2010 Ocean Wise Seafood Chowder Chowdown

Dr John Nightingale (l) presenting Chef Ben Akira Berwick & team of Hapa Izakaya with their Trophy

The 3rd Annual Ocean Wise Seafood Chowder Chowdown was a huge success at a great event hosted by the Vancouver Aquarium on November 24th. This event saw hundreds of people sampling many or all of the twelve chowders from BC’s top twelve Ocean Wise restaurants from around the Vancouver, Victoria, Abbotsford and Kelowna, all of the chowders were paired with BC brews and the suggested beers were listed along each of the restaurants chowders.

Chef Ben Akira Berwick dishing “Halibut Dashi Chowder” - Hapa Izakaya

Hapa Izakaya - 1st place Winner - “Halibut Dashi Chowder”

Hapa Izakaya won 1st place with their “Halibut Dashi Chowder”, Chef Ben and Daiji, Oku & Junji  had cooked up a delicious, outstanding chowder and it was my favourite as well! Not only did they win the top prize by the judges, they also won the Peoples Choice Award as well!

Chef Chris Whittaker - O'Doul's - Winner Best Chowder & Beer Pairing

O`Douls - “Cortes Island Mussel and house-cured Bacon Chowder“

Storm Brewing - Scottish Cream Ale

The winner for Best Chowder and Beer Pairing went to O`douls with their “Cortes Island Mussel and house-cured bacon chowder“ paired with the Storm Brewing “Scottish Cream Ale“.

Savoury Chef -- Spot Prawn and Bacon Chowder with Smoked Scallop

Savoury Chef -- Spot Prawn and Bacon Chowder with Smoked Scallop

My Vancouver Foodster Top Picks

1)    Hapa Izakaya — Halibut Dashi Chowder

2)    Savoury Chef — Spot Prawn and Bacon Chowder with Smoked Scallop

3)    O`Douls — Cortes Island Mussel and house-cured Bacon Chowder

The Ramada Plaza (Abbotsford) - Healthy Oceans Chowder

Chef Todd Bright - Wild Rice Restaurant

I attended this event last year, see my post, it seems they dropped the Silver & Bronze awards this year and added the Chowder & Beer Pairing award. The restaurants represented were somewhat different in this years event and the seafood chowders were much more creative than the previous event. Last year I ate my way thru 8 chowders, missing out on 2 of them, this year I am happy to say that I ate my way through all 12 chowders!

Chef Dennis Peckham - Coast Restaurant

The Judging panel included: Chef David Hawksworth, Chester Carey, Rebecca Bollwitt (miss604), Chef Robert Clark and  Vancouver Deputy Mayor Kerry Jang . Each of the judges were served a fairly good size portion of each of the chowders to taste along with each of the beers and make their marks and notes.

Redfish Bluefish (Victoria) - Indo-Pacific Spot Prawn Chowder

Participating restaurants: Aqua Riva, COAST Restaurant, Codfather’s Market, Hapa Izakaya, O’Doul’s Restaurant & Bar, Pacific Institute of Culinary Arts (PICA), Redfish Bluefish, The Ramada Plaza, Rocky Mountain Flatbread, Savoury Chef, Vancouver Aquarium, and Wild Rice Restaurant.

Codfather’s Market (Kelowna) - Modern Crustocean Chowder

Ocean Wise is a program that was launched by the Vancouver Aquarium in 2005 to educate consumers on ocean-friendly seafood choices, this local initiative has become a national program, learn more at www.oceanwise.ca

I hope Hapa Izakaya will be adding their 1st place Winning Halibut Dashi Chowder to their menu at each of the 3 restaurants, I can’t wait to have another bowl!

By: Richard Wolak