Vancouver Chowder Chowdown: All-Star Edition - November 22, 2017
November 22, 2017 at 7:00PM - LateBuy Tickets
Past Champions. Sustainable Chowders & Craft Beer. Come Cast Your Vote
For our 10th anniversary of Chowder Chowdown in Vancouver, we’re bringing back past Chowder Chowdown Champions to compete head-to-head for the title of All-Star Ocean Wise Chowder Chowdown Champion. Taste all the delectable original chowders, paired with local craft beer, 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!
Please note: This is a 19+ event. All ticket sales are final.
PARTICIPATING RESTAURANTS AND CHEFS
BOULEVARD KITCHEN & OYSTER BAR, CHEF ROGER MA
2015 Judge’s Choice Chowder Champion Chef
Following Georges Auguste Escoffier’s Brigade de Cuisine system of kitchen hierarchy, Chef de Cuisine Roger Ma is the Boulevard general, second in command to only Executive Chef Alex Chen’s commander in chief. And there’s no doubt Roger boasts the necessary experience, expertise and savvy to execute a successful back-of-house battle plan.
Roger began his career in the industry by helping to launch Fifty Two 80 Bistro & Bar at the Four Seasons Resort Whistler in 2004. From there, Roger became an integral part of the kitchen engine that drove a number of restaurants in esteemed chef Daniel Boulud’s empire.
In 2006, Roger rose in the ranks at Boulud’s flagship restaurant, Daniel in New York, from chef de partie to banquet sous chef to sous chef. After six years, Roger took the role of corporate sous chef in Boulud’s Dinex Group and moved on to help open Café Boulud and dBar at the Four Seasons Toronto as well as Maison Boulud at the Ritz Carlton in Montreal before returning to his hometown of Vancouver. Roger is no stranger to accolades either, having claimed the top prize at the 2015 Vancouver Aquarium Ocean Wise™ Chowder Chowdown from a field of 14 chefs.
While both Roger and Alex hail from Vancouver, Boulevard marks only the second time that they have blended their unique talents.
“It’s extremely exciting to be able to work with Alex again” says Roger. “While the menu has a definite West Coast feel, there is also plenty of global inspiration — things that have been influenced by our travels and personal tastes.”
WHITE WHALE, CHEF AARON RAIL
2016 Judge’s Choice Chowder Champion
2016 People’s Choice Chowder Champion
I started working in a commercial kitchen at age 13. My fascination for food began much earlier. Holidays and special occasions in my family meant a day or more preparation in the kitchen. I would often take a stool into the kitchen to help my mother and grandmother prep. At first I got to play with the leftover pastry dough and apple peels, peel carrots and turnips. Later I wormed my way to the stove top, stirring and whisking and feeding my family. A lasting connection between food and family was formed. As a child, I moved a lot. Thirty schools. All over the continent, always the new kid. But I was exposed to many cultures and cuisines. After high school, I didn’t know what I wanted to be, but I knew where I wanted to be. Mountains, ocean, no snow shoveling; I bought a one way ticket to Victoria BC.
After completing a cooking apprenticeship at the Oak Bay Marina Restaurant, I had a hunger for more knowledge. Several years more I spent learning the art and craft of pastry and baking. Still hungry, I traveled to further broaden my culinary horizons. Cooking and working through Asia and Australia opened my eyes to new ingredients and techniques. Craving home, I returned to Vancouver Island and worked in several restaurants championing local food. Cafe Brio, Spinnaker’s, Temple and ReBar. Drawn to the bounty of the island, I was lured to the Comox Valley, oyster capital of British Columbia, where the number of farms far exceeds the number of restaurants; the valley is a chef’s dream. I took the head chef job at a new restaurant in Comox called Avenue. For six years are forged relationships with the amazing food producers of this wonderful area.
Last year culminated in the realization of a dream that I rarely admitted was mine, and I opened my own restaurant. I called it The White Whale. Thanks, Hemmingway! We are committed to showcasing the bounty of Vancouver Island. We love food, and family. Come join the pod!
OCEAN WISE, CHEF NED BELL
2014 Judge’s Choice Chowder Champion Chef
2014 People’s Choice Chowder Champion Chef
2013 People’s Choice Chowder Champion Chef
Long-time sustainable seafood ambassador Ned Bell is the Ocean Wise executive chef based at the Vancouver Aquarium. Bell’s cooking philosophy is globally inspired and locally created. His love of sport, travel and adventure have taken him around the world, creating memorable experiences and cooking up a storm along the way.
With the support of the Ocean Wise seafood program, Bell founded Chefs for Oceans in 2014 to raise awareness about sustainable seafood by riding his bike across Canada. Bell’s dedication to sustainable seafood has inspired many Canadian chefs to get involved in the cause – a movement that is having a meaningful impact on the way consumers think about the seafood they eat, where it comes from and how they, too, can help protect our oceans by making ocean-friendly seafood choices.
