All-Star Champion To be Crowned at The Vancouver Aquarium’s 10th Anniverary Chowder Chowdown

Photo from 2016; Sourced from Alexis Brown

When the weather turns autumnal, I develop an intense longing for bowls of hearty chowder, chockfull of ingredients.

If you’re also reaching for your soup spoon, you’ll find plenty to dig into at the upcoming Seafood Chowder Chowdown. The soup event of the season is returning this month for its 10th anniversary celebration!

On November 22, 2017, Ocean Wise will be holding their annual chowder event at the Vancouver Aquarium (845 Avison Way). The Chowdown started in Vancouver and has since spread across the country, with two other dates happening in Toronto (November 14) and Calgary (November 15). Other cities have also been inspired to produce their own versions of the themed initiative.

Photo from 2016; Sourced from Alexis Brown

The event epitomizes the ethos of Ocean Wise, the Vancouver-based program committed to promoting sustainable seafood through restaurant and other food-industry partnerships, as well as various community awareness projects. The Chowder Chowdown is intended to be about good sustainable eating; food-related connections among guests, chefs, and producers; and increased understanding in terms of how to keep the oceans abundant for the future.

Photo from 2016; Sourced from Alexis Brown

The night entails wandering through the Vancouver Aquarium’s impressive galleries (eg pose in front of the jellyfish!) and sampling a diverse and delicious range of chef-created seafood chowders, as well as craft beer. If it sounds pretty good already, this year promises to be even better.

Photo from 2016; Sourced from Alexis Brown

For the evening’s 10th anniversary, 13 past winners will be participating in the event, vying for the stomachs of guests, as well as industry and media judges. The judging panel will crown the 2017 Chowder Chowdown All-Star Champion and the Best Chowder and Beer Pairing, while guests will get to vote for the People’s Choice Award winner.

Photo from 2016; Sourced from Alexis Brown

The worthy competitors include executive chef Karan Suri from ARC Restaurant (Fairmont Waterfront); chef Roger Ma from Boulevard Kitchen + Oyster Bar; chef Justin Paakkunainen from Preston’s Restaurant + Lounge (Coast Coal Harbour Hotel); and executive chef Ned Bell from the Vancouver Aquarium/Ocean Wise Catering & Events. Chefs from Toronto (chef Doug Neigel from Mercatto) and Calgary (chef Jennifer Jaewon Kim from Thomsons Restaurant, Hyatt Regency Calgary) will also be flexing their culinary chowder muscles.

Chef Ned Bell; Photo from 2016; Sourced from Alexis Brown

Breweries for pairing with your bowls of chowder include Steel & Oak, Red Truck, Driftwood, and Postmark. Water Caesar, the nation’s only Ocean Wise Caesar mix, will also be at the event.

Photo from 2016; Sourced from Alexis Brown

I’ve gone in the past and had a marvelous (and very filling time). I’ve enjoyed everything from crab chowder with crispy pancetta, to a cedar smoked sablefish chowder. This year, the competition is sure to be fierce and extra lip smacking for those in attendance. I can’t wait!

Photo Credit: Tara Lee

Tickets are $75 and are available on-line. This event will sell out, so don’t wait long to purchase your tickets.

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