Tag Archives: seafood

5 Tips We Learned From Ocean Wise Chowder Chowdown

Stuffed again!

Jessica and I joined lots of Calgarians at Ocean Wise Chowder Chowdown 2013. In addition to trying out 11 top chef’s creations in one stop, we went to support sustainable seafood. What a fun experience! What a great way to showcase sustainable ingredients. It sure got people talking and spreading the awareness of a more responsible way of life.

Chowder is such a comfort food especially on a cold day, or 6 months of winter in our case. We learned a few tricks from the pros as we savoured and appreciated the imagination poured into all 11 chowder creations tonight. Ready to spice up your winter?


1. Pork rind is a fantastic substitute for bread or cracker in your chowder.

Tonight’s Chowder created by Chef Paul Mcgeevy of CRAFT Beer Market won the Best Paring with beer. This grey cod, chorizo 7 chicharon chowder was topped with an oversized super crispy pork grind.

2.  Vegetable chips such as kale chips are also brilliant alternative to bread or cracker for your next chowder.

Chef Rebecca House of Thompsons topped her Smoked Salmon Chowder with kale chips and it won tonight’s People’s Choice title. Chef Andrew Keen of Redwater Grill added a splash of colour and texture to his Pacific Oyster & Parsnip Chowder with vegetable chips.

3. Devonshire cream can be used to add richness and flavour to your chowder.

Yes, devonshire cream commonly used with tea scones is proven to perform wonders in Chef Dustin Schafer‘s Smoked Salmon and Candied Scallop Chowder tonight.    He dropped a dollop of devonshire cream mixed with roasted sweet corns in the cup before pouring over steaming hot chowder to complete the serving. I was in heaven.

4. Okra adds body to none cream based chowder.

For those who are lactose intolerant, creamy chowder can be a dangerous craving. Chef Darren Maclean‘s DTF Modern Chowder was the only chowder without cream tonight.  He used okra to add body to his creation. It’s such a surprising and genius modification to a chowder. The bold and memorable flavor won tonight’s Best Chowder!

5. Cheese kills the heat.

There were a few spicy chowders tonight, mostly curry spices. A big cheese station offering generous portion of Asiago, Brie and Goat cheeses was placed half way down the lineup of chowder stations. It sure was a great relief to prepare us in challenging all of the full-flavored chowders tonight.



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Red Fish Blue Fish

From one of the very early episodes of Eat Street on FoodNetwork, I learned this fascinating little joint in Victoria BC Canada. Red Fish Blue Fish is always on my agenda when I visit.

This time it was for a business trip. I spared a whole day walking around town with my husband, though raining, it was quite romantic. He’s been itching to try this place I’ve been bragging about, so off we went with a big umbrella borrowed from our hotel Empress.

The entire restaurant operates inside a shipping cargo container on Victoria’s Inner Harbour. I always see a long lineup of the people before I see the cargo container. It uses 100% sustainable ocean wise seafood from the nearby area. With a big display by the restaurant, Red Fish Blue Fish tells the exact location from which its ingredients were supplied.
































We tried BBQ Fanny Bay Oyster Tacone ($10), and BBQ Qualicum Bay Scallop Burger ($14). The grill marks on the seafood are as real as the ocean fresh taste in these two dishes. The classic fish n chip is totally worth the calories. My favorite and must have when visiting this place is the Pacific Rim Chowder. It’s so unique and special made with chipotle coconut, sweet corn and sweet garlic’d white fish confit. My mistake during my first visit was getting a small 12oz chowder. I ended up lining up for another 30 minutes to get a second order. So, always go for the large 16oz chowder ($6) if you are eating onsite; and don’t even hesitate to get the 1 litre ($11.50) if you are hanging around town for a while.

























The locals like to hang around the restaurant. Can’t go wrong to go where the locals go, right?!










V Indicators:

1. Delicious non-alcohol beverages: no

2. Checks on the table: zero (self-serve)

3. The decibel point: 66 (at outdoor patio)

4. The price tag: $33.60













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