A simple idea perfectly executed, the Chowder Chowdown brings together 12 top chefs from local Vancouver restaurants to compete for the title of best seafood chowder by providing little chowder samples (and beer pairings) for diners to taste and vote on, all in the festive environs of the Vancouver Aquarium after dark. The Chowder Chowdown is a fundraiser for Ocean Wise, the Vancouver Aquarium's famous sustainable seafood campaign, and last year it sold out (!) all 560 tickets!
When I went last year, I was happy to see that more seating had been added from previous years--so you can actually sit down occasionally, though this isn't a "sit down" event. There's lots of mingling at the Chowder Chowdown, since you move from room to room, sampling all the chowders, which makes it a hot spot for Vancouver networking, in addition to a fun evening out. And if you haven't been before and are worried that 12 sample bowls of chowder will leave you hungry (literally), trust me: they won't. Every year I've attended, I've been full before I made it to the 12th bowl!
Here are the 12 chefs competing in the Ocean Wise Chowder Chowdown 2012:
- Chefs Alessandro Vianello and Michael Carter| Street Meet
- Chef Dana Hauser| Herons - The Fairmont Waterfront
- Chef Tom Lee | Edible Canada at the Market
- Chef Todd Bright| Wild Rice
- Chef Alex Tung | Cotto Enoteca Pizzeria
- Chef Troung Minh Xong| Kamei Royale Japanese Restaurant
- Chef Frank Gort | Showcase Restaurant and Bar - Vancouver Marriott Pinnacle
- Chef Nathan Tower| Savoury Chef Foods
- Chef Chris Whittaker| Forage - Listel Hotel
- Chef Eric Pless| Coast Restaurant
- Chef Warren Mercier| Vancouver Aquarium
- Chef Derek Bendig| Hotel Eldorado
Tickets are $50 per person, and will likely sell out fast, so move quickly if you want in on this year's action!
The Vancouver Aquarium's Ocean Wise Chowder Chowdown happens November 21, 2012.
Photo by Dana Lynch