Local Lounge Wins 2011 Ocean Wise Chowder Chowdown

Chef Paul Cecconi of Local Lounge (middle) wins 2011 Chowder Champion. Photo: Dana Lynch

Last night, my partner and I joined the 560(!) guests at the sold-out Vancouver Aquarium’s 2011 Ocean Wise Chowder Chowdown for an evening of chowder and beer tasting that was a rousing success. Along with the other guests, we sampled different seafood chowders from 12 of Vancouver’s top chefs, each paired with a different BC craft beer.

There were two big winners last night: Local Lounge and its Chef Paul Cecconi won the title of 2011 Ocean Wise Chowder Champion with their “Smoked Outlandish Oyster Chowder,” while the underdog-ish Sunset Bay Yacht Group and Chef Natasha Harris took home the People’s Choice Award, as voted by the diners themselves. My partner totally agreed with the Sunset Bay win; their ultra-creamy “New England Style Chowder” was the only one he went back for twice!

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Local Lounge Wins 2011 Ocean Wise Chowder Chowdown

Ocean Wise Chowder Chowdown at the Vancouver Aquarium + Prize Package Giveaway!

2010 Ocean Wise Chowder Chowdown. Photo: Vancouver Aquarium

What happens when 12 of Vancouver’s top chefs compete to make the best seafood chowder you’ve ever tasted? You get one of the best Vancouver foodie events of the year, the annual Ocean Wise Chowder Chowdown at the Vancouver Aquarium. (Don’t worry: You get to eat the chowder, too!)

The Chowder Chowdown has all the ingredients to make it a perfect night out. Not only do you get to sample all 12 gourmet chowders and the local beers they’re paired with, you also get to support one of the Vancouver Aquarium’s most important conservation programs, Ocean Wise. All proceeds from the Chowder Chowdown support Ocean Wise’s efforts to educate restaurants and consumers about the importance of sustainable seafood. Which, given how important seafood is in Vancouver, should be a cause close to all our hearts. (You’ve probably noticed the Ocean Wise seal of approval beside menu items at restaurants like Blue Water Cafe and Araxi.)

And the kicker? You get all the seafood chowder, beer and good karma for just $40 per person!

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Ocean Wise Chowder Chowdown at the Vancouver Aquarium + Prize Package Giveaway!

2010 Ocean Wise Chowder Chowdown at the Vancouver Aquarium – Wednesday, November 24

C Restaurant’s halibut-based chowder at the 2009 Ocean Wise Seafood Chowder Chowdown. Photo: Dana Lynch

I had such a great time last year at the annual Ocean Wise Chowder Chowdown that it is truly a pleasure to recommend this unique—and uniquely delicious—foodie event: The Ocean Wise Chowder Chowdown is your chance to sample gourmet seafood chowders created by 12 of Vancouver’s top chefs, each paired with its own B.C. craft beer, and enjoy the magic of the Vancouver Aquarium at night while you dine. (Since I was pregnant last year, I’m looking forward to being able to enjoy the beer pairings this time!)

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2010 Ocean Wise Chowder Chowdown at the Vancouver Aquarium – Wednesday, November 24

Go Fish Win 2009 Ocean Wise Seafood Chowder Chowdown

Whistler Blackcomb's chowder station at the 2009 Ocean Wise Seafood Chowder Chowdown

My friends and I just got back from the sold-out 2009 Ocean Wise Seafood Chowder Chowdown at the Vancouver Aquarium. We’re absolutely swollen with chowder and beer, and we loved every minute.

I posted about the Chowder Chowdown last week: It’s a fabulous foodie event during which ten of Vancouver’s best chefs compete to make the most amazing seafood chowder imaginable. It also pairs beers from local brewerys with each chowder—so it’s a beer tasting, too—all while raising awareness about sustainable seafood.

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Go Fish Win 2009 Ocean Wise Seafood Chowder Chowdown

2009 Ocean Wise Seafood Chowder ChowDown at the Vancouver Aquarium

SeafoodChowderCompetition2008johnhealey-8

Yum! Seafood chowder from the 2008 Chowder ChowDown

What happens when some of Vancouver’s most acclaimed chefs compete for the title of BC Ocean Wise Seafood Chowder Champion 2009? You get one of Vancouver’s best foodie events ever: the 2nd Annual Ocean Wise Seafood Chowder ChowDown on Wednesday, November 25. And some damn fine chowder, too!

When it comes to eating in Vancouver, there’s one ingredient that is almost ubiquitous: seafood. From sushi to sablefish, if you love “fruits of the sea,” you should support Ocean Wise, a non-profit conservation program at the Vancouver Aquarium that partners with restaurants to help them—and you—make sustainable, environmentally-friendly seafood choices. (You’ve probably noticed the Ocean Wise seal of approval beside menu items at restaurants like Blue Water Cafe and Araxi.)

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2009 Ocean Wise Seafood Chowder ChowDown at the Vancouver Aquarium