Last night was the fourth annual Vancouver Aquarium Ocean Wise Chowder Chowdown event in Vancouver. This year’s delicious event catered to a sold out crowd of 550 at the Aquarium for a fun night of Ocean Wise chowders paired with local craft beers, a silent auction and live music from Ocean Wise musician ambassadors Mindil Beach Markets. The Ocean Wise Chowder Chowdown hosted 12 of Vancouver’s finalists, each of whom created unique ocean-friendly chowders. All of the participating chefs are ambassadors of the Ocean Wise program, representing just a few of the hundreds of Ocean Wise partners across Canada.

The esteemed panel of judges and guests voted and decided upon three different winners. Congratulations to chef Paul Cecconi of Local Lounge-Grille who took home the prestigious title of 2011 Ocean Wise Seafood Chowder Chowdown Champion in Vancouver for his unique smoked Ocean Wise Outlandish oyster chowder with parsnips, squash and brown butter breadcrumbs. Rounding out the awards were chef Ned Bell of YEW at Four Seasons, who was awarded Best Chowder and Beer Pairing, and chef Natasha Harris of Sunset Bay Yacht Group, the crowd favourite, who won the People’s Choice Award.

The evening was a reminder of why ocean-friendly seafood is not only a smart choice but also a tasty one. Overfishing is the greatest threat facing our oceans today. The Ocean Wise program was created to educate and empower consumers about the issues surrounding sustainable seafood. All of the proceeds from last night’s event directly support the Vancouver Aquarium’s Ocean Wise program.

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