dan joined the Bridges family just over three months ago and has already made a significant culinary mark on the upstairs dining room.


From Halifax to BC: A Culinary Journey

Chef Dan is originally from Ontario and has been cooking for over 15 years. He got his start working for famed Canadian chef Jamie Kennedy, who is widely credited with founding the locally sourced,100-mile concept of cooking. Chef Dan explains, “Jamie taught me how to create upscale yet down-home dishes.” Not a bad mentor to have when you’re starting out!


The Whole Pig

Crocker worked in Kennedy’s charcuterie department where he cut his teeth. Crocker reminisces, “he owned a farm and bring whole pigs into the restaurant. I learned how to break down the pig and make things like bacon, head cheese, and terrine. There were so many options!


Crocker on Charcuterie

You can literally taste the lessons that Crocker learned from Kennedy all those years ago. Just order one of his sumptuous charcuterie boards! At the moment, Chef Dan is creating a Fabulous charcuterie of wild boar, Grand Marnier, and apricot terrine, and a duck confit and pistachio rillette. “We make our own terrines and our own charcuterie. Whatever I can’t make, I get from Oyama meats right here in Granville Island. They have amazing wild boar elk and bison! That’s the idea, our food is local, fresh and of the highest quality.”


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Spreading His Wings

Crocker moved on to the more upscale, Le Select Bistro in Toronto. He credits this Toronto institution with providing him with formal training. From there he moved on to the 5th Grill and Terrace, a notable french inspired steak and seafood house in Toronto.

“It was a great place to see celebrities,” says Crocker. “Sometimes the Trudeau’s and the Mulroney’s would come in for dinner on the same night. That was always interesting.”


Riding with the Lobsters

Chef Dan felt it was time to be closer to his beloved Atlantic Ocean and moved to Halifax, where he became executive chef of the iconic Bicycle Thief Restaurant, where he has fond memories of driving down to the docks in his two-seater BMW and loading up the passenger seat with bags of fresh lobsters to take back to the restaurant–much to the amusement of the fishermen.


The Winter of His Discontent: Crocker Moves West

Halifax winters will make most people reconsider their decision to take up residence there, and after one particularly bad one, Chef Dan felt it would be best to pack up his pots and pans and move out to the inclimate weather of Vancouver. Halifax’s loss is certainly Bridges’ gain!


Building Bridges

Crocker’s decision to join Bridges Restaurant was predicated on the fact that he loved the new steak and seafood house vision for the upstairs dining room, the sharing concept and, of course, the location! “This is the most amazing location. I want people to come upstairs and enjoy the best of Vancouver and BC. We have a view of the mountains and the ocean, our bison is from Vancouver Island, and our Dungeness crab is from just outside the harbour. This restaurant reminds people why they moved to Vancouver!”


An Old School Steakhouse Vibe with a Forward Direction

Chef Crocker understands that you can’t know where you’re going unless you know where you’ve been. He knows Bridges’ rich and storied history and that of the iconic yellow building’s. “This used to be the Arrow building back in the industrial days of Granville Island. I want to channel that old school feel with our upstairs steak and seafood house. I want this to be what Granville Island and what it used to be.”


“We may have white tablecloths, but it’s okay to get them dirty”

Chef Dan wants everyone to know that this is not your father’s upstairs dining room. The new direction is more casual, less stuff. He wants everyone to feel welcome– a come as you are vibe. The menu is refined but not stuffy. There is a nod to the past with a forward culinary vision. The upstairs staff like to call it “casually elegant,” or “refined” instead of “fine dining.”


Here’s the Beef!

According to Chef Dan, one of the coolest things on the menu is the Tomahawk steak. It’s a 36 ounce bone in ribeye that 2 or 3 people can share–or you can eat it all by yourself if you’re up for a challenge! If you are in the mood for something a little smaller, the 5 ounce bison tenderloin, locally farmed from Vancouver Island, may be more your speed. And, or course, it wouldn’t be a steakhouse without a gorgeous Alberta AAA, New York Striploin.


Choose your Sides

In keeping with steakhouse tradition, you get to choose your sides, all of which are designed for sharing! The combinations and options make the experience so much more enjoyable.


Come on up!

Chef Dan and his kitchen staff would be to see you soon! Make a reservation today, or just come by! We’d love you to experience the new menu while enjoying our timeless view!


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