The only accessory any smart Vancouverite needed tonight was a wooden spoon and voting slip from the Ocean Wise sustainable seafood Chowder Chowdown event at the Aquarium.
Twelve chefs, twelve delicious chowders, all competing for the honour of being voted the People’s Choice at the end of the night. I had such a great time; I hopped on the free old-fashioned trolley bus service that was laid on for the evening and rattled through town towards the Aquarium in Stanley Park. Once there, I was given my wooden spoon and slip and so galloped inside to start tasting.
What crowds! This was a sold-out event. I love that people turned out on a drizzly November evening to find out more about sustainable seafood and celebrate the great food culture of Vancouver. One of the first meals I ever ate in Vancouver, two years ago, was at C restaurant which was where I first read about the Ocean Wise initiative, the brainchild of the Vancouver Aquarium, dedicated to teaching consumers about how to make smart choices when it comes to sustainable seafood.
In a nutshell this is the idea: overfishing is a huge threat to our oceans. The world’s marine life is quickly being depleted. A recent scientific study predicted a world-wide fisheries collapse by 2048. The only solution is to turn back from the brink, and to begin consuming seafood in a sustainable manner.
So, when you visit Vancouver, make sure you choose Ocean Wise seafood. It’s guilt-free eating because it fits these criteria:
- Abundant and resilient to fishing pressures
- Well managed with a comprehensive management plan based on current research
- Harvested in a method that ensures limited bycatch on non-target and endangered species
- Harvested in ways that limit damage to marine or aquatic habitats and negative interactions with other species.
All the restaurants that took part tonight work within those guidelines. I’ll be doing my best to support them — and so should you. It was a tough choice; I adored the spicy tomato-y flavour of Chef Alex Tung from Cotto Enoteca Pizzeria’s chowder and the amazing citrus foam on Chef Dana Hauser’s chowder from Herons -The Fairmont Waterfront, was superb. But the winner of the People’s Choice was new opening Chef Chris Whittaker for Forage at the Listel Hotel. I will definitely be stopping by to see what else they do… as well as feast on sustainable seafood!
Inspired? You should be! Keep Exploring Canada…