Toronto Chowder Chowdown – November 14, 2017

Event Details


November 14, 2017


7:00PM - Late


$60 + HST


The Fermenting Cellar

28 Distillery Lane, Toronto, Ontario


Toronto Chowder Chowdown - November 14, 2017

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Chowder Chowdown Toronto

Top Ontario Chefs. Sustainable Chowders & Craft Beer. Come Cast Your Vote

Top Ocean Wise chefs compete head-to-head for the title of 2017 Ocean Wise Chowder Chowdown Champion in Toronto. Taste all the delectable original chowders, paired with local craft beer, ciders and spirits, and vote for your favourite, all in support of sustainable seafood.

All proceeds directly support the Ocean Wise sustainable seafood program, which helps to ensure ocean life will be abundant for generations to come.

Purchase your tickets early to avoid disappointment! Tickets include all complementary beverage sampling at the event.

Please note: This is a 19+ event and all sales are final. 


Bistro 67, Chef Raul Sojo

Chef Sojo is responsible for the field-to-fork food operations of Bistro ’67, DC’s full-service, teaching-inspired restaurant. He also works closely with students and faculty from the CFF’s academic programs to help prepare the next generation of food and hospitality professionals.

Chef Sojo brings deep culinary expertise and experience to Bistro ’67. Most recently, he held the positions of chef de cuisine at the Oshawa Golf Club and executive chef and owner of RSVP Chef and Catering Services. In addition, he is a collaborator with a food magazine in Colombia and has taught for DC part-time. Chef Sojo holds Red Seal Certification and a diploma in Culinary Management.

From Bistro ‘67’s state-of-the-art kitchen and learning environment, Chef Sojo creates unique dining experiences for patrons. He designs and executes fresh, inspiring menus that incorporate his passion for field-to-fork.


Bruce Wine Bar, Chef Joel Gray and Chris Torgis

More information coming soon!




Born in Mississauga Ontario, Christopher Torgis has accumulated over 17 years of professional kitchen experience. Starting as a dishwasher, his great love of food carried him through all facets of the kitchen.

After graduation George Brown’s Culinary management program Christopher worked under some of Toronto top Chefs including Marc Thuet.

In 2013 Christopher, landing on the shores of Southern Georgian Bay and took on a number of lead kitchen roles including Chef of Georgian Bay Club before starting at Bruce Wine Bar where he has resided now for two and a half years.

While Christopher, has been at the Bruce Wine Bar he has thrived while learn and developing new skills and techniques on his continued culinary adventure.



Cluny Bistro and Boulangerie, Chef Murray McDonald

Born and raised in Newfoundland, Chef Murray McDonald has known he would be a professional chef from the age of 14. Graduating from the Culinary Institute of Canada, Chef McDonald went on to use cooking to travel the world. He has headed culinary programs in New Zealand, the Caribbean and Mexico.

After years exploring, Chef McDonald felt the call to move back home and worked on both Canadian coasts before eventually landing in Toronto. McDonald went from the opening Executive Sous Chef for the Pacific Rim Hotel in Vancouver to, in 2012, becoming the Founding Executive Chef of Newfoundland’s acclaimed Fogo Inn. He held the latter post for 5 years during which time, the restaurant at Fogo Inn was awarded a top-three spot as one of enRoute Magazine’s Best New Restaurants and now sits among Canada’s 100 Best Restaurants. In Spring 2017, McDonald entered Toronto’s food scene for the first time by joining Cluny Bistro and Boulangerie as Executive Chef.

“My approach to cooking is a collaborative effort, having fun, cooking great ingredients with simplicity and respect, while enjoying the culture of food”

Distillery Events, Chef Joshua Dyer

Chef Joshua Dyer joined The Distillery Restaurant Corp. in May of 2016 as Chef de Cuisine for Distillery Events and Archeo Trattoria. Recognized as one of 2015’s `Top 30 Under 30` by the Ontario Culinary Tourism Alliance, Chef Dyer brings comprehensive knowledge to his role with over ten years’ experience as a culinarian.

Raised in Burlington, Ontario, Chef Dyer began his culinary career working in some of Burlington’s top restaurants including La Costa Nuova Restaurant & Wine Bar and Pepperwood Bistro. In his spare time, he also trained at some of the area’s most renowned restaurants including Black Tree in Burlington and Quatrefoil in Dundas.

Chef Dyer completed his apprenticeship and chef training at George Brown College in the top of his class, ultimately receiving his Red Seal Certification.

Chef Dyer previously held the position of Chef de Cuisine at EPIC Restaurant & Lounge in the Fairmont Royal York. It was with EPIC Restaurant & Lounge where he was able to discover, develop and explore his passion for wild Ontario ingredients. Continued education and courses in Horticulture, have furthered his appreciation for the importance of knowing how food gets from farm to fork. His philosophy is to source locally and sustainably where possible; aiming to honor, celebrate and enhance the ingredients by keeping things simple.

