Meet your culinary experience curator

Chef Vikram Vij and With The Chef curator, Lise Hines

The curator's inspiration

In May 2022, Lise, the curator and owner of Chew On This Tasty Tours, was out for dinner with a friend at My Shanti. She had previously met Chef Vikram Vij on several occasions. Over the course of the evening, he made recommendations for dinner choices and took them into the kitchen to see the tandoor oven in action. They took photos with the chef, and he answered their questions. He also told them stories about the recipes, the restaurant and his rich culinary history!

Both Lise and her dinner guest for the evening left grinning and a little giddy, feeling as though they had caught up with an old friend. And she thought to herself, “Wouldn’t it be great if I could curate something like this for everyone to experience?”

And after proposing the concept to chef, With The Chef was born!

Who chooses a With The Chef experience?

Since the first guests in April 2022, we have welcomed hundreds of guests at his former restaurant, My Shanti and at his Michelin recommended Bib Gourmand restaurant, Vij’s in Vancouver.

From two guests out for a birthday dinner to an office holiday party for fifteen people. An elevated version of With The Chef complete with add-ons for client appreciation. And private special events for guests from overseas. We love to witness the delight on guests’ faces when they realize the up-close and personal aspect of this culinary adventure.

One of our guests said to us, “We showed up expecting to be two out of fifty people and hopefully catch a glimpse of the Chef. Instead, there we were with Chef Vikram Vij hosting us, bringing us our food and wine, touring us around the restaurant and sitting down at our table to share stories!”

An award-winning evening

In 2022, Lise Hines, owner & culinary experience curator of With The Chef won a Spark Award for the tourism concept from Tourism Innovation Lab. This award recognized her innovation and entrepreneurship. Her vision is to bring more chefs into the community Canada-wide. They currently have chefs in Toronto, ON and Langley, BC.


four guests with Chef Vikram Vij in front of the partial sign for Vij's, the restaurant in Vancouver. Chef Vikram is holding a tray and each guest has some street food on a skewer in one hand and a glass of bubbly in the other. Chef Vikram is in the middle with two guests on either side. There is a testimonial written across the front of the image with five stars across the top of the testimonial. The testimonial reads, "Wow, this seriously was one of the most amazing experiences ever!! Environment and ambiance; incredible food and drink; and undivided attention from the most charming vivacious man! We felt so special! From the bubbles at the start to the gifts and book signing over tea at the end, I loved every second.!! 6/5 stars from me! What are you waiting for? Definitely book it!