Saturday, December 8, 2012

One night, twelve chowders: 2012 Ocean Wise Chowder Chowdown

Saturday, December 8, 2012
Mmm. Chowder! Creamy, hearty comfort food. I crave it now more than ever as the weather turns chilly. Perfect timing for the 2012 Ocean Wise Chowder Chowdown that the Vancouver Aquarium held in Toronto recently.


Twelve chefs shared their take on sustainable seafood / fish chowders in a friendly competition. Our favourite chowder was from Hapa Izakaya - Chef Takayuki Sato made his with halibut and also boiled down the halibut bones to help thicken the chowder. It had a decidedly Asian flavour with a squirt of Shiso-based sauce to top it off, but was still traditional enough to really hit the spot. Chef Amira Becarevic's Leek and Potato Chowder with Salmon and Mussels was a close second for us; she was there representing Epic, the restaurant in The Royal York Hotel.

The winner of the 2012 Ocean Wise Chowder Chowdown People's Choice prize was awarded to Chef Richard Baksh of Earl's Kitchen and Bar (King St. W. location) for his Manilla Clam & Seafood Chowder. And the winner of the competition as determined by a panel of culinary judges was Chef Albert Ponzo from Le Select Bistro, who made a chowder with squash, seafood and sausage.

As Ocean Wise's goal is to educate Canadians about sustainable seafood options, here are ocean-friendly options for Ontarians:

Yours in food,