Chef Dyer’s focus on sustainable purchasing and menu choices ensures that Distillery Events & Archeo Trattoria remain leaders in Toronto’s sustainable food movement.

Le Select Bistro, Chef Laura Maxwell


Chef Laura Maxwell is a George Brown College graduate and a Red Seal certified Chef. She was a winner of the Ontario Hostelry Institute’s Top 30 Under 30 Award in 2012.  Laura began as an entremetier cook at Le Sélect Bistro, and worked her way through the ranks to Executive Chef.  She is inspired by Toronto’s dynamic and diverse culinary scene, and the top Chefs she has been fortuitous to work with, both in Canada and abroad.  When not leading her talented team at Le Sélect, she enjoys cycling, spending time with her chef husband Brent, and their two giant kitties


The Local Cafe and Restaurant, Chef Nicholas Moore

Nicholas is a graduate of the Culinary Management Program at George Brown, where he was the recipient of many awards, most notably Dean’s Honor Award, Outstanding Academic Achievement, Certificate of Recognition for Participation in Culinary Competition-Taste of Canada 1994, Bronze Medal Taste of Canada 1994, and Honorable Mention for the Creation of Recipes for ED Smith Co.

Nicholas went on to The Senator on The Square as a Sous Chef for a one-year period then took on the next step in his career and culinary development as a Chef de Partie at the Sutton Place Hotels. Moving on, he then joined the Waterside INN as the Executive Sous Chef.

After spending a year at the Waterside INN, honing his culinary management skills, Nicholas then joined the CN Tower-360 team in March 1999 as a Sous Chef.  During his tenure in this position, he was instrumental with menu input, plating, human resources, training, scheduling, and catering service.   His success in this role earned him promotion to Executive Sous Chef. Chef Nicholas is now the Executive Chef at centennial College’s School of Hospitality, Tourism and Culinary Arts.

 LOKA, Chef Dave Mottershall

Dave started his culinary career at age 14, first working as a dishwasher in Port Elgin, Ontario. He moved on to earn his Professional Cooking Diploma from George Brown College and Red Seal Certification. He then left Toronto for the Fairmont Banff Springs for 6 years, finishing there as senior chef in Castellos Trattoria.

Eager for a new challenge Dave left for Prince Edward Island to learn about seafood. Most notably, he opened Terre Rouge Bistro Marche, a restaurant featuring locally sourced and sustainable ingredients, was named PEI Chef of the Year in 2012 and winner of the 2013 Taste our Island Award for his dedication to supporting the local food movement.

After 7 years on the Island Dave has returned to Toronto to share what he has learned from cooking throughout Canada. After a short stint on Bay Street Dave opened a successful pop-up restaurant in the back of a dive bar which became Loka, the first restaurant in Canada to open from Kickstarter funding.

Loka is an exploration of Canadian cuisine, with an extensive cured meat program and zero waste policy. Dave’s passion for cooking is evident in his Instagram account where he is affectionately known as @Chef_Rouge.

PORT Restaurant, Chef Samantha Joyce

More information coming soon!

Pure Spirits Oyster House, Chef Danny Chae

Born and raised in Seoul, Korea, Chef Dawoon Chae moved to Canada at the age of 21. Growing up in Korea, it was his mother who took him to traditional markets for seasonal vegetable, fresh seafood and live fish. At home, everything in their home was made from scratch, even breads and stocks. It was these early experiences cooking with his mother, that Chef Chae says ended up serving as both the early training for his career and the inspiration for it.
Once in Canada, Chef Chae enrolled in culinary school. After graduating Chae apprenticed at both George and Scaramouche, before spending two year’s at O&B Cafe and Grill, going from cook to Chef de Partie in that time. From there, Chef Chae went on to broaden his horizons in Vancouver at C Restaurant where he says he was able to hone in on his seafood skills. Following that, back in Toronto Chef Chae worked as Chef de Partie at Marben under top chef Canada winner Carl Heinrich and alongside Chef Misha Nesterenko, saying “I grew up as a chef at Marben. I learned so much from them [Heinrich and Nesterenko] about presentation, professionalism and what is means to be a chef and a leader.”
Chef Chae’s first management position was as Sous Chef under Matt Cowan at Simple Bistro. When Matt Cowan left Simple Bistro, Chef Chae took over, creating elevated French dishes with hints of Korean flavours.
Today, Chef Danny Chae leads the culinary program at Pure Spirits Oyster House & Grill in The Distillery District. Chef Chae continues in his pursuit to never settle; in constant pursuit of new ways to improve his skills and techniques, explore flavours and bring the very best to both his guests and his team.

Rodney’s Oyster House, Chef Rodgrigo de Romana

Chef Rodrigo de Romana was born in Miraflores,  Peru and although his family immigrated to Canada when he was very young, he believes that being raised in that culture of food is what gave birth to his love of cooking. Graduating from George Brown in 2000, he worked in different kitchens around Toronto before landing at Rodney’s Oyster House in 2007.  Working with the best seafood available, he honed his techniques and became Chef in 2011. At Rodney’s he creates bold, fresh, dishes that integrate seamlessly into a menu with 30 years of tradition.


