The blog post below, submitted by Ocean Wise partner Forage Restaurant, highlights one of Vancouver Aquarium’s Ocean Wise program ambassadors and proponents of sustainability.

Chef Chris Whittaker is quickly becoming a well-known name in Vancouver, and not just in culinary circles. Chris is the force behind Forage, a restaurant partner of Vancouver Aquarium’s Ocean Wise program that opened in November 2012 and a vibrant addition to Vancouver’s West End dining scene. With his guidance, Forage has become the pioneer restaurant for BC Hydro, LiveSmart B.C. and the Green Table Network: a partnership to showcase how to achieve financial savings through the reduction of waste, water and energy consumption.

Under Chris’s guidance, the Listel Hotel, of which Forage is part, has become active partners with the Aquarium’s Ocean Wise, Chefs Table Society, Inner City Farmers, Solefood Farms, Fraser Fraser Common Farms, B.C. Wine Institute, and Food Day Canada, and is working on many more partnerships – all to promote the sustainability of our food systems.

The path to sustainability was one already practiced by Chris, as conservation and the use of local products is who he is, not what he does. Bee-keeping at home, preserving fruit and vegetables to have a “canless” kitchen, and working with small-lot farmers throughout the year is evidence that Chris takes this philosophy very seriously.

He has been on several panels discussing the “greening of the restaurant industry,” including the HOST 2012 Show (B.C. Tourism & Hospitality Conference) the B.C. Food Service Expo and as key-note speaker for Metro Vancouver’s Food System Policy conference. The team at Forage Restaurant and Chef Chris Whittaker have been recognized for their outstanding efforts by both Vancouver Magazine’s Green Award and WHERE Magazine’s Green Table Network Award.

Chef Chris Whittaker with a fresh batch of B.C. spot prawns. Photo credit: Forage Restaurant.

Chef Chris Whittaker with a fresh batch of B.C. spot prawns. Photo credit: Forage Restaurant.

For several years, Chris has been the organizing volunteer for the Annual Spot Prawn Festival at False Creek Fisherman’s Wharf, where a team of chef and student volunteers will feed up to 1,200 people the first-of-the-season, Ocean Wise recommended B.C. spot prawns. This festival has garnered worldwide attention, just as our local spot prawns have. The goal is keep spot prawns available in the local market, and that goal has been successful, under the guidance of chefs like Chris Whittaker, Robert Clark (of The Fish Counter) and Ocean Wise, as well as many others.

And then there is chowder. A supporter of Ocean Wise from early days, Chris has championed sustainable seafood, and particularly Ocean Wise recommended B.C. spot prawns and pink salmon. These two meet nicely in Forage’s Seafood Chowder – a mainstay on the menu that twice won first place at the Aquarium’s Ocean Wise Chowder Chowdown in Vancouver. Chris knew he was taking a chance submitting the same chowder recipe twice, but it was so popular at Forage that he didn’t want to have to take it off the menu. Happily – the gamble paid off and the chowder stays. At least for 2014.

Guest blog post submitted by the team at Forage.


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