Chowder Chowdown Vancouver 2012

November 21, 2012

Vancouver Aquarium

FREE TROLLEY: The Vancouver Trolley Company will be providing transportation between the Vancouver Aquarium & Waterfront Station (Seymour & Cordova) every 15 minutes. 

The first trolley to depart Waterfront Station is at 6:45 p.m.
Last trolley to depart the Aquarium is at 10:30 p.m.

This is a 19+ event.


Join us at the Vancouver Aquarium this November 21st as some of Vancouver's best Ocean Wise chefs battle it out to become the 2012 Chowder Chowdown Champion. Come and sample delicious chowders, each paired with a different full flavoured beer. Guests will have the chance to vote on the People's Choice Award, while a panel of distinguished judges will determine the night's winner.



Chefs Alessandro Vianello and Michael Carter | Street Meet

Alessandro Vianello is a Red Seal Chef with experience in Canada and Europe. Alessandro has worked at the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver, The Fairmont Hotel in St. Andrews, Scotland where he was the Chef of the 2 Rosette fine dining room, and Castello Vicchio Maggio, a winery in Tuscany, Italy. Most recently, Alessandro was the Chef of Prestons restaurant in Vancouver where he oversaw the development of the restaurant from start to finish. In just under 2 years since the restaurant opened, Prestons has gone from a new unknown to a highly successful Coal Harbour restaurant. Rave reviews for both Alessandro and his highly inspired menu have been reported by many local food critics and bloggers.

Michael Carter was born and raised in Vancouver. After graduating from the Pacific Institute of Culinary Arts, he honed his skills at some    of Vancouver’s finest restaurants. Some highlights include The Teahouse in Stanly Park, The Opus Hotel and The Hotel Vancouver. Mike has been head chef of many critically acclaimed kitchens including designing the award winning restaurant The Refinery. The Refinery was a local based, totally sustainable business that set the example for other restaurants in the lower mainland. Mike also has done stints with corporate leaders such as Cactus Club and the Mark James Group to hone his management skills to optimize profits.

Chef Dana Hauser | Herons West Coast Kitchen - The Fairmont Waterfront

Dana Hauser is the Executive Chef at The Fairmont Waterfront. Deciding she craved a career which could fulfill her desire of performing in a team environment, incorporating her love for travel and food, she enrolled in the culinary program at Canadore College in Ontario. After completion, Hauser travelled further West to the Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge for a cooking placement. Almost immediately, the Executive Chef offered Hauser the option to complete her culinary apprenticeship at the Lodge. She enrolled in the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology's professional cooking program, and discovered that for the first time ever, she was doing something that truly excited her.

Hauser has had an extensive career of Sous Chef positions in various four and five diamond Fairmont Hotels & Resorts, from Bermuda to Toronto. Previous to her latest move to The Fairmont Waterfront, she took on the role of acting Executive Chef at the world renowned Fairmont Royal York, successfully leading a team of over 100 and strategically managing eight different outlets.

Chef Tom Lee | Edible Canada at the Market

Tom Lee discovered his love for cooking at the early age of 15. After high school he attended the prestigious Culinary Institute of America (CIA), in Hyde Park, New York, earning his Associate in Culinary Arts and a Bachelor in Hotel and Restaurant Management. Upon graduating from the CIA, Tom worked in the 3-Michelin Star Restaurant "Restaurant Gordon Ramsay" in London, England for 1 year, under the infamous Chef Gordon Ramsay. He worked his way up to Chef De Partie before moving to Chef Ramsay's tapas style 1-Michelin Star restaurant Maze. After a stint at The Pourcel Brothers 2-Michelin Star Restaurant Le Jardin Des Sens in Montpellier, France, Tom returned to his hometown of Vancouver, and the position of Sous Chef at Goldfish Pacific Kitchen.

Chef Todd Bright | Wild Rice 

Todd began his career at age 17 in Australia as an apprentice at Ming Jade Restaurant under Cantonese chef Kevin Lowe.  He then commenced his extensive travels in Europe at age 22 before settling into the position of sous chef at a high end gastropub south of Oxford, England.  Upon returning to Australia his valuable experience overseas led to a position at Vinos the largest fine dining and multi award winning restaurant in Queensland, Australia.  In the winter of 2007 he ventured to Vancouver, his talents were immediately discovered by Wild Rice, where after one year he became executive chef.  In the winter of 2010 he was chosen to compete in the Vancouver Chinese Chef of the Year competition, where he showcased his approach on modern Chinese cuisine.  Todd’s menu reflects his passionate commitment to working with local and sustainable ingredients while never compromising on quality and flavour.


Chef Alex Tung | Cotto Enoteca Pizzeria 

Chef Alex Tung has always had a deep and intimate relationship with food and restaurants. Having cooked in some of the top kitchens around the world, he has now planted his roots in Vancouver and now calls it home.  Alex’s formal education was at the highly esteemed New England Culinary Institute and the University of Toronto, but his true culinary education took place working for giants such as Jean-Georges Vongerichten, Daniel Boulud and Christian Delouvrier.

