Learning more about our new Executive Chef

Interview with our Executive Chef Andre Zimmerman

1. Where did you grow up?

I was born in Vancouver, but I’ve spent most of my life here. I did live in Ontario for about a year.

2. What inspired you to get involved in the culinary industry?

My father (the legendary Fred Zimmerman) is a Chef. He worked at the Westin Hotel here in Calgary for about 30 years. He got me involved in cooking when I was around ten year old. I remember frying up bacon and cooking eggs in his kitchen. At one point, I was the Executive Sous Chef for him at the Westin, so he’s had a big influence on me.

3. Have you been able to do a lot of travelling throughout your career?

I’ve been inspired by my travel experiences. I went to Singapore for a Westin promotion, and I went to Germany back in 1984 for the Cooking Olympics (I was on the Student Team). My time spent in Singapore and Germany was incredible and very inspirational. It added great value to my career as a Chef.

4. Where did you get your formal education to become a Chef?

I am a graduate of the cooking program at SAIT here in Calgary. After graduation I completed the Westin Hotel Apprenticeship program. I achieved my Red Seal certification in 1986. I also have my Chef de Cuisine certification, which in Canada, is one of the highest certifications a professional Chef can achieve.

5. Where did you work previous to the Petroleum Club?

Before moving back to Calgary and working at the Petroleum Club, I was living in Ontario and working at the Westin Harbour Castle in Toronto.

6. What motivated you to come back to Calgary?

In Calgary we are so lucky to be close to the mountains – which I really missed. I have a couple of dogs so I enjoy going on hikes and going hunting. My father and I are big game hunters and prepare all the food we hunt – and we’ve even gotten my son and son-in-law into it.

7. What inspired you to join the Petroleum Club?

I value having a good career-life balance so I can spend time with my family, and that’s what the Petroleum Club offers. I also have a great team here. I couldn’t survive without them. Everyone is equally as important – from the dishwasher to the Chef.