Bentley’s Grill is proud to announce that Hans Afshar has graciously accepted the position of Executive Chef. Working from a wealth of expertise and knowledge, coupled with the support of the entire staff, Afshar is excited and determined in this new chapter of food innovation. Hans is unyielding in trying to make food better, more delicious, more relevant, more singular, more personal.
He has worked closely with a variety of esteemed European chefs on recipe and menu development, cultivating his devotion to creating food. Afshar purchased his first restaurant, Old Europe Inn, from an old friend in December of 1987.
His passion for Italian food later moved him to open Da Vinci Ristorante with his brother in downtown Salem. After years of using a variety of cooking techniques, local ingredients inspired him to open “Orupa,” a European-American restaurant where he was awarded Best Innovated Chef in a poll conducted by the Statesman Journal. He also received the Best Restaurant in the Mid-Willamette Valley by people’s choice.
In regards to Bentley’s, Afshar is excited to add and develop a new class of dining experience to Salem. When asked about his outlook, he stated, “I attempt to cook in service to the place in which I find myself– hoping that if I succeed in doing well, I may cement my legacy within this greater thing.” He actively strives for seriousness, for meaning, and for permanence in his cooking.
His philosophy centers on the authenticity of the guest experience; each time a guest arrives to dine at Bentley’s, Afshar wants that experience to be different and equally as unique as the last. He plans to change the menu often, adding surprisingly-delicious combinations of flavors in every dish.
He stated of his work; “I hold the thread of the multitudes of collaborators and of a history shared by the chefs and cooks that have preceded me. I try to do things right in how I shop and cook; how I approach the sanctity of the products that I grow and procure; how I teach and mentor and support this team. I’m smart enough to know that this is a forever-task, yet impetuous enough to try to still do it all today. My food is what I give of myself. It is at once my daily efforts and my culmination.”