We may have just got a new Nordstom but really, the only accessory any visitor to Vancouver needs in November is the iconic mini wooden spoon which comes with each entry to the Vancouver Aquarium’s annual Ocean Wise Chowder Chowdown. Fourteen chefs will battle it out on November 18th for the honour of being crowned the 2015 Ocean Wise Chowder Champion.
A guaranteed sell-out event, you need to get your ticket now to the city’s most fun foodie event of the year. Event attendees get to try a sample of each of the chowders – paired with a local craft beer – and decide which is the best. In recent years the People’s Choice has been dominated by chefs Ned Bell of YEW Seafood + Bar, and Chris Whittaker of Forage, but this year the field is wide open as the prize winning duo are taking a year out and new chefs are taking part. Just like everywhere else in Canada, change is in the air!
Vying for the celebrity judge’s award too, some of B.C’s coolest Ocean Wise restaurants are taking part this year from Vancouver’s Bao Down and ARC, to Fetch from Uclulet’s Black Rock resort and Fukasaku from Prince Rupert. “Most people think of chowder as distinctly North American, but I’ve put a global twist on it by incorporating Japanese ingredients like miso, sake and wakame,” says Roger Ma, Chef de Cuisine at Boulevard Kitchen & Oyster Bar who is competing for the first time this year. “This dish combines flavours from two very distinct food regions to create something truly unique –which is exactly what we strive to do on the menu at Boulevard as well.”
“This annual event brings together Vancouver’s culinary heavyweights and seafood lovers, united by their support for sustainable seafood. This year marks the 10 year anniversary for the Ocean Wise program. What began with a small group of partners has now expanded across the country, and we continue to see incredible momentum in the sustainability movement,” said Ann-Marie Copping, Ocean Wise program manager.
If you’re unfamiliar with the Ocean Wise scheme, here it is in a nutshell: overfishing is a huge threat to our oceans. The world’s marine life is quickly being depleted. A recent scientific study predicted a world-wide fisheries collapse by 2048. The only solution is to turn back from the brink, and to begin consuming seafood in a sustainable manner. Ocean Wise makes that easy by doing all the hard work and research for you – all you have to do is look out for the Ocean Wise symbol at restaurants and fishmongers and choose to have that sustainable fish.