Another tasty Vancouver Aquarium Ocean Wise Chowder Chowdown season has come to a close.

This year’s events in Vancouver, Toronto and Calgary saw dozens of chefs serve up mouthwatering arrays of sustainable seafood to hundreds of hungry Canadians in support of Ocean Wise.

In Vancouver, chef Roger Ma of Boulevard Kitchen & Oyster Bar was crowned 2015 Chowder Chowdown Champion, winning over the esteemed judging panel with his lobster miso chowder. His dish featured Ocean Wise lobster, sidestripe shrimp and clams, wakame seaweed and flavourful miso flakes, with just the right hint of fennel. People’s Choice winner Chef Alessandro Vianello of ARC at the Fairmount Waterfront got top nods from the crowd for his cedar smoked Ocean Wise sablefish chowder with kelp powder and crispy pancetta, served up in a perfect bread bowl.

Boulevard Kitchen & Oyster Bar's Roger Ma won over the judges in Vancouver with his lobster miso chowder.

Boulevard Kitchen & Oyster Bar’s Roger Ma won over the judges in Vancouver with his lobster miso chowder. Photo: Allison Kuhl

In Toronto, Chef Patrick McMurray of The Cèilì Cottage took the Chowder Chowdown title for his Cottage Chowder featuring smoked mussels, flaked haddock and Irish moss, a tasty type of seaweed. Chef Marcus Monteiro of Brassaii won the People’s Choice award with his triple-smoked scallop and mushroom thyme chowder, which he presented with a just-torched sprig of rosemary.

Our Calgary Chowder Chowdown was truly a battle of Alberta, with Chef Ryan O’Flynn of Share Restaurant at the Westin Edmonton crowned the winner. His West Coast Prairie Chowder, featuring sustainably farmed white sturgeon and locally foraged ingredients, was given top honours by both the panel of judges and the popular vote.

Meanwhile, Wolfville, Nova Scotia also got in on the action this fall with its first-ever Chowder Smackdown, part of the Devour Food Film Fest. The event saw 10 local chefs vie for the top chowder title while Ned Bell of Vancouver’s Yew at the Four Seasons and Todd Perrin of Mallard Cottage in St. John’s, Newfoundland faced off in an east-west coastal battle.

The team from Edmonton's Share Restaurant at the Westin cooks up its winning white sturgeon chowder in Calgary.

The team from Edmonton’s Share Restaurant at the Westin cooks up its winning white sturgeon chowder in Calgary.

“Each November, as the weather cools down, Vancouver Aquarium’s Ocean Wise Chowder Chowdown provides the ultimate comfort food fix,” said Ann-Marie Copping, Vancouver Aquarium’s Ocean Wise program manager. “The success of this event is thanks to the amazing support we receive from our partners. They are incredible ambassadors and their commitment to sustainability plays a key role in ensuring the health of our oceans for future generations.”

November is Ocean Wise month, but the Vancouver Aquarium’s Ocean Wise program works to raise awareness of sustainable seafood all year round. Look for the Ocean Wise symbol anywhere you choose to enjoy seafood.

Vancouver Aquarium Ocean Wise®

Overfishing is the single biggest threat our oceans face today. With more than 600 partners across Canada, Ocean Wise makes it easy for consumers to make sustainable seafood choices that ensure the health of our oceans for generations to come. The Ocean Wise symbol next to a seafood item is the Vancouver Aquarium’s assurance of an ocean-friendly seafood choice. www.oceanwise.ca

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