The Ocean Wise Chowder Chowdown is where top Ocean Wise chefs compete head-to-head in Vancouver, Calgary and Toronto for the title of Ocean Wise Chowder Chowdown Champion in each city. Guests are invited to sample all 13 chowders (a wooden spoon’s provided to taste them with), paired with local craft beer. Guests can then cast their vote for the People’s Choice Award and the best chowder-beer pairing of the evening. While a panel of judges will decide the evening’s champion.
For any foodies debating on whether to go to this year, I attended the 2012 competition and had a great chowder-filled time! Definitely recommend.
Last year, the event was located in the Imperial Room at the Fairmont Royal York Hotel and was quite the crush with everyone milling about taste testing at each station. The winning recipient of the Chowder Chowdown Champion 2012 was Chef Albert Ponzo of Le Select Bistro with his seafood chowder and the winner of People’s Choice Award went to Chef Richard Baksh of Earls Kitchen and Bar with a Manilla clam and seafood chowder.
While all the chefs did a great job, I had leaned towards the coconut and curry chowders as my personal favourites. Probably because I had just come back from a trip to Vietnam and my grandma had coincidently served this for many of my dinners. I thought it was pretty unique that coconut could make curry so sweet!
This year, I definitely look forward to hearing about the new chowders the chefs come up with. The competition will be held on November 19, 2013 at the Fermenting Cellar in The Distillery Historic District.