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Best of the West Chowderfest Spotlights Sustainable Seafood

Best of the West Chowderfest Spotlights Sustainable Seafood

Seafood for the Future

March 25, 2013

About 500 people were in attendance at the second annual Best of the West Chowderfest hosted by the Aquarium’s Seafood for the Future program on March 9.

Eight chefs submitted chowders for the competition, and awards were given by a panel of four judges. In addition, Chowderfest attendees voted via Facebook for the People’s Choice Awards.

Judges’ awards:

  • First place: Chef Pete Lehmar of Gladstone’s Long Beach, who used mussels from Carlsbad Aquafarm
  • Second place: Chef Art Gonzalez from Roe Restaurant and Fish Market, who used sea urchin and California spot prawns. The urchins were provided by Sea Stephanie Fish. Spot prawns were caught by San Pedro fisherman Chris Hoalflinger.
  • Third place: Chef Paul Buchanan of Primal Alchemy, who used sablefish from West Caught Fish Company

People’s Choice awards:

  • First place: Chef Pete Lehmar
  • Second place: Chef Paul Buchanan
  • Third place (tie): Chef Robin Higa of Market Broiler, who used California Dungeness crab
  • Third place (tie): Chef Michael Poompan from SIP Lounge at the Renaissance in Long Beach, who used Kellet’s whelk from Santa Barbara fisherman Stephanie Mutz

Additional competitors included Chef Brian Hirsty of the Bluewater Grill, who showcased California spiny lobster, a portion of which was donated by the Santa Barbara Fish Market, and Chef Curtis Mar from Parkers’ Lighthouse, who used rock crabs provided by fisherman Jason Woods. Using a combination of California white seabass, rockfish, and black cod, SAVOR… presented a Caribbean chowder. SAVOR also conducted two cooking demonstrations.

The event’s sponsors included Weiser Family Farms, Gazette Newspapers, Carlsbad Aquafarm, Santa Barbara Fish Market, Bluewater Grill, and SAVOR…