The Goods from Fresh Ideas Start Here (FISH)
Vancouver, BC | Fresh Ideas Start Here (FISH), one of B.C.’s top purveyors of sustainable seafood, has promoted culinary talent Deseree Lo to a new role as executive chef and sales director. Based at FISH’s seafood processing headquarters in Mitchell Island, Lo will oversee the development of all retail menu offerings, manage production, and spearhead the expansion of FISH’s seafood line-up.
Lo was behind the creation of FISH’s extremely popular FISHBar addition, seafood congee, which continuingly sells out. In fact, outcries ensued when the team tried to remove it from the summer menu.
“When we first hired Deseree last year as a store manager, we immediately knew she was a force,” says Yu, co-owner of Fresh Ideas Start Here. “She not only brings a sharper focus to our culinary program but shares our desire to strengthen the bonds we have forged between the local fishing community and restaurants to support our industry now and in the future.”
A classically trained chef, Lo left an executive chef position and performed a nimble pivot in the middle of the pandemic last year, carving out a new career by joining forces with Yu.
She previously worked in the finance sector in New York City in the mid-2000s, before deciding to pursue a lifelong passion for cooking that had been simmering on the back burner for years. She came by it honestly — her culinary desire was instilled in her at an early age while growing up in a multigenerational family of talented home cooks in Taiwan and eating at night markets and street stands with friends.
She went back to her roots, enrolled at the French Culinary Institute and from there embarked on a decade-long career that saw her hone her skills and climb the culinary ladder at some top New York City restaurants, including Bar Masa, La Grenouille and Locanda Verde, among others. She came to Vancouver in 2016 and stepped into the role of sous chef at CinCin Ristorante + Bar, before joining the team at Old Bird as its opening chef in 2020.
“I’m grateful to have been able to join the Fresh Ideas Start Here family — one that allows me to fully explore my culinary creativity and share my passion for providing the best local, sustainable fresh catches to home cooks, professional chefs, and restaurants alike,” says Lo. “There’s a real sense of community here, and a true desire to showcase the abundance of fresh fish and seafood available to us on the West Coast. I can’t wait to continue my FISH journey.”