Things to do in Vancouver: 2012 Ocean Wise Chowder Chowdown

Posted by on Nov 26, 2012 in Things to Do in Vancouver | 0 comments

On November 21, to celebrate the culmination of Ocean Wise Month, Vancouver Aquarium transformed into a colourful culinary battleground.  12 top Ocean Wise chefs from Vancouver competed to be named the 2012 Ocean Wise Chowder Chowdown Champion. Vancouver Food Tour joined 550 attendees at this immensely popular, sold-out event to indulge in the 12 original chowders.  To top things off, each chowder was paired with a craft beer.  (You know how much we adore craft beers!)

With wooden spoons in hand, attendees meandered around the venue and sampled the chefs’ creations.  The unique experience to explore the Vancouver Aquarium at night while enjoying delicious seafood chowders, sipping on craft beers, and mingling with fellow food enthusiasts, will not soon be forgotten.


Vancouver Aquarium transformed

At the end of the evening, Chef Whittaker (of the new Forage at the Listel Hotel) took home the both top prizes: the judges’ choice and people’s choice.  His Creamy BC Spot Prawn Chowder with smokey chicharon and poached quail egg was a clear winner. It was paired with a Granville Island Brewing‘s Kitsilano Maple Cream Ale, a personal favourite.

Chef Alex Tung of Cotto Enoteca took home second place with his delectable Dungeness Crab Cioppino, paired with Rickard’s Blonde.

Chef Dana Hauser of Herons West Coast Kitchen at the Fairmont Waterfront was awarded the best chowder and beer pairing. Her Roasted Powell River Sturgeon Chowder was paired with Granville Island Brewing‘s English Bay Pale Ale.

The full line up included:

  • Octopus & Corn Chowder (with Granville Island Cypress Honey Lager)- Chef Nathan Tower | Savoury Chef Foods
  • Cotto Dungeness Crab Cioppino (with Rickard’s Blonde) – Chef Alex Tung | Cotto Enoteca Pizzeria
  • Citrus Soy Seafood Chowder (with Rickard’s Blonde)- Chef Warren Mercier | Vancouver Aquarium
  • Dungeness Crab & Honey Mussel Chowder (with Granville Island Cypress Honey Lager) – Chef Frank Gort | Showcase Restaurant & Bar
  • Creamy BC Spot Prawn Chowder (with Granville Island Kits Maple Cream Ale) – Chef Chris Whittaker | Forage – Listel Hotel
  • Lobster Miso Chowder (with Rickard’s Dark) – Chef Truong Minh Xong | Kamei Royale Japanese Restaurant
  • Salt Spring Island Mussel & Pulled Pork Chowder (with Granville Island Lions Winter Ale) – Chef Tom Lee | Edible Canada and the Market
  • Local Shores Dungeness Crab & Clam Chowder (with Granville Island Lions Winter Ale) – Chef Eric Pless | Coast Restaurant
  • Hotel Eldorado Seafood Chowder (with Rickard’s White) – Chef Derek Bendig | Hotel Eldorado
  • Tea Smoked Arctic Char & Szechuan Bacon Chowder (with Rickard’s White) – Chef Todd Bright | Wild Rice
  • Sablefish & Slow Roasted Pork Belly Chowder (with English Bay Pale Ale & Rickard’s Red) – Chefs Allesandro Vianello & Michael Carter | Street Meet
  • Roast Powell River Sturgeon Chowder (with Granville Island English Bay Pale Ale) – Chef Dana Hauser | Herons West Coast Kitchen

Chef Whittaker’s winning chowder


Kamei Royale serving up their Lobster Miso Chowder


The guys of Street Meet with their Sablefish & Slow Roasted Pork Belly Chowder

Congratulations to all the chefs and restaurants that participated! The 2012 Ocean Wise Chowder Chowdown was an amazing event that fully showcased BC’s prized, sustainable seafood.  We’re already looking forward to next year!


Maren Walker works in Communications and Relations for Vancouver Food Tour. Originally from California, living in Vancouver, BC via Texas. Lover of culinary adventures, food trucks, beer, travel, hiking and design.

Follow her on twitter @marenw

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