Paprika Bistro’s Chef Anna Hunt

photo credit: Eva Cherneff

From the minute you meet Chef Anna Hunt, you know she is no ordinary woman, and she certainly is no ordinary chef. I walk in through the back entrance for Paprika Bistro and am tantalized by the smell of something delicious. Chef Hunt greets me, shaking my hand with great enthusiasm.  ”It smells great in here!” I say and Hunt replies “awesome, that is what we want!”  If you didn’t know, Hunt is the executive chef at Paprika Bistro in Estevan Village and loving every minute of it!

We grab a seat near the front of the restaurant and just as we start chatting, her brother Peter Hunt (Master Distiller for Victoria Gin) appears at the door, Hunt excuses herself to let her brother in. There is a great sense of excitement as she turns to me and says “we just bought our first house!” Her energy is infectious.  Quickly we get back to chatting about food and Hunt’s background in the culinary field.  With eight years of experience and originally trained as a pastry chef, Hunt did her formative training and cooking in Montreal and moved back to Victoria three years ago.  Hunt is originally from Victoria; her family owns and operates Victoria Gin where Hunt is also the consulting Chef.  She clearly has a strong sense of family that provides her with much of her inspiration.

Hunt gives credit to George Szasz (former owner of Paprika Bistro) for teaching and mentoring her for her current position. I ask what her favourite thing about Victoria’s food scene is, “I really love the local food movement and the support we are able to give our local farms and business through our restaurants”, says Hunt.

We browse through the menu and I ask her about certain dishes and where the inspiration comes from.  The food is approachable with dishes like the smoked Port Alberni pork chop with bacon perogies and creamed kale, how could you go wrong and best of all the prices reasonable.  Hunt maintains “I want people to feel that they can just drop in, sit down and enjoy great food; fine dining without pretension”.  All in all, Hunt is charming, funny and truly loves what she does and wants to make a difference in the food community.  Drop in next time you’re in Estevan Village, and I know you won’t be disappointed.

To try one of Chef Hunt’s recipes at home, click here.


Paprika Bistro

2524 Estevan Ave


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