Chef Alex Tung is the Executive Chef/Managing Partner of Cotto Enoteca Pizzeria. Cotto is Chef’s interpretation of a modern Italian wine bar, focused on traditional Italian cuisine with a passion for local, sustainable and seasonal ingredients. Since their July opening, Cotto has been exceptionally busy and has been very well received by the community and media.

Chef Troung Minh Xong | Kamei Royale Japanese Restaurant

Kamei Royale Japanese Restaurant’s head kitchen chef. Acquired Japanese traditional cooking skills from professional Japanese chef master and has been head chef for Kamei Royale for more than 10 years. Over 20 years of cooking experience, Xong has successfully become one of the first fusion artists successful in fusing Japanese and Western food to Vancouver.






ChefFrank Gort | Show Case Restaurant and Bar - Vancouver Marriott Pinnacle

Frank Gort joined the Vancouver Pinnacle Marriott in 2010 moving from the JW Marriott Union Square, San Francisco where he helped develop the benchmark for events in the brand.  He began his culinary training at the Secchia Institute for Culinary Education and joined the 1913 Room culinary team, the first AAA Five Diamond restaurant in Michigan.  Frank was part of the opening team for the JW Marriott Grand Rapids, the first JW in the Midwest. 

Frank supports Growing Chefs!, Chefs for Children’s Urban Agriculture.  Growing Chefs! is a non-profit society based in Vancouver with a goal to encourage development of urban agriculture  and to engage in the community to support food sustainability.  Most importantly they inspire children with the idea that they can grow their own food, even in the city.

Chef Nathan Tower | Savoury Chef Foods

Chef Nathan Tower has been with Savoury Chef Foods since 2010. One
short year later, he was promoted to Chef de Cuisine and has been running
an amazing kitchen team ever since! Before joining the Savoury Chef team
he cooked at the award winning Raincity Grill, and then was chosen to
work at the iconic Bishops restaurant under Chef Andrea Carlson. Nathan
trained at VCC, then completed his Red Seal Certification at Delta Hotels and
Northview Golf and Country Club.






Chef Chris Whittaker | Forage - Listel Hotel

From a young age, Chris Whittaker was introduced to local food by his grandparents when he was taught to respect how we catch, conserve and grow our food. Home was Thunder Bay, Ontario where trucks, a case of beer and baseball caps were rights of passage. The result? A gut level understanding of sustainability and a low tolerance for pretense.

Since coming to The Listel Hotel in 2007, Chris has garnered praise for his playful yet sophisticated cooking style and his passion for local products and ethically sound ingredients. He has been the driving force behind the restaurant’s participation in the Ocean Wise program and the Green Table Network resulting in O’Doul’s receiving the inaugural Green Table and third annual Sustainable Seafood Where to Dine Award in 2008. He is an active board member of the prestigious Chef’s Table Society of BC.

Chef Eric Pless | Coast Restaurant 

A native of Ontario’s wine region, Eric enrolled in the Culinary Arts Program at Niagara College in 1995, embarking on a richly rewarding and diverse career, taking him across Canada and into the UK. Highlights of Pless’ culinary career include: Production foreman in the viniculture department, Chateau de Charmes vineyard, Niagara on the Lake; Working alongside celebrity chef Michael Olson at the Inn on the Twenty; Chef de Partie and Sous Chef, Peller Estates winery, Niagara on The Lake; A three-month stage with internationally-lauded chef and molecular gastronomist, Heston Blumenthal at his three Michelin-starred restaurant, The Fat Duck, Bray, UK; Executive Sous Chef, Sassafras, Toronto; Sous Chef, Hillebrand estate winery.

It was the allure of the ocean that spurred Eric to make the move from Toronto to Vancouver and found a new home, at the helm of one of the city’s most popular seafood restaurants. With his knowledge, years of professional experience and the utmost appreciation for food and wine integrity, Eric is ideally-suited for Glowbals’s high-energy offer of vibe dining at its finest.

Chef Warren Mercier | Vancouver Aquarium

A Born and Raised Vancouverite, Warren has been cooking all over the lower mainland for more than 10yrs. Graduating from the VCC. As Chef de Partie for the Vancouver Aquarium, Warren has taken on Challenges that have differed substantially from any other kitchen. His passion for BC embraces sustainability and keeping things local.             






Chef Derek Bendig | Hotel El Dorado

Born in Vernon, B.C.  Derek got a late start to cooking after working as a mechanic, and doing construction.  He started his culinary career at the Pacific Institute of Culinary Arts in Vancouver, upon graduating joined the team at Toronto’s Pangaea restaurant as a line cook.   In 2002 Derek took a stage at the legendary Maison Pic, under Chef Anne-Sophie Pic in Valance, France.  Returning to Pangaea after his time in France he quickly moved up the ranks to Chef de Cuisine.  As Chef de Cuisine at Pangaea Derek started the in-house charcuterie program, as well as an in-house cheese program making upwards of thirty different cheeses.  After twelve years in Toronto Derek has come back to the Okanagan to take over as Executive Chef of the Hotel Eldorado in Kelowna.


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