We welcome you to SUYO, a place where we invite you into our homeland and take you on a journey of high altitude cocktails, vibrant South American wines and the flavours of Peru with a modern approach.
For SUYO Bar Manager Max Curzon-Price, the creative process inherent in building a bar program holds undeniable allure and keeps him as excited about his chosen profession as when he first started in it at the age of 18. “In what other role can you conceive of a concept or theme and then build a program around it that evokes all the senses?” he asks.
Born and raised in Brighton in the south of England, Curzon-Price got his start in his family’s restaurant, then trained under his first mentor, bar educator Myles Cunliffe. He honed his skills pouring drinks around the globe: in New Orleans, Guadalajara, rooftop gardens in Brooklyn, the South Downs of Sussex, London clubs and Puerto Rican speakeasies. Although he’d never been to the West Coast, he moved to Vancouver in 2016, and quickly fell for the pace of life, proximity to untapped, raw nature, and the developing sense of culture and community.
In Vancouver, he joined Botanist Restaurant as a Senior Bartender, and soon racked up awards on the global stage: World Class Canada - Canadian Top 10 2018; Bombay Sapphire, Most Imaginative Bartender, Top 3 Global & Canadian Champion 2018; Bols Around The World, World’s Best Bar Team 2019; and Bacardi Legacy, Top 3 Global Champion & Canadian Champion 2021.
Curzon-Price’s passion for versatile products that tell a story are showcased throughout the SUYO beverage program with all many varieties of Pisco for his bespoke cocktail list (which will include the classic pisco sour, naturally).
General Manager Partner
It was early in his hospitality career that General Manager James Reynolds knew he’d found his calling. Providing an exceptional experience for guests, often during the buzz of a busy dinner service, makes use of his problem-solving skills and keeps him motivated and learning. Born in England, Reynolds found his way to Canada’s West Coast by way of the Caribbean. It was there, tasting new dishes, experiencing unfamiliar flavours and textures, that he truly fell in love with food.
Once in Vancouver, Reynolds climbed the ladder at long-running North Shore favourites Bravo Cucina and La Regalade, then joined the team at Blue Water Café, where he met Chef Ricardo Valverde. The all-star team both in the kitchen and front of house created an inspiring atmosphere, and Reynolds was able to refine his service skills and knowledge under the tutelage of Restaurant Director Stephan Cachard. From there he moved into a management role at westside gem La Buca. Even with such a noteworthy resume, the seasoned hospitality veteran believes his proudest career moment is still ahead, in partnership with his new team at SUYO, as Managing Partner and Winer Director executing Valverde’s dream of modern Peruvian cuisine.
SUYO represents tech entrepreneur Felix Ng’s first foray into the hospitality industry, but he’s long been a fan. Born in Hong Kong, Ng came with his family to Vancouver before his first birthday, and as a self-described foodie, has been closely following the development of the city’s restaurant scene. When his long-time friend Chef Ricardo Valverde asked him if he wanted to partner in SUYO he said yes without hesitation.
Ng started tech company Synapsis in Richmond, B.C. in 1995. Named one of Canada’s Top 100 Fastest Growing Companies in 2003, it continues to flourish; now he brings his business acumen and experience to this new venture.
Twenty-four years after moving with his family to Canada from Peru, Chef Ricardo Valverde now sees the culmination of his professional career, personal experience, and heritage in the opening of SUYO. Named for a Quechuan word that means “homeland,” SUYO honours Valverde’s family and country of birth, and benefits from a culinary career that has included almost every position in a professional kitchen.
A young Valverde got his first restaurant job in Steveston when he was 18, and soon began to learn about the broader world of fine dining. He spent his time off exploring downtown Vancouver, spending his entire paycheque at restaurants like Le Crocodile, Lumiere, Cloud9, and Diva at the Met.
In 2004, he broke into that world, when he began working in the kitchen at Blue Water Café & Raw Bar, under Executive Chef Frank Pabst, whom he still names as his mentor. With Pabst he honed his cooking skills, took a deep dive on seafood, and learned about the business and operations side of running a kitchen. Subsequent roles included stints at CinCin Ristorante and Diva at the Met, and most recently, his award-winning run as Executive Chef at Ancora Waterfront Dining & Patio, both the False Creek and Ambleside locations. From being named one of Canada’s Best New Restaurants by EnRoute magazine, multiple wins in the Vancouver Magazine, WHERE magazine, and Georgia Straight restaurant awards, to personal recognition including Chef of the Year from the Georgia Straight, it was at Ancora that Valverde made his mark. More than any particular award though, he says his proudest moment to date is when he realized he’d put Peruvian cuisine on the map in Canada.
At SUYO, he’s aiming even higher. The first of its kind in Vancouver and in Canada, SUYO serves authentic Peruvian cuisine with a modern approach, introducing diners to his own versions of the most popular dishes in Peru: from ceviches and tiraditos, to causas and anticuchos. “These are dishes and flavours unique in it’s style, my way to invite you into my homeland” says Valverde . . . and he can’t wait for you to try them.