Bell was recently awarded the Global Seafood Award for Advocacy at the 2017 Seaweb Seafood Summit. His ongoing efforts have landed him another nomination for this same global award to be announced this summer in Seattle. This recognition, paired with Bell’s diverse British Columbia upbringing, instills a passion for fresh, sustainable and locally sourced cuisine.
He has experience working in some of the country’s top kitchens and was, most recently, executive chef of Four Seasons Hotel Vancouver and YEW seafood + bar, a proud Ocean Wise partner. Bell’s diverse background includes seven seasons on Food Network Canada’s Cook Like a Chef and he has been recognized as Canada’s Chef of the Year at Food Service and Hospitality magazine’s 2014 Pinnacle Awards, Best Overall and Rising Star by Where magazine and Top 40 Foodies Under 40 by Western Living magazine in 2008.
BRODO KITCHEN, CHEF PAUL CECCONI
2011 Judge’s Choice Chowder Champion Chef
Chef Paul is a graduate of the Vancouver Community College Culinary Arts Program and holds an advanced certificate from the Wine and Spirit Education Trust. Before diving in with BRODO, he spent time in the kitchens of The Beach House at Dundarave Pier in West Vancouver, The Four Seasons Hotel Vancouver, the Regent at the Four Seasons Hotel in Sydney, Australia, and most recently was the Executive Chef at Local Lounge Grille in Summerland, BC.
Paul gives his spare time to mentor young chefs, is a member of the Canadian Culinary Federation and a director of its Kelowna branch, and is a member of the Chaine de Rotisseurs.
When not in the kitchen, you can often spot him water skiing or on a nearby golf course.
THOMSONS RESTAURANT (HYATT REGENCY CALGARY), CHEF JENNIFER JAEWON KIM
2013 People’s Choice Restaurant
Jennifer Kim is currently working as the chef de Partie at Hyatt Regency Calgary. With the background of Korean-Canadian identity, she quickly fell in love with food from both cultures where the culinary scenes are vibrantly growing with rich history in cuisine. She graduated from Southern Alberta Institute of Technology (SAIT) with Culinary Arts. After earning her diploma, she completed her Red Seal Journeyman certification. She continued to work and built her experiences in Fairmont Banff springs, Fairmont Château Whistler and Hyatt Regency Calgary. In her free time, Jennifer loves travelling to new places and has recently taken interest in photography. Capturing her love for food through photographs has increasingly become a significant part of her life.
LOCALS RESTAURANT, CHEF ROB SCHRIER
2017 Winner of Comox by the Sea’s Ocean Wise Chowder Challenge
Chef Robyn started his culinary career in the nation’s capital where he grew up. After moving to Vancouver in 2011, he had the opportunity to relocate to the Comox Valley where he has continued his pursuit of culinary inspiration under the experienced tutelage of Chef Ronald St-Pierre. He is excited by the bounty the valley provides for culinary experimentation and looks forward to a bright future.
PACIFIC INSTITUTE OF CULINARY ARTS, CHEF JULIAN BOND
2017 Winner of Devour! Osoyoos’s Ocean Wise Chowder Competition
English born and trained, Pacific Institute of Culinary Arts’ (PICA) Executive Chef & VP, Julian Bond boasts 3,000+ alumni spanning the globe. Chef Bond’s educational passion has garnered industry accolades that include ‘Maître Rôtisseur du Bailliage du Canada’, BBB’s 2014 Torch Award for ‘Marketplace Excellence’ as well as, Where Vancouver Magazine’s 18th Annual ‘Editor’s Choice – Where to Dine Award’ in recognition of “his invaluable mentorship and pioneering contribution to our culinary community”.
Chef Bond is a BC Restaurant Hall of Fame ‘Industry Inductee’ and an inaugural recipient of Vancouver Magazine’s Annual Restaurant ‘Mentorship Award’. Bond has been on the forefront for conservation and awareness initiatives such as, Vancouver Aquarium’s Ocean Wise Program and Chefs’ Table Society of BC. Chef Bond is an active promoter, educator and advocate for the betterment of our culinary industry.
MERCATTO, CHEF DOUG NEIGEL
2013 Judge’s Choice Chowder Champion Chef
Doug began his career 18 years ago apprenticing with Hyatt Hotels. During his time with the company he trained and staged in Chicago, Washington, Florida and Cleveland, while settling in at the Park Hyatt Toronto. At the Park he worked his way through the ranks to restaurant chef responsible for the fine dining restaurant, spa and the famed Roof Lounge. To satisfy his hunger to learn about rustic Italian cuisine Doug left the hotel world to be opening chef at L’unita, named (“Top 10 new restaurants” – Toronto Life), (“Top 100 in Toronto -Joanne Kates, (“Best Italian Restaurant in Toronto” – dine TO). Doug was also one of the recipients of the (“Nine of Dine Award” – Now Magazine). Looking for new challenges, he accepted the position of opening chef at Malena, which received some stellar reviews including (“Top 10 New Restaurant” – James Chatto), (“Top 10 New Restaurant” – Joanne Kates).