Scout Canning, Chef Charlotte Langley


PEI Native Chef Charlotte Langley is often identified by her cabal as “Maritime Chic”. She cultivates the essence of the Maritimes in all the work she does. Langley’s biggest passion is sharing her favorite foods with as many mouths as possible. Upon tracking Charlotte’s experience, it is a certainty that the mouths are many, & more to come. Charlotte has over 10 years of practice as a chef & culinarian, and in that time has forged a reputation for herself as a creative multi tasker utterly dedicated to the art and craft of cooking.

It was during her time in Culinary School (Culinary Institute of Canada PEI) that Charlotte found her dream and quickly became obsessed with the idea of becoming a chef. Chefs have the opportunity to make great choices for people. They have the opportunity to serve delicious, nurturing, & inspired dishes that come directly from a fish monger, farmer or friend. Langley also believes that Chefs don’t have to take themselves too seriously. It’s a privilege and a passion, but for Charlotte it’s also an opportunity for her to play with her food.

Charlotte takes her cues from the ingredients- fresh, local, seasonal and delicious. She handles them with respect and reverence, priding herself on the ability to go into a fridge and create something remarkable with what’s available. She calls it “urban-dweller foraging” (the name is a work in progress). Chef Charlotte’s creations are bright, strong and imaginative. She has the vision, the personality and the skills to tell you a story or to simply make you feel at home with ‘Smores in Can’ or her signature Seafood Chowder.

SOCO  Kitchen + Bar, Chef Keith Pears

Born and raised in Vancouver, Keith Pears was born into a family of chef’s and was destined to become immersed in the culinary field. His parents owned a small café where he spend most of his time growing up, surrounded by family working at creating great food while he eagerly played and learned.

At the young age of 15 he took his first job washing dishes at the Teahouse Restaurant in Stanley Park in his pursuit to one day becoming a renowned Chef. It was then that he discovered his culinary identity and worked under Chef Lynda Larouche for 8 years. At this time he also began his culinary studies at Vancouver Community College completing his apprenticeship program in 2003.

In 2005 Keith was part of the opening culinary team at Watermark on Kits Beach and was quickly promoted to Executive Sous Chef. Through the use of fresh local ingredients and a refined menu, he continued to further develop his creative edge and style.

In 2009 and in search of a new challenge, Keith started his career as a 1st Cook at e.b.o. Restaurant & Lounge which was located at the Delta Burnaby Hotel & Conference Center.  Soon enough he moved into the role Chef De Partie, then Sous Chef and in 2014 he was promoted to the role of Executive Chef. It was Keith’s drive and passion to lead a team that created beautiful and delicious food, which was very much the case at e.b.o.

Keith has gone on to compete in a number of food competitions, such as Best of the West, City TV’s Master Chef, B.C. Chef of the Year, Garland Canada International Shellfish Chef Challenge, 2016 Bocuse d’Or National Selection and most recently Winning Chopped Canada.

In 2017 Keith challenged himself both personally and professionally with a move to Toronto where he was promoted to the role of Executive Chef at the brand’s flagship hotel, the Delta Hotels by Marriott Toronto.  Establishing roots in Canada’s most vibrant city is an exciting move for Keith as he works among some of the country’s best Chef’s and gains inspiration from the city’s diversity and drive.

Naturally driven and eager to learn and experience life to its fullest, it’s no surprise Keith made the bold move to Toronto.  As he often likes to quote “you never stop learning, because life never stops teaching.”

The Beverly on Locke, Chef Rory O’Leary


Starting his culinary journey at a young age, watching over his parents bread and pizza ovens, he has traveled around the country cooking his way from Toronto to Whistler. He now heads up The Beverly on Locke, the brunch staple at the forefront of the up and coming Hamilton food scene. Rory is inspired by seasonal ingredients and enjoys foraging many of them himself from our vast ecosystem in Southern Ontario. He has a passion for Italian dishes and has an affinity for open fire cooking.



The Restaurant at Peninsula Ridge, Chef Matt Hemmingsen

Chef Matt Hemmingsen has been leading the kitchen at Peninsula Ridge Winery upon being appointed Executive Chef in April 2014.

Chef Hemmingsen first learned his love of local produce on the family farm, lending a hand wherever needed. At the same time he developed his passion for food in the kitchen with his mother or grandparents who were always cooking fresh from the land.

After several years of cooking in several professional kitchens Hemmingsen took the advice of his Chef and began his culinary education at Niagara College in 1996. After graduation Hemmingsen remained in the green belt working with many chefs at several top destinations, he continued to refine his style and meet many purveyors and local farmers.

Chef Hemmingsen uses his various culinary experiences to bring Canadian Regional Cuisine to the table of many a happy guest at Peninsula Ridge. With his signature style, Chef Hemmingsen takes pride in providing a kitchen atmosphere that allows growth, development and creativity, and considers each team member a part of the family. That is the only way he knows how to cook.

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