Chef Chris Whittaker of the brand new Forage Restaurant on Robson Street won big at Vancouver Aquarium’s Chowder Chowdown. The Chowdown, which took place the evening of Nov. 21, is among the most noteworthy events on Vancouver’s culinary calendar. Chef Whittaker took home the Best Chowder Award from the judges, while also winning over the bellies of some 560 diners and going home with the People’s Choice Award.
Chowder is a versatile soup that’s been reinterpreted so many ways. It can be super creamy, or mild and milky. You can enhance it with just about anything you can dream up, from root veg to herbs and miso.
Chef Whittaker’s winning Creamy Spot Prawn Chowder with Poached Egg and Smokey Chicharon (a dish made of fried pork rinds), featured white wine, leeks and bacon. Apparently you can never go wrong with bacon. Or zombies. But the latter typically isn’t used for cooking.
Chef Dana Hauser of Herons West Coast Kitchen at the Fairmont Waterfront won the award for Best Chowder and Beer Pairing. Her Roast Powell River Sturgeon Chowder was paired with Granville Island Brewery English Bay Pale Ale.
The Vancouver Aquarium Chowder Chowdown is an annual competition that takes place every year during November, which is Ocean Wise month. During Ocean Wise month in November, consumers are invited to join the fight for sustainable seafood by pledging to eat ocean-friendly seafood. You can visit the chefs winning chefs, as well as the rest of the top notch competitors, at their local restaurants. I’ve included a full list of competitors and judges below.
Chefs Alessandro Vianello and Michael Carter| Street Meet
Chef Dana Hauser| Herons – The Fairmont Waterfront
Chef Tom Lee | Edible Canada at the Market
Chef Todd Bright | Wild Rice
Chef Alex Tung | Cotto Enoteca Pizzeria
Chef Troung Minh Xong | Kamei Royale Japanese Restaurant
Chef Frank Gort | Showcase Restaurant and Bar – Vancouver Marriott Pinnacle
Chef Nathan Tower | Savoury Chef Foods
Chef Chris Whittaker | Forage – Listel Hotel
Chef Eric Pless | Coast Restaurant
Chef Warren Mercier | Vancouver Aquarium
Chef Derek Bendig | Hotel Eldorado
Rob Clark, Ocean Wise founding chef partner
Chester Carey, Serious Beer program instructor and certified cicerone
Guy Dean, Vice president and chief sustainability officer, Albion Fisheries Ltd.
Sid Cross, Food and wine aficionado
Andrew Morrison, Founder of Scout Magazine
Tim Pawsey, Food and wine journalist