Doug is now in his most exciting challenge to date as executive chef of Mercatto restaurant group. Showing some great early success including (“Pizza hall of fame” – Toronto Life) (“Chefs Showcase” – Toronto Star).
Doug credits his success in his career to focus on simple quality ingredients, and partnering with great suppliers.
ARC RESTAURANT (FAIRMONT WATERFRONT), CHEF KARAN SURI
2015 People’s Choice Restaurant
Global experience with a commitment to sourcing local ingredients, makes executive chef Karan Suri a natural fit for Fairmont Waterfront with its rooftop garden and apiary. His culinary tour of duty has included Singapore, Dubai, Nairobi, and New Delhi, working with several Michelin Star chefs along the way. He has won numerous accolades including Best Chef in Kenya (Taste Awards). Enamored with the west coast and its bounty of fresh seafood, meats and produce, he is enjoying the area’s natural beauty and expanse of space waiting to be explored when he’s not in the kitchen.
Executive Chef Karan Suri: With his jet-setting background and international postings, it’s not surprising that Karan Suri, looked to Vancouver for a tasty adventure. Now the executive chef at Fairmont Waterfront, his tour of duty has included Singapore, Dubai, Nairobi, and New Delhi, working with several Michelin Star chefs along the way. Born and raised in northern India, Suri graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Hotel Management from Indira Ghandi National Open University in 2004. Classically trained in traditional and contemporary Indian, he is well versed in French, Chinese, Thai and Mediterranean cuisine and recently added Japanese and Italian cuisine to his repertoire. He started his career with the esteemed Oberoi Group in New Delhi, and worked alongside Michelin Star chefs while receiving training at Raffles, Ritz Carlton, and independent restaurants. In 2008, he joined the luxury brand, Raffles and relocated to Dubai where he was responsible for the award-wining restaurants, Fire and Ice, Cellar & Grill, and Azur over his two-year tenure. He was awarded with a gold medal in Culinary Arts from the Professional Culinary Excellence Challenge, and reached the finals in the popular television show Foodistan, a cook-off between the best Indian and Pakistani chefs. From there, he returned to Delhi to oversee the launch of the prestigious Leela Palace and refined his skills at the company’s signature restaurants – Le Cirque (awarded 2011 Best Restaurant by Vir Sanghvi) and Megu, renowned for their one-of-a-kind dining and design experiences. In 2012, he joined Fairmont Hotels as Group Executive chef based out of the historic Fairmont Norfolk in Nairobi and oversaw a trio of properties that also included The Fairmont Mount Kenya Safari Club and The Fairmont Mara Safari Club. He won numerous accolades including Best Chef in Kenya (Taste Awards), and the signature restaurant at The Norfolk, Tatu was ranked in the top 101 restaurants in hotels around the world by the Daily Meal. At the Fairmont Waterfront, he has embraced the goal of Zero Waste, Ocean Wise sustainable seafood, organic rooftop gardens, uses honey from the apiaries in menus and cocktails, and has initiated a partnership with Wayward Distillery for a private label honey-based spirit. He is also involved with the Growing Chef program and Britannia Elementary School Kid-chen Cookoff program. Already enamored with the west coast dining scene he has become the go-to for local restaurant recommendations. In addition to talking about the culinary scene in the city he can chat about Ocean Wise (the sustainable seafood initiative that was started by the Vancouver Aquarium and has expanded across Canada and select US cities), cooking with honey (from the beehives), Zero Waste certification the hotel has just been awarded and how to reduce kitchen waste, organic gardens on the rooftop.
HAPA IZAKAYA, CHEF YOSUKE OKUBO
2010 Judge’s Choice Restaurant
2010 People’s Choice Restaurant
Yosuke Okubo was born and raised in Nagano, Japan and has been in the restaurant industry for over 10 years. He started his culinary journey working in izakaya style restaurants and later ventured in the ramen, washoku and Italian style establishments.
Yosuke has always worked in open concept kitchens. His greatest thrill from cooking is being able to see happy guests enjoy his food. He has a deep appreciation when young people and families enjoy his creations. Yosuke has a dream of one day opening his own restaurant where he only uses the very best of ingredients. Local, natural and organic produce – only the best for his guests. He loves it so much he even has a sleeve of tattoos of fruits and vegetables on his arm. Now that’s a love for fresh produce!
Based at Hapa Izakaya Coal Harbour, Yosuke has learned the importance of freshness when it comes to ingredients. Teaming with Ocean Wise products, his fresh, innovative and creative recipes are beautifully featured on Hapa’s ever-evolving menus.
Hapa Izakaya has been voted “Top Five Izakayas in North America” by Bon Appétit Magazine, topping “Industry” and “Readers Choice”, Georgia Straight awards for Best Japanese in 2012 and Best Izakaya in 2014-2016, and “Best Casual Chain” by Vancouver Magazine from 2011-2015. Hapa continues to offer a winning combination of Japanese cuisine, fun and culture, paired with local seasonal and Ocean Wise ingredients.
PACIFIC YACHT CHARTERS, CHEF MARDY RA
2011 People’s Choice Restaurant
More details to come